Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays the Beatles is a live album of (almost entirely) Beatles covers performed on solo piano. The pianist is Amsterdam-based American jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, who we last saw here at Cover Me recording an album with Chris Thile. Melhdau isn’t reinventing the wheel with any of these performances, but they are fun and clearly labors of love. Continue reading »
One of the biggest stories in cover song news this week was Miley Cyrus teaming up with David Byrne to perform a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” on Cyrus’ New Year’s Eve special. Coincidently, I actually spent most of Dec. 31 thinking about Byrne and the Talking Heads’ musical legacy. Continue reading »
Follow all our Best of 2022 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.
The big story in 2022 covers came from a song that’s almost 40 years old: “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).” After Kate Bush’s classic had its Stranger Things moment, every week we got a half dozen new covers. It’s been six months since the show came out, and they’re still coming! This entire list could have been “Running Up That Hill” covers if we’d let it.
We didn’t, and it isn’t. The song makes one appearance, as do a number of other trendy 2022 items: Wet Leg, GAYLE, and Beabadoobee; the latest Cat Power covers project; posthumous releases (Dr. John, Levon Helm); songs that tie into coming out of pandemic isolation.
But, as always, a joy of our list is all the covers that tie into nothing, and that you won’t find anywhere else. Doom-metal Townes Van Zandt? Bluegrass Eminem? Ska Eddie Murphy? Folk Björk? Psych-rock Groucho Marx? Those are just five of the fifty killer covers on this year’s countdown. So run up that road, run up that hill, run up that building, and read on at the link below.
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In Defense takes a second look at a much maligned cover artist or album and asks, “Was it really as bad as all that?”
With Duran Duran about to be indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, what better time to re-examine Thank You, their eighth full-length offering, released in 1995 to a blaze of apathy. To be fair, it didn’t actually fare that badly in the charts, reaching the top 20 in both the UK and the US. The singles did less well, failing to make any stateside impression and only one of them bruising, just, their homeland top 20. The critics gave Thank You a fairly uniform hammering, with the legacy casting a long shadow over the rest of their career: Q magazine, in 2006, called it the worst record of all time, having had 11 years to make that considered opinion. At the time Rolling Stone described many of the selections as “stunningly wrong headed.” Ouch.
Today we’re thinking it about time this much derided potpourri of styles and statements had a good seeing to, via the retrospectroscope. I fully confess I had never listened to Thank You until researching this piece. So I got me a copy sent through, all of £3 plus p&p, which currently equates to about $3. Money well spent? Well, you know, actually, yes, it isn’t half as bad as I had been led to believe, and some of the tracks are really rather good. Of course, it is dated, but, by imagining myself back all those 27 years, I find myself heartily disagreeing with those snarky scribes from Q.
One Great Cover looks at the greatest cover songs ever, and how they got to be that way.
“I didn’t screw it up, did I?” Kurt Cobain, November 18, 1993
“The Man Who Sold the World” is a David Bowie narrative song concerned with, not the anguish of spaceflight, but the anguish of a fractured personality. Yet few people noticed when it was released in 1970 on the poor-selling album of the same name, as the singer struggled to follow through on the success of his “Space Oddity” hit of 1969. It wasn’t released as a single. And it was soon vastly overshadowed by the mighty glam-rock chart attack that came of Bowie doppelgangers Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane: “Starman,” “John, I’m Only Dancing,” “The Jean Genie.”
Confidence Man – Heaven (Bryan Adams cover)
For their recent Like a Version performance, Confidence Man, a duo of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, covered Bryan Adam’s “Heaven.” Well, sort of. They really took their cues from the hit club cover of “Heaven” by DJ Sammy. “We didn’t actually know [it was a cover],” said Planet. “Stu, our manager – who’s old – told us that. We listened to [the original], and it’s not that good.” Ouch! But their cover is a blast to watch, all charisma, choreography, and energy from the two of them in front of an ominously veiled band. As NME points out, Confidence Man are the third act a a cover of a cover on the show. In 2017, Alex Lahey covered Natalie Imbruglia’s hit cover of Ednaswap’s non-hit “Torn” (we wrote a feature explaining the backstory there). And in 2018, garage-rock septet West Thebarton covered Florence + The Machine‘s cover of The Source and Candi Staton’s “You’ve Got the Love.” Continue reading »