Jan 112011

Limelight just announced the most-recorded cover songs of 2010. And the winner is…well, don’t hold your breath.

We’ll preface this by noting the word recorded. Our friends at Limelight help artists gain permission from and pay royalties to copyright holders. If you want to make money off a cover of “I Gotta Feeling,” you’d better talk to them. This means, though, that this list may not match up with a “Most-Covered Songs of 2010” list (which would be impossible to compile anyway). Because while YouTube stars and MySpace wannabes swarmed popular songs like “Bad Romance” and “Teenage Dream,” most of these were live takes or Internet freebies. Such off-the-cuff releases don’t count here, which buffers the list against the trendy buzz covers we hold so dear.

Viewing the numbers from this angle puts the music-blog role in perspective. More than once, we’ve argued the world doesn’t need any more “Hallelujah” covers. Many readers have said the same thing. Well, a whole lot of folks apparently disagree. In fact, not one selection on the list leaps out as anything other than the depressingly predictable. This list could have come out in 2010, 2000, or 1990. Heck, with a few exceptions, it could have come out in 1960!

You want the actual stats? Fine. “Summertime” tops the chart, with “Over the Rainbow” and “My Funny Valentine” nipping at its heels. In the general populace, it seems a whole lot of people have more interest in a jazzy “Moon River” than a prog-folk “Fuck You.”

Their loss.

Most-Recorded Cover Songs of 2010
[As registered through Limelight]
01. Summertime (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward)
02. Over The Rainbow (Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg)
03. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
04. What A Wonderful World (Bob Thiele, George David Weiss)
05. Autumn Leaves (Jacques Prévert, Johnny Mercer, Joseph Kosma)
06. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
07. Moon River (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer)
08. Misty (Errol Garner, Johnny Burke)
09. I Wish You Love (Charles Trenet)
10. Imagine (John Lennon)

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