Mar 122019
 
Better Oblivion Community Center covers

Hot on the heels of her much-acclaimed boygenius trio last year, buzzy singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has teamed up with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst for yet another supergroup. Calling themselves Better Oblivion Community Center, the pair just kicked off a tour supporting their self-titled album. They debuted a couple killer (no pun intended) covers at their first shows, tackling the Replacement’s “Can’t Hardly Wait” and the Killers’ “Human.” Continue reading »

Mar 092018
 

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

It is somewhat ironic that most people know only one song by The Only Ones— “Another Girl, Another Planet.”  Originally released in 1978, it received minimal airplay and attention, but its reputation has grown exponentially over the years.  The Allmusic review of the song asserts that it is “arguably, the greatest rock single ever recorded.”  Of course, people will “argue” about anything, and choosing “Another Girl” as the greatest rock single ever is a bit of a reach, but you have to give the reviewer his due for taking a stand.  It is a great song, and it is fitting that it ultimately received the acclaim that it deserved.

The Only Ones formed in London in 1976, led by distinctively anguished vocalist and songwriter Peter Perrett joined by guitarist/keyboard player John Perry, Alan Mair on bass, and drummer Mike Kellie.  Featuring strong songwriting by Perrett and surprisingly (for punks of the era) competent playing by the band, they self-released a single, “Lovers of Today.” It sold well enough that a bidding war broke out among major labels looking for the next big thing. Continue reading »

Nov 102017
 
best covers 1987

Last year I did a roundup of the Best Cover Songs of 1996. It was a fun project to retroactively compile one of our year-end lists for a year before Cover Me was born. I wanted to do it again this year, but continuing the twentieth-anniversary theme with 1997 seemed a little boring. Turns out 1997 also featured a bunch of Afghan Whigs covers.

So to mix it up, I decided to go a decade further back and look at 1987. Needless to say, the landscape looked very different for covers. For one, far more of that year’s biggest hits were covers than we saw for 1996. The year had #1 cover hits in Heart’s “Alone,” the Bangles’ “Hazy Shade of Winter,” Los Lobos’ “La Bamba,” Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Club Nouveau’s “Lean on Me,” and Kim Wilde’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Plus ubiquitous hits that didn’t quite top the charts, but remain staples of the songs-you-didn’t-know-were-covers lists, Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot” and George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You.” Continue reading »

Jul 262017
 

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: What’s your favorite Disney cover?
Continue reading »

Feb 222017
 

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

joshi

Jaime Joshi lives in South Florida amidst geckos, 24-hour Cuban coffee and soup-like humidity. She has been writing for Cover Me since 2013; of all her pieces, she is particularly proud of her pieces on Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. (She’s the one on the right.)
Continue reading »

Jun 292016
 
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The Replacements‘ “Bastards of Young” is an undeniable indie-punk anthem and the worst song you could cover. Walk into any opening set at Baby’s All Right and some hyped up indie-new-wave, Simpson-wave, or I-want-fall-asleep-this-is-so-meh-wave band will butcher this classic and will sound almost as bad as your lame alternative folksinger friend trying to cover “Skinny Love” with a tuba. If you’re going to cover The Replacements, pick a better song off Tim.

However, Katy Goodman (La Sera and formerly Vivian Girls) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) covering “Bastards of Young” is newsworthy and worth your time for two reasons. One, it’s off the duo’s upcoming covers album, Take It, It’s Yours (August 26 via Polyvinyl Records), featuring covers of punk and new wave songs from The Stooges, The Jam, Blondie, Bad Brains, and more – check out Pitchfork for the full tracklist. Two, Goodman and Morgan actually manage to do something interesting with a song that’s been covered to death. They take out the yells and and the fight-or-die guitars and bring in poolside tremolo guitars and keyboards and soothing harmonies to highlight the surprisingly strong lyrics. It sounds like a Real Estate song in the best way possible, and it’s an example of one of the golden rules for covering songs: If you’re going to cover a massively beloved hit, it’s best to do something different and interesting.

Here’s Goodman in a statement about the upcoming album:

“On the surface a song like [Bad Brains’] “Pay to Cum” seems really masculine, but to me, the lyrics are really more about freedom. You have the right to sing, you have the right to dance. When you have two girls harmonizing on these songs, they take on a new meaning, because you’re listening in a different way. … These songs helped shaped who we are. They gave us the songs, and now we get to give them back as our thank you.”

Pre-order the album here. Photo by Julia Brokaw.