Apr 072017
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Phil Spector had co-written a smash, and now that he was about to produce it, he had to get the right singer. Someone whose voice could blast through the thickest Wall of Sound he ever constructed. Fortunately, he had just the voice – he’d signed Ike and Tina Turner for the express purpose of having Tina record this one song.

While Ike was paid twenty thousand dollars to stay away from the studio, Tina worked. She was singing a non-R&B song for the first time in her professional life, and where Ike was always asking her to scream, Phil told her to stick to the melody. The sessions were grueling, causing Tina literal pain; after trying and trying to get it right, her blouse soaked with sweat, she said, “Okay, Phil, one more time,” then ripped off her blouse and let out an incendiary vocal that floored everybody. “It was like the whole room exploded,” her manager said.
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Feb 212017
 
Japandroids

After two albums of balls-to-the-wall rock, Japandroids got a little artier on their recent third album Near to the Wild Heart of Life. Artier by their standards, that is – there’s the occasional synthesizer and one song that tops five minutes, mixed in with a whole bunch more balls-to-the-wall rock. Baby steps.

Perhaps as a sign of their new influences outside the punk/classic rock spheres, Japandroids’ new single contains a B-side cover of Talking Heads’ debut single “Love Goes To Building On Fire.” Their version sounds epic and distorted, a steady build that finally bursts into an massive guitar climax. They haven’t performed it live yet, but they should; it would fit right in with their massive, holler-along shows.

The band is currently on tour with The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn opening. They’ve been ending each set with a different cover, a joint version of “(I’m) Stranded” by Australian rock band The Saints. Though today perhaps not as well known stateside as the Ramones or Sex Pistols, they remain incredibly influential; Bruce Springsteen covered another song of theirs on his last album. Continue reading »

May 312009
 

Cover News is a weekly feature where I sum up the week’s cover-related news, whether it’s new to the world or just new to me. Anything that doesn’t fit in my regular thematic posts I think my readers would enjoy, be it a youtube video, a blog shout-out, or a cool-looking new release. I also post all the submissions I have gotten from record labels and artists. Send suggestions or submissions to the email address on the right.

This Week’s News

First and foremost, let me direct your attention to Thursday’s cover debut: Germany’s own derpferdheissthorst takes on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” by popular demand here. Over 500 people have already downloaded it – what are you waiting for?

After you’ve given that a few listen, broaden your horizons with another great covers mixtape from Highly Rec’d A few of ’em come from yours truly, and you can get ’em all here.Get on the list for future tapes by emailing highlyrecd@gmail.com.

Fleet Foxes fans will get a kick out of lead singer Robin Pecknold’s project White Antelope covering a few traditional songs and one Dylan classic. Aquarium Drunkard rounds ’em up here.

Robin covering Dylan may not be a shock (he’d done it previously on “I Shall Be Released” with Wilco), but when the chair of the Democratic National Committee takes on a tune, that’s worth a notice. CNN reports that, in his time off from running the nation’s majority party, Tim Kaine is a harmonica virtuoso, and recently teamed up with Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band to jam on a few tunes. Read about it here, then pray someone videotaped it.

Speaking of Wilco, they’ve got a cover of Woody Guthrie’s “The Jolly Banker” available for a download and donation pledge on their website. For more Guthrie, check out Bono and the U2 boys paying homage.

Wee Arlo Guthrie’s still kickin’ himself though and is the place to go for nasal-folk covers. Listen to a few from a recent live set here.

Regular readers here know that every month I post covers of every song on a given album (new one coming Monday!). Well music news blog Stereogum has taken up the idea, compiling a new version of every track on the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin. Listen to everyone from Ben Folds to The Bad Plus thisaway.

A lot of blog talk celebrating Morrissey’s fiftieth birthday a few weeks back. The Music Slut put together a neat cover collection here or, if you want to go further back, you can check out a ton of covers of the Smiths “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” over at Chromewaves.

The only thing music fans love more than making lists is getting pissed off at other peoples’. Well prepare to be irked by the Denver Entertainment Examiner’s list of “10 Great Covers.” Jack Johnson WTF??

Trailing American Idol contestant Kris Allen pulled a surprising win last week. I like to think he was helped by this acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” How does it compare to The Fray’s?

For those too good for A.I. check out some new indie-tastic covers, from The Hold Steady taking on Bryan Adams to Vampire Weekend’s Tom Petty. Then delve even deeper with this Bats For Lashes cover by Josh Reichmann.

The Mountain Goats cover of Ace of Base’s “The Sign” gets a lot of blog love, but a bigger full choral version has been uncovered by Music, Birds and Cheerios.

I’ve never thought of Jane’s Addiction as a cover band, but their new massive box set has takes on the Grateful Dead and Bob-Dylan-cum-Bauhaus (say what?). Read about this behemoth here.

Though your musical tastes may have moved on, perhaps Korn played a role in the adolescent angst of your preteen days. If so, relive the memories by anticipating their covers album. And have you heard, Limp Bizkit is back together!

Finally, we’re going to go back to a classic: Booker T. Jones. His new instrumental album finds him ditching the MG’s for alright replacements Neil Young and the Drive-By Truckers and features quite a few organ-tastic covers. Read a nicely done review of Booker’s “Hey Ya” over at CokeMachineGlow.

This Week’s Submissions

SWAK – Demolition Girl (The Saints)