Sep 032014
 

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question, courtesy of staffer Stephen Gwilliams: What’s your favorite cover of a song from a musical?
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May 302014
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Once upon a time, there was a kind of music that was too dangerous to be sung on the radio, on TV commercials, at sporting events. But a band could spend sixty-four hundred dollars to make an album filled with this music, and watch the people’s reactions change over the decades from fear to fascination to full-on embrace. That’s what happened with the debut album by the Ramones, which opened with “Blitzkrieg Bop,” arguably the most influential song in the history of punk rock.
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Mar 042011
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Some songs are tied in music fans’ minds to a particular instrument. “Under Pressure” would be nothing without the bass. “In the Air Tonight” conjures four bars of epic drums. No Jimi Hendrix song can be separated from the guitar. But these are all common instruments, with many rock songs tied to them. The cowbell is only associated with one song. But through that single song two words have forever entered the pop culture lexicon: More cowbell. Continue reading »

Second Chances

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Jan 252010
 

Whether you’re a pining romantic, fading dance pioneer or violent dictator (see below), everyone deserves a second chance at love. Listening to songs pleading for another try makes you want to know the addressee’s response. Some we know – Sandy and Danny reconciled their differences at the fair; America decided yes, it was ready to twist again – but the rest leave you wondering. Was Warren reconsidered? Did she give up on Solomon? The world may never know.


Steve Earle and Reckless Kelly – Reconsider Me (Warren Zevon)
When you live a life of alcoholism, drug abuse and divorce, lines like “I’ll never make you sad again ‘cause I swear that I’ve changed since then” take on a heartbreaking sincerity. He probably said them a good deal. [Buy]

Bob Dylan and George Harrison – Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Henry Thomas)
Dylan re-wrote much of this 1927 blues tune for inclusion on 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. He revisited it in an impromptu 1970 Studio B jam session with Harrison, coming up with some new lyrics on the spot about “looking for a woman with some chicken knees.” [Buy]

Jenton – My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson)
A YouTube cover artist to watch. [Buy]

Joe Cocker – Don’t Give Up On Me (Solomon Burke)
The title track to Solomon Burke’s Grammy-winning 2002 comeback album, “Don’t Give Up On Me” keeps its soul power even when transferred to the notoriously mush-mouthed Cocker. [Buy]

Jamie McClure – Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker)
Chubby ruled the summer of 1960 with his dance craze “The Twist.” Apparently without any new ideas, he asked America to recreate the magic the following summer with “Let’s Twist Again.” The country was happy to oblige. [Buy]

Robins and the Highrollers – Change Your Mind (The Killers)
Hot Fuss had its share of hit singles with “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside” and “All These Things That I’ve Done,” but this album cut (not even included on the British version) holds its own next to any of them. [Buy]

Noseriders – Could We Start Again Please (Jesus Christ Superstar)
If Robert Johnson, Conway Twitty, and Jake Shimabukuro got together for an instrumental jam sesh, they probably wouldn’t go anywhere near Andrew Lloyd Webber. But if they did… [Buy]

The Oakdales – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
The genius of the Jackson 5 was how well an eleven-year old pipsqueak relayed the complexity of desire in a way people twice his age could relate to. [Free Download]

Violent Femmes – I Swear It (I Can Change) (South Park)
A homosexual appeal from a horny Saddam Hussein to an emotionally unstable Satan? Only on South Park. [Buy]

The Beautiful South – You’re the One That I Want (Grease)
What descriptors do justice to this duet? Goth-country? Brooding-romantic? How about: One of the best covers I’ve heard in a while. [Buy]