Dec 172018
 
best cover songs of 2018

Two things strike me as I scan through our list this year. This first is that many of the highest-ranking covers are tributes to recently-deceased icons. No surprise there, I suppose. But none actually pay tribute to artists that died in 2018. They honor those we’ve been honoring for two or three years now – your Pettys, your Princes, your Bowies. Hundreds of covers of each of these legends appeared in the first days after their deaths, but many of the best posthumous covers took longer to emerge.

Good covers take time. That principle – the cover-song equivalent of the slow food movement, perhaps – holds true throughout the list. Sure, a few here appear to have arisen from sudden moments of brilliance, flash-arranged for some concert or radio promo session. But many more reveal months or even years of painstaking work to nail every element. Making someone else’s song one’s own isn’t easy. These 50 covers took the time to get it right.

– Ray Padgett, Editor-in-Chief

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Jun 022011
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

Bursting onto the scene in the early ‘80s, Jason & the Scorchers laid waste to preconceived notions of what country-rock should sound like and would influence countless bands that would follow their cowpunk/alt-country path. Though well supported by their record label (EMI), Jason & the Scorchers still struggled to find mainstream acceptance in a decade where country radio was in the doldrums and rock radio was seemingly waiting for whatever Mutt Lange would produce next. In 1983, EMI made their first and best attempt to break Jason & the Scorchers big via a video of a cover song added to their reissued EP Fervor. “Absolutely Sweet Marie” would find its way to MTV and the cult following began to broaden. Continue reading »