Aug 282017
 
cover me book

Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs Of All Time comes out October 3. It dives deep into twenty iconic covers, from Elvis’s “Hound Dog” through Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” I interviewed artists like David Byrne and Roger Daltrey to get the untold stories behind their greatest covers. You can read all about it here.

Now we’ve got a special bonus for anyone who preorders: a free digital album of other covers of those same songs.

What’s the greatest “Take Me to the River” that’s not by Al Green or the Talking Heads? My favorite “Hurt” untouched by either of those men in black? An “I Will Always Love You” that sounds like the artist has never heard either Dolly Parton or Whitney Houston’s versions? This mix answers all those questions. Continue reading »

May 192017
 
Cover Me

As we’ve noted already, 2017 marks Cover Me’s tenth birthday. We’ll have some more celebratory posts leading up to the actual date this fall, but I’m thrilled to announce one thing that’s on deck for October: the release of my first book, Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time!

Ever since I started this site, friends and readers have suggested that I should write a book about cover songs (surprisingly, a comprehensive book doesn’t really exist). For years, I resisted. “That’s like saying ‘I’m going to write a book about original songs’,” I’d snarkily reply – i.e., that’s a stupid idea. Cover songs seemed too broad a category. There’s no grand unifying theory of cover songs to fit tidily between two book covers; it’s too big and messy and wonderful a tent for that.

Aretha FranklinAfter years of saying no, I finally came up with the solution. I wouldn’t write a book about cover songs – instead, I would write a book about twenty specific cover songs, and through those twenty covers, a broader narrative would emerge.

The story of covers as traced in Cover Me involves artistic triumphs and music-industry shenanigans. It touches on trends in record-making, music videos, and the internet’s impact on music (did you know the first viral song was a cover?). There are beautiful moments of unlikely artists coming together, and some uglier instances of exploitation and racism. Every major change in the music industry since the advent of rock and roll finds some expression in the world of cover songs. Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon over the weekend. As it has twice before (here and here), the occasion necessitated a look at the “History of Rap.” The duo once more busted a move dropping lines from classic hip-hip tracks with the Roots backing. Continue reading »

Jul 222011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

This Week on Bandcamp took a week off last week, so we come back swinging with a double-header. Instead of five tracks…ten! Download the main set first, then scroll onwards for bonus covers of Stevie Wonder, Twin Peaks, XTC, Kurt Vile, and Angus and Julia Stone. Continue reading »

Nov 292010
 

You all submit so many great covers it’s hard to keep up. When we fall behind, we gather the best and brightest in a Submission Roundup.

Thanksgiving may be over, but today we want to thank all the artists who submit their music. You guys send too many covers to keep up with, so we like to round up some of our favorites before the tunes fall by the wayside. Download all the great November covers we didn’t get a chance to post about earlier!

Do you have something to submit? Send it along here! Continue reading »

Oct 222010
 

Last night’s Night of Too Many Stars took over Comedy Central to raise funds for autism. As always, it was aptly titled, with Jon Stewart, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, George Clooney, Jimmy Kimmel, and Betty White (of course) performing and manning the phones. The high point came during Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan’s moving (ha!) duet on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair.” Morgan rocks the Garfunkel jew-fro as they warble along.

One person isn’t having it though. That person is Paul Simon. Fed up with their terrible performance, he emerges to rapturous applause to coach the pair on the harmonies. “With all due respect, as a duo, you guys suck,” he says. Dude’s got a point. He tries to teach them the right words, only to be told by Rock: “The lyrics are bullshit!” The zingers fly as it slowly devolves into AutoTune. Before you know it, Paul Simon is rapping Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” (happy b-day Snoop!) No lie. Watch it below. Right now. Continue reading »