Not too long ago, we brought you Ellie Goulding’s covers of Elton John’s “Your Song” and Rihanna’s “Only Girl.” This week, the British singer/songwriter appeared on BBC ‘s Live Lounge and performed the Knife’s 2003 song “Heartbeats.” Like Goulding, “Heartbeats” is no stranger to covers. José González’s soft acoustic version has been cropping up on TV and in movies since he recorded it in 2006.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Elton John is one of those artists who transcends generations and genres. From rock to pop to a Diamond-certified soundtrack (The Lion King), his eclectic music has universal appeal. More than his talent on the piano or vocals, his showmanship adds an inescapable aura to his songs. How else could he get away with the lyrics to one of his biggest hits, “Your Song?” To bust out a line like, “If I was a sculptor, but then again, no,” with no further explanation takes a Miles Davis level of cool. Only a master could make forgetting the color of his lover’s eyes somehow a tribute to them (although it is a sly way to make sure the song applies to multiple partners).
In short, “Your Song” is a dangerous song to cover. In the wrong hands, it’s pure schmaltz. Then again, hewing too close to the original means competing with perfection. Amid the multitudes of failures, thankfully, there are a handful of standouts.
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
What a year for Rihanna! In 2010 she scored four number one singles, a number one album, a successful tour and numerous collaborations. The girl knows how to keep herself busy. And today, she turns 23 years old. That’s right, 23, with five albums and countless chart-toppers and awards under her belt. Feel inferior yet?
To celebrate, we’ve assembled five genre-crossing covers of her tunes for your enjoyment. It seems everybody has taken a crack at covering Rihanna – even the Chipmunks have had a go – but we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff for you. Check them out below.
The British are always trying to musically one-up us Americans. Yes, we know the Beatles are from the U.K…but we got them on iTunes. Just when we thought things were pulling even though, Club Seat (pronounced SAY-at) appeared. The British online community is getting the drop on the A.V. Club with a new series “On Track… With SEAT” for Channel 4 in the UK. The series takes artists like Robyn to London Metropolis Studio to record tracks straight to vinyl.