You probably know The Nerves’ “Hanging on the Telephone” from its cover by Blondie, the second single from their third album, Parallel Lines. Though this cover was a hit in the UK, it took the album becoming a hit in the US for the song to become known on this side of the pond. Blondie’s version isn’t particularly different from the original. And because The Nerves didn’t last, Blondie’s version has remained the definitive one. Continue reading »
Bria – When You Know Why You’re Happy (Mary Margaret O’Hara’ cover)
Bria’s “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” made our list of the Best Covers of 2022. The track was a sneak peak at her covers EP Cuntry Covers Vol. 2, and the full thing dropped a few weeks ago. It includes a wonderful version of this much more obscure song. Bria explains: “Mary Margaret O’Hara is a creative force and one of my favorite Canadian artists. I have been a huge fan of hers for quite some time and really wanted to try my hand at one of her songs for Vol. 2. She is a real queen of vocal improvisation. It’s a trait of hers that I’ve always admired, so I really wanted to explore that when recording this cover. The video for this track is special to us, a sort of collage of memory; fragmented footage of summer taken over the last two years is dispersed throughout shots of a vast winter scene, filmed while we finished the record up North with our live band.” Continue reading »
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with covers of his or her songs. Let someone else do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Happy birthday to Debbie Harry, who turns 77 today with all the tough beauty and street cool that she’s had for decades upon decades. While best known as the vocalist and focal point for Blondie, Harry has had a much fuller career, ranging from go-go dancer and Playboy Bunny to author, actor, and philanthropist. Rock and roll is lucky to have her as one of its elder stateswomen.
Blondie knew their way around covers–two of their biggest hits, “Denis” and “The Tide Is High,” were written and performed by others first–so it should come as no surprise that their own songs are strong enough to take on all comers of all genres. You’ll find no new wave in what follows; instead, get ready for rockabilly, Americana, folk, and even a little bit of rap.
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Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.
Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).
Today’s question, suggested by staffer Curtis Zimmerman: What’s your favorite cover of a fictional song?
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Miley Cyrus’ latest image reinvention has taken the tough, spunky ’80s frontwoman (think Pat Benatar) and thrust it into the 21st Century. So it’s very appropriate that she’s covered several turn-of-the-’80s songs for recent TV appearances. Continue reading »
Check out the best covers of past months here.
Daniel Romano’s Outfit – Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan cover)
This one’s for all the Dylan superfans. In 1984, Bob Dylan played three songs on Letterman with L.A. punk band The Plugz. They were gritty and garagey and raw. It boded well for his new sound. And then he never played with them again. The album he was ostensibly promoting, Infidels, was much smoother, helmed by Mark Knopfler. For those who still wonder what could have been, Daniel Romano covered the entire album as if he’d recorded it with The Plugz. Continue reading »