Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.
Erickson didn’t simply sing [the] songs, he became them. Watching him then, it was like he was screaming to get outside of his body, knowing that the music behind him was a cannon meant to hurtle him into the stratosphere. I can recall shows where Erickson sang as if his life would end if he didn’t reach a certain plateau. We’d stand in the audience, holding our breath and hoping for his sake that he got there. – Bill Bentley
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As you’ve surely heard by now, R.E.M. broke up yesterday via an understated note on their website. Just as it began, the entire enterprise ended not with a bang, but with a murmur. The quartet-turned-trio performed together for 31 years, 15 albums, and countless “R.E.M. changed my life” exclamations in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Over the course of their career, the band performed countless covers. From the very beginning, they seemingly relished every opportunity to pay tribute to their influences, tacking covers onto singles, compilations, and their annual Christmas fan club records. In the whole lot, there are few duds. Through a combination of smart selections (no novelty rap covers here) and a rare ability to extract the essence of a lyric or melody, they made just about every song they tackled sound like an R.E.M. original. To remember the beloved band, we look back chronologically at some of their most important and best-known covers. Continue reading »
Of all the artists with the potential to make a comeback in 2011, few seemed less likely that Jeff Mangum. Yet here he is, on an honest-to-god tour, playing full sets before actual audiences. With Neutral Milk Hotel’s discography so limited though, he’s been fleshing out sets with covers. The latest cover comes from a Toronto performance where he performed Roky Erickson’s “I Love the Living You.” Continue reading »
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
An embarrassment of riches this week. In addition to the normal five Bandcamp spotlights, we’ve added five more below that we just didn’t want to let go. Check out the main set, then scroll further to download bonus covers of Roky Erickson, Black-Eyed Peas, The Wizard of Oz, Mountain Goats, and Antony and the Johnsons. Continue reading »