Aug 192016

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.


With Out of Time, R.E.M. completed their transition from college band to global stardom, and they wanted their next album to move away from Time‘s gentle lushness and move into harder-rocking territory, more suited to the grunge-y times. But when the band members reconvened, they found they were no longer of a mind to write loud ‘n’ angry. Result: Automatic for the People, a meditation on loss that’s downbeat without being depressing, from a band turning away from a world begging to be conquered so it could consider its disquiet. The record wasn’t what they originally promised, but it didn’t disappoint either – it went top-five worldwide, and today it’s considered the band’s masterpiece, the kind of album you put on and then you just lie down and you let it engulf you (or so it is said).

“Every one of its 12 songs is worthy of attention,” MOJO said, and in 2007 the website Stereogum proved it with their tribute album Drive XV: A Tribute to Automatic for the People. A celebration of Automatic‘s 15th anniversary, the tribute featured artists who grew up with R.E.M. as a constant in their lives, and hearing that familiar band speaking with a new voice clearly made an impression on these musicians who were still discovering their own voices and the ways they could be raised.
Continue reading »

Jan 242012

When we last saw a video from Shout Out Louds, they had paired a grand vision of industrial decline with a Band of Horses cover. We named it a Best Cover Video of 2010. Now they’re back, with a significantly less ambitious video. It’s their version of Madonna’s “Ray of Light,” performed backstage in Paris. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

So it begins: Listomania 2010. Like every music blog worth its proverbial salt, Cover Me will be going list-crazy this month. The difference is, our lists will specialize in – you guessed it – cover songs. Take the typical year-end list and insert the word “Cover” between “Best” and “Albums/Songs/etc” and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. First up: The Best Cover Videos of 2010.

Cover songs hit the web faster than ever these days, but well-crafted cover videos remain relatively rare. Sure, YouTube is bursting with webcam performances and DIY concert footage, but bedroom confessions soon grow tiresome. Well-crafted cover music videos (remember those?) come along far less often. A great video can be art on its own, playing with – or against – the audio recording to create a viewer/listener experience greater than the sum of its parts.

Below, we present our top ten cover videos of 2010. In some cases the song’s origins play an essential role in the music video; in others it makes no difference. Each brings new imagery, insight, or, in some cases, lolz to the song it accompanies. A Rastafarian astronaut shoots lasers. Apples float around a Twilight Zone apartment. Pig people fight mummy surgeons in the basement.

Check out our ten favs below, then tell us which you liked best. Continue reading »

Aug 272010

Everyone loves Band of Horses these days. Last month we saw Gnarls’ Barkley’s Cee-Lo Green (he of recent “F*** You” fame) cover “No One’s Gonna Love You” with a road trip-gone-wrong video. Now Stockholm’s Shout Out Louds put their spacey spin on Cease to Begin standout “Is There a Ghost?” The quintet translate the lyrics to Swedish; the new title “Spöken” is Swedish for “Ghost.” (via Pitchfork via Merge)

The video features the band sadly wandering on some industrial age monstrosity. Water purification plant? Primitive cell tower? Oil rig on land? Whatever is it, it appears to have been the causality of this or some other recession. Desolate imagery for a desolate song. Watch it below, then post your guess of what this place is in the comments. Continue reading »