Amanda Palmer and The Righteous Babes — The Last Day of our Acquaintance (Sinéad O’Connor cover)
You’re going to notice a theme here. We have the usual grab-bag included below (see “Best of the Rest”), but, for our featured covers up top, it’s all Sinéad. There were so many wonderful tributes performed, often in concert and always powerful and moving. Many did “Nothing Compares 2 U,” technically a Prince cover but really a Sinéad song now and forever, but others selected from elsewhere in her catalog. Of this one, which just came out Tuesday, Amanda Palmer wrote, “This song means a great deal to me, as does the artist who penned it, along with everything she still stands for.” A portion of the money from sales will be donated to The Irish Women’s Survivor Support Network.Continue reading »
On the final day of the 2023 Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the Foo Fighters marked their third gig with their new live drummer, John Freese. With an impressive record of bands in Freese’s touring history, such as Blink-182, Guns n’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, and several others, Dave Grohl introduced the new touring addition through covering notable songs from bands on Freese’s resume. It was the Foo Fighters’ third gig playing with Freese, and the audience was more than receptive with Dave Grohl’s introduction to the new addition.Continue reading »
In July of 1958, a Prince was created. That was the month Charles became Prince of Wales. Earlier this month he was officially crowned King.
In June of 1958, another Prince was created. He died seven years before Charles’ coronation, but he had long before passed beyond the arena of royalty into the field of the celestial.
Prince was, if not a god, a divine presence, more felt than understood. That he was a musical genius was almost taken for granted; his prolific recording, his tremendous work ethic, his mysterious appearances where you least expected him (On Muppets Tonight?? Making fun of Hee Haw???)–all served to make him more myth than man, and now he’s less man than legend.
Prince famously told George Lopez that “covering the music means your version doesn’t exist anymore,” but that’s not quite so. Prince may not (or may) be immortal, but his music definitely is, and the covers that continue to roll in are all the proof you need. This post offers some of the evidence. (Certainly not all of it – more nominations missed the cut than made it, and the great majority of them were very worthy.)
Before we begin: to qualify, a Prince song needed to have been officially released before the cover version. Sadly, this means the Bangles’ “Manic Monday,” Sheila E’s “The Belle of St. Mark,” Celine Dion’s “With This Tear,” and others didn’t get considered.
And now for our selections. And don’t worry, Charles–it’s good to be King. It’s just more magical to be Prince.
There are a lot of weird and wacky images within Alan Aldridge’s 1969 cult classic book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. One of the most memorable is a drawing imagining what John, Paul, George, and Ringo will look like as senior citizens. In this fantastical portrait, John and George are depicted as eccentric elders. Ringo, in keeping with his everyman persona, is shown as a shopworn sad sack. But it is Paul McCartney who offers the most disturbing vision of the future. “The cute one” appears as a conservative besuited and well-fed bank manager. His smug grin suggests he is proud to have finally outgrown all that silly pop music nonsense.Continue reading »
A few days ago at a show in Los Angeles, Pearl Jam covered the Foo Fighters in a tribute to Taylor Hawkin’s passing. They picked a relative deep cut too: “Cold Day in the Sun” is a classic-rock feeling song from the Foo Fighters album In Your Honor. In the original, which he wrote, drummer Hawkins took the lead by singing and playing, while Dave Grohl manned the drums.
In this cover, Matt Cameron leads with guitar and vocals. In addition to the full band, Chad Smith (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) also joins in, adding in a bit of tambourine. The brightness of the lead guitar almost gives this cover a southern flair, while Cameron keeps his vocal timbre eerily similar to Hawkin’s own tone. The richness of the song really begins to shine in the chorus, when new vocal harmonies are added in. However, the drumbeat and instrumentation have been kept nearly identical to the original.Continue reading »
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
I sometimes wonder if I’ve heard “Learn to Fly” more times than any other song. This isn’t because it’s my favorite song ever or anything. It’s a quirk of technology.
In the early file sharing days, the days when it was high-speed if your 128kbps MP3 took “only” 20 minutes to download, Winamp was the digital music player of choice. When you added a song to Winamp, it simply appeared at the bottom of a single long playlist. And when you opened Winamp, it would start playing that playlist right from the top. For whatever reason, the first MP3 I ever downloaded was “Learn to Fly,” so every time I opened Winamp, the “Learn to Fly” riff would kick right in. That happened probably once or twice a day. For several years. Hard to think of any other song that can compete for that level of play.Continue reading »