Feb 182011
 

At Cover Me, we like to give stuff away. Read on to learn how that stuff can be yours.

Back in October, we reviewed Subterranean Homesick Blues (A Tribute to Bob Dylan's 'Bringing It All Back Home') when it was only a digital release. Now, we're giving away five copies of the brand-new vinyl version, courtesy of Reimagine Music. Kids, believe us (and your parents) when we tell you it sounds even better on wax. Read on to find out how to win. Continue reading »

Sep 162010
 

The cover-blogging-internet-music-webosphere is exploding. Or imploding. Or just ploding generally. Basically… a lot of new covers have cropped up in the past 24 hours.

The Bon Iver-featuring Gayngs take a leisurely stroll through the recently-incarcerated George Michael’s “One More Try” with help from Har Mar Superstar. The Morning Benders trot a bit faster through a Ram classic for a new mixtape. Japandroids throw a PJ Harvey cover on the b-side of their new seven inch. Phospherescent hits the heavens with a faithful “Across the Universe.” Example unleashes his inner teenie-bopper with the 274th cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Continue reading »

Phil Spector

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Apr 212009
 

You’ve probably heard that last week Phil Spector was finally sentenced for second-degree murder in a verdict that surprised no one. Now sure, it’s easy to make fun of his eccentric courtroom hairstyles, but that makes it no less sad that such a man has sunk so far. Arguably the most favorite producer ever, Spector built an empire with his “Wall of Sound,” churning out hit after hit. The stories of his obsessive need for perfection in the studio are the stuff of legend, him driving artists to the brink of exhaustion to reproduce what he had in his head. Many of his classic girl group tracks are given new interpretations below, as well as some of his more surprising work doing albums like Let It Be.

Glasvegas – Be My Baby (The Ronettes)
Perhaps the quintessential Spector production, the original is a pop masterpiece. It’s been covered from everyone from John Lennon to We Are Scientists (which you can get at this Girl Groups post, with many other Spector covers), and here Scottish foursome drenches the pep in reverb, sounding like a pleading breakdown. [Buy]

Bruce Springsteen – Then She Kissed Me (The Crystals)
For the opener of one of the final shows on last year’s Magic tour, Bruce surprised everyone by doing a cover he hadn’t done since ’75, a slightly gender-altered take on the Crystals classic. Check out the stadium-sized roar when he starts singing and the crowd realizes what it is. Thirty-four years later, it hasn’t aged a bit. Speaking of Springsteen, I’m seeing him in Boston tomorrow and Wednesday. Here are two Bruce posts to celebrate. [Buy]

Frurk – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (The Ramones)
The fact that the Ramones picked Spector to produce them for End of the Century is bizarre, and one wonders how they put up with his famous eccentricity. This song in particularly is noteworthy for the eight hours Spector had Johnny Ramone play the opening chord to get it perfect. One chord, eight hours. Listen to the original and see if it was worth it, then come back for this slowed-down lo-fi take. [Buy]

The Ramones – Baby I Love You (The Ronettes)
In a tribute to Phil Spector’s production, it’s nice to actually post a track that was produced by Spector. When Spector produced the Ramones, it seems he couldn’t resist throwing a track he produced twenty years prior at ‘em. Here he tries to navigate the difference between punk and girl groups, bringing out Joey Ramone as a real singer in the process. [Buy]

The Morning Benders – He’s a Rebel (The Crystals)
A strange fact about many of Spectors’ groups is that he held the rights to their name, so he could have recorded Donovan and called it “The Crystals” if he wanted. While he never went that far, guess who wasn’t on the Crystals’ only number one hit…the Crystals! Not wanting to wait for the group to return from touring to record this new song, Spector used Darlene Love and the Blossoms on this track. Word has it that the Crystals heard their hit on the radio one day and, needless to say, were quite confused. [Buy]

Gladys Knight and the Pips – Let It Be (The Beatles)
Trying to cover the Beatles is an idea best avoided. Unless you’re Gladys Knight, in which case you can bust the hell out of any song you please. When it begins, you might think you’re in for a reasonably by-the-numbers cover. And you would be wrong. Hold on to your eardrums, cause voices like this don’t come along every day. [Buy]

Jeff Mangum – I Love How You Love Me (The Paris Sisters)
The man behind indie legends Neutral Milk Hotel released Live at Jittery Joe’s a few years back, showcasing a concert from 1997 where through audience requests he worked through early versions of songs that would end up on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. [Buy]

David McComb & Adam Peters – Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On (Leonard Cohen)
Leonard Cohen doesn’t write many stupid songs, but I guess even poet gods need to let lose sometime. So enter this little instructional ditty from the Spector-produced Death of a Ladies’ Man to remind you, “You can’t melt it down in the rain.” Because apparently that’s something you might want to do. [Buy]

