Mar 232011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Johnny Cash, “In My Life” and The Breeders, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”

The winners of some of Round One’s hardest-fought battles go head-to-head today. First, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ gothic “Helter Skelter” faces Wilson Pickett’s soulful “Hey Jude.” Then, it’s all acoustic when Tenacious D’s “Abbey Road Medley” challenges Elliott Smith’s “Because.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Mar 132011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Helter Skelter” and Elliott Smith, “Because”

Strap yourselves in, folks. Two of the heaviest hitters of the entire set go head to head in round one. That’s right, it’s Wilson Pickett versus Otis Redding. Then, in what promises to be a less stress-inducing contest, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset’s “Sexy Sadie” take on Tenacious D’s “Abbey Road Medley.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Jan 172010
 

Shuffle Sundays is a weekly feature in which we feature a cover chosen at random by my iTunes shuffle. The songs will usually be good, occasionally be bad, always be interesting. All downloads will only be available for one week, so get them while you can.

I remember when I first got 1971’s Randy Newman Live I got a huge kick out of his cover of Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” I couldn’t believe he turned the soul blast into a minor-key lament. Well, he didn’t, but it was months before I found out the cover went the other way.

Newman originally wrote the song in 1966 for Eric Burdon and the Animals, but the record label withdrew it before release. Big mistake. Four years later Three Dog Night made it a number-one hit (the only Newman song to ever accomplish that, incidentally).

A year after that, rhythm and blues sensation Wilson Pickett got his hands on the tune, releasing it as his final single for Atlantic in 1972. It comes from the same horn-fueled mold as the Three Dog Night version, which is ironic because the b-side was George Jackson’s “Covering the Same Old Ground.” With Wilson’s sonic boom of voice and an understated guitar solo by Steve Cropper (I think) though, it bursts forward with a vigor all its own.

Wilson Pickett – Mama Told Me Not To Come (Randy Newman) [more]

What do you think? Discuss this song in the comments section below.