This year’s cover albums offered ambition on a scale we’ve never seen before. Moving beyond the normal “cover a bunch of random songs we like” tossoff, 2012 offered deeply thought-out conceptual collections. One updated kiddie folk songs for raved-out rockers, others reworked complete albums to their own ends. Even the all-star tributes that pop up every year aimed higher – one of the year’s most high-profile had 70+ tracks! So today we count down the best of the bunch, the ones that swung for the fences and got there. With every passing year there seems to be less sigma attached to the phrase “cover album,” and these sets move that needle even farther forward.
Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.
• Last month, the Rosebuds covered the Talking Heads. The choice was a natural – both groups deliver poppy, off-kilter melodies that worm into your head for days. Salt-n-Pepa, on the other hand, haven’t influenced Ivan and Kelly Rosebud one iota. They just re-released it for free on their new Bandcamp.
MP3: The Rosebuds – Push It (Salt-n-Pepa cover)
A pair of winning Talking Heads covers came through the pipeline in the past few days so, despite the fact that the bands and sound couldn’t be much less similar, we’re tossing ‘em both at you together. First up, the Ting Tings performed a raving, spastic version of “Once in a Lifetime” on the BBC Live Lounge. “One of the best songs ever written” they say at the start of the funky, too-brief cover. Stream it below.
Most bands would probably view the Hopscotch Music Festival as just another stop on the long fest circuit. It’s got a solid lineup this year (Public Enemy! Panda Bear! Broken Social Scene!), but in the big scheme of things Raleigh, North Carolina isn’t a must-hit destination. Unless you’re from Raleigh, North Carolina. The Rosebuds are, and to celebrate their inclusion in the festival they’ve released a new cover of the Bee Gees’ so-classic-you’re-sick-of-it “Stayin’ Alive.”
The cover slows the funk down, sounding like a lonely guy trying to convince himself and the world that he’s cooler than he is. “A woman’s man, no time to talk”? Doubt it. Download their other Hopscotch-promoting track “Secret Life of the Rosebuds” here. If you’re in the Raleigh area, buy tickets!