Apr 302024
 
best cover songs
The Dirty Nil — Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler cover)

I’m honestly surprised there weren’t more “Total Eclipse” covers during this month’s total eclipse. Perhaps because our total eclipse was of the sun, rather than the heart. Or, more likely, because this song is hard as hell to sing. Best of the bunch came this garage-rocking version from Ontario trio The Dirty Nil. Gritty and raw, and singer Luke Bentham sells the hell out of it. Continue reading »

Apr 262024
 

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

pet shop boys covers

No one does a cover like the Pet Shop Boys. Their “I Started a Joke” ranked high on our Bee Gees list. Their “Always On My Mind” ranked number-one on our Best Covers of 1987 list. When we eventually do a U2 covers list, I imagine “Where the Streets Have No Name” will be a contender for the top slot there too.

But today we’re not talking about covers by the Pet Shop Boys. We’re talking about covers of the Pet Shop Boys. Because, for as many songs as Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant have covered, they’ve been covered even more.

Which makes sense. As experimental and innovative as the pair are sonically, they also write incredibly solid pop tunes. Songs that don’t require their clever electronic production or droll delivery to be great. Songs that can work as acoustic ballads or hip-hop ragers or black-metal explosions—examples of all of which are below. The big songs get covered a ton (“It’s a Sin” and “West End Girls” are the heaviest hitters), but the album cuts get reimagined some too. They drop their latest album Nonetheless today. We wouldn’t be surprised if cuts off that start getting covered soon too.

So we’ll leave you to your own devices to explore our list below. We promise you wouldn’t be bored.

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Apr 012024
 
best cover songs
Aoife O’Donovan — The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Bob Dylan cover)

Bartees Strange — You Always Hurt The Ones You Love (Mills Brothers cover)

Beyoncé — Blackbird (The Beatles cover)

Continue reading »

Mar 292024
 

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

best sheryl crow covers

Sheryl Crow is having a real moment. After years of being (unfairly) dismissed as music for moms in minivans, her cool credentials have been ratcheted up in recent years through praise by younger singers who grew up hearing her songs. Just last week, Olivia Rodrigo invited Crow onstage to sing “If It Makes You Happy.” Covers have flown in from Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, Soccer Mommy, and any number of other hip young female singers. And—oh yeah—she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last fall.

For the Rock Hall induction, we did a feature on Crow, but devoted our big Best Covers Ever: Rock Hall Edition list to Kate Bush. But Crow’s got a new album out today, so we wanted to dedicate one to her now. A few of the covering artists we feature below are her contemporaries (and one is several generations older), but a large portion of the list comes from Millennials and Gen Z singers. That’s where the Sheryl energy is coming from these days, and they’ve given us a ton more great Crow-vers (sorry) than existed even a few years ago.

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Mar 012024
 
best cover songs february 2024
Annie Lennox — Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince/Sinéad O’Connor cover)

The emotional highpoint of the Grammys—well, other than Tracy Chapman’s return (covers-adjacent!)–was Annie Lennox’s tribute to Sinéad O’Connor during the In Memoriam. Bonus points because she was backed by two longtime bandmembers of Prince (who, of course, wrote the song), Wendy and Lisa. The teardrop on Lennox’s eye was very Prince, and the political statement at the end was very Sinéad. Continue reading »

Feb 232024
 

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

beatles covers

Sixty years ago this month, The Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. You don’t need us to tell you what a momentous occasion this was; entire books have been written on the subject. Suffice to say we’re using the anniversary as our excuse to finally devote a Best Covers Ever to perhaps the biggest band of them all. We’ve done Dylan. We’ve done the Stones. We’ve done Dolly and Springsteen and Prince. But there was one last giant remaining.

Though it’s difficult to measure this precisely, The Beatles are the most-covered artist of all time according to the two biggest covers databases on the internet (SecondHandSongs, WhoSampled). And that certainly feels right. “Yesterday” is often cited as the most-covered song of all time, though that needs qualifiers (a ton of Christmas standards would beat it). But, again, it feels right. The Beatles were ubiquitous in their day, and they’ve been ubiquitous ever since. They just had a chart-topping single last month, the A.I.-assisted “Now and Then,” which was duly covered widely. If “Carnival of Light” ever surfaces, no doubt a carnival of covers will soon follow. Continue reading »