There’s a new slew of covers for the upcoming Metallica Black Album tribute. Recently, Diet Cig, H*Ash and Shor Police, Divine and Vishal Dadlani (the last three together) all released versions of “The Unforgiven,” the second single from that album. The new covers run a fairly wide stylistic gamut, showing the crossover appeal of both the song and Metallica itself. Of the three, Diet Cig’s stands out.
With its scratching violin and shouty vocals, the Raincoats’ bleak examination of a relationship “Fairytale in the Supermarket” is not for everyone. Really, little on their debut album is immediately accessible, given their tuneless vocals and aggressively noisy playing. Part of a wave of feminist post-punk in the UK in the late ’70s and early ’80s, The Raincoats became a cult band because of their distinct sound.
Like many of Michael Jackson’s hits, it seems kind of impossible to imagine “Bad” without its memorable bass line. Well, Jonah Nilsson of Swedish jazz fusion outfit Dirty Loops is here to change your mind. He changes the bass line so much the song isn’t even recognizable as “Bad” until Nilsson starts singing something resembling the vocal melody about 15 seconds in. (His Jackson impersonation is pretty good.) Nilsson is basically a one man band here, singing lead and backing vocals, playing multiple keyboard parts and the drums.
If it feels like everyone is covering Metallica‘s self-titled “Black Album” lately, that’s because a massive 30th anniversary cover collection called The Blacklist is coming out this fall. Jason Isbell‘s contribution is a version of the album’s fifth single, “Sad But True.” Other artists tackling the track for the The Blacklist have preserved the form of the music, even if they’re using synthesizers, but Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit keep the words and fiddle with just about everything else.
Canadian indie rockers Blinker the Star last appeared here at Cover Me with a version of Kate Bush’s “Running Up that Hill” in 2012. They’ve put out a few albums in the interim and they’re returning this summer with a album full of covers, inclyding their version of Madonna‘s “Holiday,” the most enduring song (and biggest hit) from her debut album.
“Declare Independence,” the third single from Björk’s 2007 album Volta, is one of her most defiant and aggressive singles. Punk attitude and what almost sounds like Nine Inch Nails music, it actually originated as an instrumental piece by her former collaborator Mark Bell. A song about breaking away from distant, detached centralized authority, it is not Björk at her most accessible. But, because of the subject matter, it has become popular (and controversial).