May 142021

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Cecilia covers

Eddie Simon started it. He was with his brother Paul at the house on Blue Jay Way where George Harrison had been inspired to write the song of that name. Now Art Garfunkel had rented it for a few months, and there were a few festive evenings there in the summer of ’69. One night, Eddie started banging out a rhythm on a piano bench, and it proved so infectious that everyone there joined in, banging along with whatever they could find. They taped the track, and Paul kept returning to its ebullience. When he brought it into the studio, he and producer Roy Halee made a loop of one section, to which Paul added lyrics that literally went from heartbreak to jubilation.

“The whole thing was a piece of fluff,” he later said. “But magical fluff.” Indeed, the song was as sexy as Simon and Garfunkel ever got, and as one biographer later put it, “the song’s thwacking, thumping battery of percussion felt like an ad-hoc group of street-musician drummers pounding away in Central Park.” As Bridge Over Troubled Water‘s third single, the song went top-five in America and remains a classic rock favorite.
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May 132021
Telex The Beat Goes On

Belgian electro-pop innovators Telex have unearthed a cover of Sonny & Cher’s “The Beat Goes On.” Though Telex officially called it quits in 2008 following the passing of founder Marc Moulin, the cover — re-titled “The Beat Goes On/Off” — is finally seeing the light of day. “The Beat Goes On/Off” is one of two previously unreleased tracks featured on the group’s This Is Telex, a new compilation of Telex music from the seminal electronic label Mute. Continue reading »

May 122021
Tomás Doncker

Tomás Doncker has wanted to cover Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power” for years. As the soul singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and head of True Groove Records told AM NY, he’s heard the song everywhere from a U2 concert to a YouTube choir as it has become an all-purpose protest anthem. Inspired by last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, he finally gave it a shot – but soon got stymied. Continue reading »

May 112021

“Covering the Hits” looks at covers of a randomly-selected #1 hit from the past sixty-odd years.

rush rush paula abdul covers

Despite topping the charts in 1991 – for five weeks, no less – Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush” was not a song with legs. I myself had never even heard of it, being a couple years too young to be paying even peripheral attention to popular music at the time. It was named by music journalist Alfred Soto to his list of the “Worst Songs Ever,” but I’d say it’s less aggressively terrible than supremely unmemorable. Well, the song that is. The video, featuring floppy-haired Keanu Reeves, is something: Continue reading »

May 112021
blossoms paperback writer

Could it be true? Are live gigs back? If you haven’t heard the news, it seems the UK is experimenting with hosting non-socially distanced concerts. Liverpool’s Sefton Park hosted 5,000 people (in a venue with a capacity of 7,500) but with zero face masks, social distancing, or vaccine passport requirements. Organized by Festival Republic, this concert serves as a pilot, the first officially non-socially distanced performance in the Northern hemisphere since the outbreak of COVID-19. The lineup included Zuzu, The Lathums, and British band Blossoms. Continue reading »

May 102021
the chats psycho killer

When covering a song, changing the speed can completely change the vibe of the track. There’s no better example right now than The Chats and Genesis Owusu’s cover of the Talking Heads‘ hit ‘Psycho Killer’, performed on the Australian music show The Set. Continue reading »