Mar 012022
 
gayle you oughta know

Singer-songwriter GAYLE broke out this summer with the viral hit “abcdefu.” It shares some thematic similarity with Alanis Morissette’s classic “You Oughta Know,” and she made the connection clear on a new cover.

Unlike Alanis’ version, GAYLE’s cover is (sort of) a solo performance. The cover begins with a single chord and then GAYLE’s a capella delivery of the opening lyrics. As she forcefully belts out the lyrics, she is only accompanied by her sparse guitar playing. That is, until the second verse, when she is joined by her laptop. The laptop adds percussion and keyboard at first, but then the arrangement gets more sophisticated with additional guitar parts. Continue reading »

Feb 282022
 
best cover songs
Blacktop Mojo – My Girl (The Temptations cover)

You may listen to the gentle plucking when this begins and thing, boy that’s not what I expected from that band photo. Is this an acoustic flying V? Blacktop Mojo’s “My Girl” stays pretty and meditative for over half the run time, turning the oldies classic into a pretty folk-rock ballad. Eventually, though, true to that long-hair-and-leather image, the heads start banging and axes start shredding. Continue reading »

Oct 112021
 
Deep Sea Diver

“Hand in My Pocket” was Alanis Morissette first chart-topping hit – in her home country of Canada, that is. In the US it didn’t chart on the Hot 100 at all. Despite that relative lack of success stateside, it’s probably her third or fourth most-covered song, after the two biggest hits from the monster that was Jagged Little Pill, “Ironic” and “You Oughta Know.”

Deep Sea Diver is a Seattle indie rock band led by Jessica Dobson who have been active since about 2009. (Dobson was also briefly a member of The Shins.) They recently covered “Hand in My Pocket,” joined by singer-songwriter and fellow Seattleite Damien Jurado. Continue reading »

May 192021
 
bob dylan comments about cover songs

Bob Dylan has never exactly been a loquacious interviewee. From the ’60s, when he would spend interviews mocking the press, to the ’10s, where he rarely bothers giving interviews at all, comments from Bob on any given subject are usually relatively few and far between. But I was curious, as we prepare to launch our 100 Best Bob Dylan Covers Ever list on Monday, what Dylan covers has the man himself remarked upon? Continue reading »

Jan 102020
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

hand in my pocket covers

As 2020 gets off to a rocky start, if you “haven’t got it all figured out just yet,” that is okay. Alanis Morissette is back to remind us that “everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine” with a (super relatable) new single, the promise of a new album in May, a new tour featuring guests Garbage and Liz Phair (“all I really want” is a ticket to that show), and the debut of the Broadway musical based on her iconic album, Jagged Little Pill. That album, her international debut, won five Grammys and made Morissette the first Canadian to have an album go double diamond (selling 20 million copies). Here are just a few albums that Jagged Little Pill has sold more copies than: The Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., and Nirvana’s Nevermind. Not bad!

A New York Times Magazine feature by Rachel Syme sets the scene for the release of the album:

The riot grrrl ethos was “girls to the front” — a communal taking up space — while Morissette’s was more like “girls to your car,” where you could process your baggage in private. One was like being at a protest, and the other is like being in therapy — different impulses, but both about making conscious changes.

The album hasn’t yet been featured on Pitchfork’s Sunday Reviews, but it is destined to be. Hit me up, Pitchfork Editorial Staff, I’m happy to do it.

“Hand In My Pocket,” the second single off of the album, followed another classic, “You Oughta Know.” It was Morissette’s first number one single in Canada, but it did not make the Hot 100 in the USA (it was never released as a CD single there, though it posted high on other US charts). These five artists appreciate the song’s depth, paying their homage via a cover. And to all of you musicians out there, keep the Alanis covers coming! I dream of a Full Albums post for Jagged Little Pill.

Continue reading »

Oct 122018
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

alanis morissette

“You Oughta Know” represented a handful of firsts for Alanis Morissette. It was the first single off her 1995 Jagged Little Pill album and the first release based on her collaboration with Glen Ballard, who shares writing credit and produced the song. While it’s also technically her first public break from the pop-leaning sound she’d previously engaged, that Alanis – like Robin Scherbatsky’s “Robin Sparkles” days, for How I Met Your Mother fans – was really known only to her native Canada.

For most American listeners, “You Oughta Know” was the first time they’d heard Alanis Morissette, period – and a demure introduction it was not. The song also marked, for more than a few JNCO-clad girls in their teens and twenties, the first time that 1990s alternative rock seemed not just open to frustrated female energy but perfectly suited to it. Its combination of smartly conceived jabs and soaring emotion ensured the song would stay lodged in musical memory for a long time to come – and that many other artists would want to give it a try.
Continue reading »