This fourth installment of “Covering the Hits” marks a first: the first time one of these was a hit during Cover Me’s lifetime. Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” topped the charts in 2011, well within this blog’s ten-year history. In fact, we wrote a feature on the song when it first came out. This is hardly a cut we’re dusting off from the archives of music history.Continue reading »
Pop quiz: What’s more awesome than an all-girl rock band? Answer: An Asian-American all-girl rock band performing a kick-ass cover of Britney Spears’s “Hold It Against Me.” World, meet Nylon Pink, a talented Hollywood-based pop-rock quintet claiming it’s the only all Asian-American female rock band in the States.Continue reading »
Back in November we presented our ten favorite lesser-known Britney Spears covers. Early-aughts nostalgia reigned with radically altered takes on classic hits like “Oops…I Did It Again!” and “Toxic.” Well, Britney’s back, and so are we. “Hold It Against Me” turns one terrible pickup line into four minutes of guilty-pleasure pop. The single only dropped two weeks ago, but, it being Britney and all, artists have hopped on the cover bandwagon with a speed we haven’t seen since “F*** You.”Continue reading »
Last year, Rob Sheffield called 1999 “the year music exploded, the year when nothing made any damn sense, the year fans had to throw out any old-school rules for how pop worked.” If that’s true, then 2000 was the year when those new trends became the accepted norm. Back in January, we looked at covers of one of the year’s defining phenomenons – boy bands – and this month was tackle another: Britney, a pop supernova so massive she didn’t need a last name.
Her sophomore album Oops!… I Did It Again came out 20 years ago today, setting the record for the highest debut-week album sales by a female artist (it held for 15 years, until Adele’s 25). Though Spears was primarily a singles artist, her albums sold so much that even the deep cuts wormed their way into millions of teenage brains. When we compiled this list, I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t just the half-dozen biggest hits being covered. Those songs got covered plenty, and still do (our number-four best cover of 2019 was a “Baby One More Time” – not a bad lifespan for a song written by a Swede whose grasp of English was a little rough), but musicians also dig into the album tracks and the singles that flopped.
Spears has shifted into the Vegas-residency stage of her career in recent years (not to mention Instagram star and cause-celebre hashtag). But even if she doesn’t have any more world-conquering hits in her, other artists are keeping her songs alive. Of the thousands of covers out there, here are the 25 best.
You’re probably not familiar with the Surfrajettes‘ oeuvre. An all-girl, go-go booted Surf Rock band from Toronto might not be on everyone’s musical radar. When I think Bikini Beach-era surf rock, I imagine Southern California, Santa Cruz, or maybe the banzai pipeline in Hawaii, but certainly not a Canadian city a thousand miles from any ocean, where the girls that make up Surfrajettes hail from.
Fresh off an ear-popping set at the Asbury Park Surf Music festival where they shared a bill with Dick Dale and Los Straight Jackets, this band seems to be intentionally flying just under the radar. No vocals, just psychedelic instrumental surf music played straight, fast, and furious.Continue reading »
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
They do say it’s my birthday. To which my go-to retort is, “Yep, me and Britney Spears.” Though the Princess of Pop Insanity owned December 2 since before I was born (girlfriend is turning The Big 3-0 today, while I’m not quite there yet…), our shared special day has cast its shadow on mine since she pranced down the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” high school hallway in those pigtail braids a dozen years ago.Continue reading »