Dec 152017
 

Follow all our Best of 2017 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

best covers 2017

Year-end lists are a time to look back. That’s something we’ve been doing a lot of this year.

See, we turned ten years old in 2017 – practically ancient in internet-blog terms – so we’ve indulged in what we feel is well-earned nostalgia. At the beginning of the year, each of our writers picked the ten most important covers in their life (see them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We even listed the ten most important covers in Cover Me‘s life, from the song that inspired the site to our very first Best of the Year winner.

Then, to cap things off, in October we commissioned a 25-track tribute to the cover song itself – which you can still download for free. We love the covers everyone contributed so much, incidentally, that we didn’t consider them for this list. It’d be like picking favorite children – if you had 25 of ’em.

Oh, and have I mentioned I wrote a book? … What’s that you say? I mentioned that constantly? Well, I’m quite proud of it. It’s called Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time and it makes a great Christmas gift and – ok, ok, I’ll stop. You can find plenty more about it elsewhere.

Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of looking back this year. And we hope you’ll indulge us this one last glance rearward before we leap into 2018. Because if it’s been a hell of a year for us, it’s certainly also been a hell of a year for the cover song in general. Some of this year’s list ranks among the best covers we’ve ever heard, period. So dig in, and thanks for your support this past decade.

– Ray Padgett
Editor-in-Chief

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Nov 132017
 
haim strokes

The Strokes’ “You Only Live Once” comes in two forms: as the opening track and third single from their album First Impressions of Earth and also as a demo version with the title “I’ll Try Anything Once,” released on the b-side of their “Heart in a Cage” single. The “You Only Live Once” single is upbeat, catchy, and features the full strength of the band. The “I’ll Try Anything Once” demo, however, is very different. It’s this version that Haim cover so beautifully during their recent visit to BBC Radio 1’s Piano Sessions. Continue reading »

Feb 062017
 
JuliaJacklin

Departing markedly from the post-punk stylings of The Strokes, Julia Jacklin’s new cover of “Someday” is nostalgic and wistful. Much of the low key feel is due to the super slow tempo, allowing Jacklin the time to dwell on every word. Her syrupy sweet voice delivers a soda shop worthy 50’s jukebox classic and the guitar is bright and gently strummed, a far cry from the frantic fuzzy haze of the original. The drummer’s choice to hang mostly on cymbals rather than drive the beat with the snare encourages the listener to sit back and groove. Continue reading »

May 282014
 

Total Warr, a silky electro-pop duo from France, has just released a cover of The Strokes “Is This It,” off the band’s seminal 2001 album. The cover is synth-heavy and dreamy, and apparently, was just done for kicks, as explained on the duo’s Soundcloud page:

We did a cover of “Is This It” one of our favorite songs from The Strokes.
We hope you’ll love it.
Download it, share it, delete it.
Continue reading »

Apr 042013
 

As any hardcore Strokes fan knows, “I’ll Only Try Once” is the demo version of the original Y.O.L.O (sorry, Drake), “You Only Live Once” off of the album First Impressions of Earth. Los Angeles based sisters HAIM showed off their admiration for the New York rockers with a true to form cover of “I’ll Only Try Once.” Continue reading »

Mar 232013
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Ric Ocasek, who turns 64 today, may be best remembered for buzzing around in the “You Might Think” video, but between 1978 and 1988 he led the Cars to FM radio immortality with a string of successful singles and albums (and two quality solo albums to boot). After the Cars folded, Ocasek’s skills as a producer became much in demand, and he stood behind the glass for bands such as Bad Brains, No Doubt, Nada Surf, and Weezer’s multi-platinum Blue and Green Albums. In both musician and producer roles, Ocasek’s influence has proven huge and lasting; bands such as The Strokes, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, and even Nirvana owe Ocasek debts of gratitude for his style and sound, melding ‘50s rockabilly to ‘70s new wave with ‘80s rock and pop sensibilities. Continue reading »