When we last spoke about the Gaslight Anthem’s mostly-covers iTunes Sessions EP, it was slated to drop in December. An early leak has since caused the label to push up the release to next week though. In advance of that, you can hear their cover of Tom Petty’s “Refugee.”
Way back in June 2010, the Gaslight Anthem performed their ripping cover of Pearl Jam’s “State of Love and Trust” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. A year and a half later, they’re finally releasing a studio recording. It comes on their mostly-covers iTunes Sessions EP, which also includes takes on the Who, Tom Petty, and a traditional classic.
When Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem covers a song, he generally looks to classic rock– Tom Petty, the Clash, and, of course, Springsteen. When he latches onto a cheesy pop song though, man oh man. We heard him deliver lightning in a bottle once a few years ago with his stunning version of Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hook Up.” Now he does it again with the Horrible Crowes, his new band with guitar tech Ian Perkins. They played their first show ever last night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and let loose with a cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Once in a generation there comes a song so good, so perfectly written and arranged, that it transcends pure aural pleasure and becomes an anthem. The Band’s “The Weight” is one of those songs, without question – Easy Rider, anyone? If that doesn’t make you want to take a Harley across state lines, what would?
No one does classic rock covers like The Gaslight Anthem. In our In the Spotlight feature, we saw them reinvent songs by the Replacements, Tom Petty, and, big surprise, Bruce Springsteen. Their cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hook Up” proved they can break out of the mold and they did so again this morning on Australia’s Triple J, covering Jack Johnson.*
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
The Gaslight Anthem is a band that inevitably draws comparisons to other artists, whether they’re channeling the sound of Social Distortion, the spirit of Johnny Cash, or the lyrics of the Boss. It only makes sense, then, that this group of Jersey Shore boys has a knack for covers. This blog has spotlighted some of their best work before. Who could forget their haunting full-band reading of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” or singer Brian Fallon’s totally sincere and totally amazing reworking of Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hook Up”?
For this installment of In the Spotlight, though, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find some less-represented Gaslight covers. This is a band that is totally about context—their place in rock ‘n’ roll seems wholly dependent on those that have come before (for example, try to find a Gaslight review that does not mention Bruce Springsteen. Go ahead, I dare you). The goal here was to find a range of covers to show that the band is not only aware of those comparisons, but is also aware that their audience knows them too. Thus, while some of their choices in cover songs—Springsteen, Tom Petty—are pretty obvious, others—the Replacements, The Who—are a bit of a curve ball. Even a song that’s essentially become a standard for our era (Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”) receives a fresh treatment complete with new vocal melody. In a nutshell, the songs below illustrate that Gaslight knows what their fans want, but also knows how to keep them on their toes.