The Saints – River Deep Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner)
Spector caused a stir in 2007 when during his euology for wife-beater Ike he said “Ike made Tina the jewel she was. When I went to see Ike play at the Cinegrill in the 90s…there were at least five Tina Turners on the stage performing that night, any one of them could have been Tina Turner.” He then continued by attacking Oprah for promoting Tina’s autobiography. Another sign that Phil Spector may not be the authority on how a man should treat a woman. All Covered in Punk features vintage groups covering everything from Blondie to Frank Sinatra. Here we find a brawling Saint’s b-side from ’77 resurrected in all its fuck-you glory. [Buy]

Phosphorescent – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (The Righteous Brothers)
A heartbreaking live one here, the slide acoustic cracks in the voice. The mood is apparently lost on the asshole laughing in the background and I’m not sure the sing-along chorus helps the vibe. If there’s ever a studio version released of this, I want to be the first to know. [Buy]

Mar 092009
 

Fleetwood Mac’s songs sometimes get a bad rap from constant play in elevators, grocery stores, and on “lite rock” radio. Try to forget the soulless environments in which these tunes sometimes find themselves, and you’ll remember that each one is a pop gem, little nuggets from a band at their prime just as they were falling apart. Stevie Nicks hitting that bridge on “The Chain,” the mystical guitar plucking of “Never Going Back Again,” the pounding drums propelling “Go Your Own Way” into that furious crescendo of a guitar solo…the magical moments are just too many to name. The originals can’t be improved upon, but they can be reworked. See for yourself.

The Greencards – Second Hand News
One of Australia’s most acclaimed bluegrass groups, The ‘Cards make Fleetwood Mac sound shockingly logical as bluegrass and singer Carol Young has the voice to do Stevie Nicks/Christine McVie justice. It’s not til the fiddle breakdown at the end though that this group really bursts forth. [Buy]

The Morning Benders – Dreams
After releasing The Bedroom Covers as a freebie to promote their album Talking Through Tin Cans, these guys have showed up here a couple times already (click their name on the long list on the right to hear more). This Berkeley foursome’s breathy harmonies bring power to this slow burner. [Buy]

Grumpy Bear – Never Going Back Again
The Fleetwood original has one of the greatest finger picking pop lines ever, but Grumpy Bear counters with some new picking all their own. They rearrange the cadence, the lyrics, and the rhythm, but remain true to the essence. And if you hear this and think, the only thing that could make this better is a little Donovan…you just might be in luck. [Buy]

Darren Hanlon – Don’t Stop
Solo acoustic guitar…meh. Solo ukulele? Now that’s something I can get behind. Hanlon busted this out for an Australian radio station a few years back and it rocks…in a ukulele sort of way. [Buy]

Snow & Voices – Go Your Own Way
Most of these covers play with the instruments, the sound, the timbre, but keep the general melody and feel the same. Not so with Snow & Voices. They slow this pop song to a dirge-like crawl that brings out the heartbreak in the lyrics. The original sounded like someone trying to put on a positive face; in this one, the singer has succumbed to the despair of lost love. [Buy]

Denison Witmer – Songbird
Cover guru Witmer strips it down to some acoustic guitar, instrumental flourishes, and his Americana-sweet voice. Catch a few more covers of this one over at Cover Lay Down. [Buy]

Throwback – The Chain
A live one here, a loose rocker that doesn’t lose the classic harmonies of the original. It doesn’t really break out ‘til the funk guitar solo that builds right into the bridge. I wonder if the folks at Café Dekcuf appreciated what they were getting. [Buy]

Cyndi Lauper – You Make Loving Fun
God, it’s so 80’s! This was actually Lauper’s first single, a foreshadowing of the “fun” theme she would pursue down the road. The wall of synthesizers may be a little much, but I’m a big fan of that sax solo. [Buy]

Goo Goo Dolls – I Don’t Wanna Know
I’ll admit, the Goo Goo Dolls remind me of the worst of late 90’s rock radio. Their alt-rock-for-middle-schoolers sound works well enough with this tune, and makes for a nice change of pace from the many folk/jazz covers. [Buy]

Tallulah – Oh Daddy
I’ll admit it here: I’m not the first one to come up with this idea. Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours already exists and is, I must say, quite good. Even among such worthy competition as Elton John and The Cranberries, this space-echo throb of a plea shines forth as a unique interpretation that sounds not-quite pop, not-quite-gothic, not-quite-dance, and many other genres it almost fits. [Buy]

Waylon Jennings – Gold Dust Woman
It comes from 1978’s Waylon & Willie album, but this one’s all Jennings. Classic outlaw country, it’s manages to stay faithful to the original while sounding nothing like it. [Buy]