I’m sure when Maya Rudolph and Martin Short booked Miley Cyrus to be the first musical act of their new variety TV show, NBC’s Maya & Marty, they expected Cyrus to perform naked on a glittered bulldozer while singing The Fall or Pasty Cline. Unfortunately, the second best case scenario happened: she gave a really tasteful, and really good, live performance.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Little Willie John made a splash with “Fever.” It’s an ominous song that slinks along in a minor key. A hit in 1956, it certainly stood out amongst the rest of the R&B hits of the day, burning briefly but brightly. Two years later, Peggy Lee caught “Fever,” slowed it to a simmer, and added some heated lyrics. Once again, it became a hit – a process that would be repeated a couple years later, thanks to Elvis Presley. And there’s been no lack of covers since (an epidemic?). Seems few are immune, with two of the (single-named) queens of pop music, Madonna and Beyonce, having given it a go. But “Fever” has spread to many genres, and the best of the best bring something unique to the hot (and catchy) tune.