May 302018
 

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

pink floyd covers

Coming in at 40 tracks, our third ‘Best Ever’ countdown is our longest yet. This feels appropriate; Pink Floyd’s songs tend to be a whole lot longer than Talking Heads’ or Fleetwood Mac’s. A band whose default length was set at “epic” deserves a list just as winding.

Luckily, the covers community has obliged, allowing us a list as discursive as Pink Floyd itself. A band that, for better or worse, can get pigeonholed into a specific sound and era, gets transformed into a whole host of other genres and moods. Psychedelic rock is represented here, of course, but so is bluegrass, soul, and disco. One cover even includes a “featuring Tupac Shakur” credit, which is probably not what Gilmour or Waters envisioned. Though the latter would certainly appreciate the walls being torn down.

Twenty-minute tracks that might seem intimidating to some don’t phase these artists. Some turn them into tight four-minute pop songs. Others, if you can believe it, extend the songs further. So strap in, and set the controls for the heart of the cover… Continue reading »

Mar 052018
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

never mind the bollocks covers

Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols is generally regarded as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. In one fell 38-minute swoop, The Sex Pistols (more or less) burst on the scene, birthed punk rock, and bit the dust soon after. That last fall marked the 40th anniversary of its release is nearly as jarring as its opening track.

Like the band itself, pretty much everything leading up to and following the album’s release was controversial. From manager/impresario Malcolm McLaren’s publicity stunts – he famously arranged for the band to perform “God Save The Queen” on a boat on the Thames near Parliament during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (ending in his arrest) – to hardcore dealings with music labels, to “moving target” album release dates. Of the band members – Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Johnny Rotten/Glen Matlock/Sid Vicious – determining exactly who was responsible for each track is even subject to debate. [Matlock, a founding member ousted and replaced by Vicious prior to the album’s release, is listed as co-writer on 10 of the 12 tracks. Although inarguably critical, his actual influence relative to the other band members has been challenged by Jones.]

But as writer Steve Huey pointed out in his review on AllMusic:

…underneath the shock tactics and theatrical negativity were social critiques carefully designed for maximum impact. Never Mind the Bollocks perfectly articulated the frustration, rage, and dissatisfaction of the British working class with the establishment, a spirit quick to translate itself to strictly rock & roll terms.

The album debuted at number #1 in the UK in 1977. At the time, it didn’t sell nearly as well in in US – taking 10 years to reach gold status – but its impact and ultimate legacy on both sides of the Atlantic was undeniable. In a wide-ranging Yahoo Music/Backspin interview from early last year, guitarist Steve Jones called it “the main album for kids to have if you were part of the new revolution.” And further, “We only did one album and that one album has kept the whole ball rolling ever since… but maybe if we had done another album, it would have sucked.”

Today kicks off a short series celebrating Bollocks. The seminal work has been covered extensively, so let’s march right in…

Continue reading »

Aug 172011
 

What do you get when you combine Leslie Feist, Colin Greenwood of Radiohead, Air’s Nicholas Godin and a collection of early Velvet Underground songs? The answer is “Velvet Underground Revisited”. The group of musicians, also including the Hotrats (Nigel Godrich, Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey of the band Supergrass) and Soap&Skin, played an all-day tribute to the influential band in Paris in early July. The concert covered all of the songs off of the band’s Nico-featuring 1967 debut album, frequently called the “Warhol album” or the “banana album” for the Warhol pop art on the cover. Continue reading »

Jan 162010
 

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post the array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the email address on the right and we’ll post it!






This Week’s News


Jay Reatard died this past week at age 29. While he never lead the healthiest lifestyle, it was still a shock. Here’s one of his final recordings, covering Nirvana’s “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”. [Jay Reatard]

It’s a new year, but the John Hughes tributes keep coming. For a guy who never recorded a song in his life, musicians do love him. Here’s Death Cab. [VH1]

To help New Zealand punk and recent stroke victim Chris Knox with his medical bills, 33 indie musicians have banded together to cover his songs for the slightly morbidly-titled Stroke tribute album. First up: reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel singer Jeff Magnum. [Stereogum]

Supergrass side project the Hot Rats are coming out with their debut LP, and it’s all random quasi-ironic covers! Here’s them on Letterman (remember him? the one not on NBC?) fighting for their right to wear red dresses or something. [YouTube]

Also in the late night world, “Neil Young” stopped by Jimmy Fallon to lament all those people looking like fools with their pants…you know. [Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]

Fifty covers by My Morning Jacket. ‘Nuff said. [You Ain’t No Picasso]

One of these days I’ll do a set of DEVO covers. Until then: Harlem covering “Come Back Jonee.” [Aquarium Drunkard]

Ted Leo tweets covers of female popstars for no good reason Why not? [Tweet 1, 2, 3]

When Johnny Cash died a few years back, rumors swirled about more recording sessions with Rick Rubin. One set was released in 2006 and now the final album, American VI: Ain’t No Grave is coming next month. [Pitchfork]

Who’s Benjamin Durdle? I don’t know either. But a new tribute album may help teach the world. Or at least the few people who would listen to a tribute album to someone they’ve never heard of. [PopMatters]

This Week’s Submissions

Julian Shah-Tayler – Darling Nikki (Prince) [more]

Send your cover to the email address on the right!