Aug 042017
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

In an era when synth-pop was what ruled the British roost, the opening guitar lick to the Smiths’ “This Charming Man” was an invigorating splash of cool, clear water to the face. The band’s second single, written for one of John Peel’s BBC radio sessions, began with Johnny Marr’s ringing introduction and kept up a bright, danceable pace, while Morrissey crooned lyrics (including a line nicked from the Laurence Olivier / Michael Caine movie Sleuth) that were coquettish, poetic, and different from anything on the charts. “Early Elvis would have approved of the music, [Oscar] Wilde of the words,” writes allmusic.com, “an audacious end result by any standard.”

“I wince a bit when I hear it now,” Marr later said. “It only tells the shiny side of the story, it in no way epitomizes what was good about the band in the long term. But God bless it though, it seemed to catch on with a lot of people.”
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Feb 232016
 
Stars

Canadian indie-pop vets Stars have been releasing records for 15 years now, and in that time have put out a handful of great covers: their version of The Smiths’ “Asleep” is a wonderful twee lullaby, and they put just the right combination of swagger and emotion into “Fairytale of New York.” 2016 will see them up their cover game dramatically though, with a new cover every month. And if the first two are anything to go on, it’s going to be a great year. Continue reading »

Jun 262012
 

Stars released their third album, Set Yourself on Fire, in 2004. It was fairly well received, gaining popularity with tracks like “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” and “Ageless Beauty.” Not quite riding on the coattails of that success, but also not leaving enough time for people to forget the album, Stars released a remix album of Set Yourself on Fire in 2007, called Do You Trust Your Friends? Continue reading »