Dec 122014

Follow all our Best of 2014 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

Back when we redesigned the site in 2010, we created basic star icons to represent the ratings we’d give an album when we reviewed it. 2 stars, 3.5 stars, etc. When we posted an album review, we’d find the corresponding icon where we last uploaded it. However, earlier this year we couldn’t find one of the icons we were looking for. Why? It turns out we’d never used it. We’d never before given an album a perfect five stars.

This year, for the first time, we did. Which should suffice to say it’s been an excellent year for cover albums. True, a few of the marquee tributes we most eagerly anticipated fell flat, either too formulaic (The Art of McCartney) or too out-there (that Flaming Lips’ Sgt. Peppers tribute we’ll never speak of again). But in the cracks and under the radar, cover and tribute albums thrived.

In our list of the twenty best, we’ve got everything from big names on major labels to DIY projects thrown up on Bandcamp. We’ve got New Orleans jazz, Parisian dub reggae, and songs that were popular when your great-great-great-great grandfather was calling town dances. Something for everyone, I guess. Something for all our fwends (sorry, that was the last time, promise).

Start the countdown on Page 2…

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  6 Responses to “The Best Cover Albums of 2014”

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  1. […] Catastrophes’ Best Songs of 2014 Country Outfitter’s Best Country Music Albums of 2014 Cover Me Songs’ Best Cover Albums of 2014 Crack Magazine’s Best Albums of 2014 Crave Online’s 20 Best Albums of 2014 Crave […]

  2. […] Know (Kirsty MacColl cover) From Here Comes the Reign Again (which you may remember us naming one of the best cover albums of 2014) comes this version of “They Don’t Know.” Graham Alexander not only slows it […]

  3. […] 2014: Andrew Bird – ‘Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of…’ “In Bird’s delivery, the Handsome Family’s songs of old, weird Americana kitsch will hopefully reach listeners who might find the originals too weird.” See that year’s full list here. […]

  4. […] Laroi, who records as Soft News, appeared on both our Best Cover Albums and Songs lists a few years back for his tribute to 1980s soft-rock hits. He’s also recorded […]

  5. […] It’s hard to remember the last time a covers album made such an impact on popular culture, but the convergence of Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift created a big bang the likes of which our little world rarely sees. What would usually seem a cross-genre goof – the sort indie musicians do all the time – earned Adams’ one of his highest chart positions ever and eight of his ten most-played songs on Spotify. It’s too early to tell if this will garner more attention to future cover albums or if this was a meeting of titans that won’t be seen again, but for us it was a nice moment of broader attention to something we’ve been writing about for years (incidentally, feel free to catch up on the best cover albums of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). […]

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