Nov 062020

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

depeche mode covers

Way back in January, we polled our Patreon supporters to see which 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee they wanted to see get the “Best Covers Ever” treatment. Depeche Mode won, so we started planning our schedule to get it ready in advance of the big induction ceremony on March 24.

Then…you know.

Tomorrow, many months later, the Rock Hall is finally hosting some sort of ceremony – remotely, of course – and we’ve been honoring each artist all week with covers features: Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G., The Doobie Brothers, T. Rex, and Nine Inch Nails. Now, many months after we expected to post it, the grand finale: The 25 Best Depeche Mode Covers Ever. Continue reading »

Jul 022020

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

Van Morrison

Some songs have the capacity to weave a legacy greater than simply a sum of their constituent parts. “Into the Mystic” is one such song. It isn’t necessarily the best song Van Morrison has ever constructed, but somehow it strikes chords heavier than it first seems to hit. Prefacing and pre-empting Morrison’s classic mid period of dreamy treatises on humanity and higher powers, all spiritual quests and transcendentalism, “Into the Mystic” actually appears on 1970’s Moondance, that almost most commercial of his works, the follow-up to the way more cerebral Astral Weeks. But for all the FM-friendliness of many of the songs, go read the lyrics, and Van is as philosophical as he ever has been. “Into the Mystic” proves to be the epitome, a yearning hymn to the seeking of an understanding of the cosmos, within and without the body and world.

The first draft was entitled “Into the Misty”; we can be grateful he took a pen through that, the meaning so less, well, cosmic in that phrase, and so more earthbound. The effect of the song is in no small part down to the superlative musicians then at his command, and the consummate arrangements, with the guitar, keyboards, and sax of John Platania, Jef Labes, and Jack Schroer, respectively, exquisite and never bettered subsequently. Even better than the studio take is that on 1974 live opus It’s Too Late To Stop Now, with the same musicians, and a stellar string section, still a high-water mark for live recordings by anyone.

Mind you, the vocals are pretty damn good too.
Continue reading »

Dec 112019

Follow all our Best of 2019 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

best tribute albums 2019

With their surprise success “Africa,” Weezer delivered easily the biggest cover-song news of 2018. And they similarly seemed poised to dominate this year’s cover-album news when they dropped a full set of similar songs in January (that album’s not on our list, because it is – and I say this as a fan for going on 20 years – terrible).

Thankfully, that album got forgotten about five minutes after its release. A slate of other high-profile cover albums took its place, and delivered more staying power. Angelique Kidjo, Morrissey, and Juliana Hatfield all released covers albums, and a host more stars contributed in one way or other to tribute compilations, from Norah Jones and Margo Price covering Bobbie Gentry to Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile tackling Wilco. Some of the aforementioned made our list and some just missed it, but all are worth investigating.

That’s to say nothing of the many lesser-known artists who came out of nowhere, amazing covers records by bands and singers I’d never heard of before. Covers albums can offer a wonderful entry point for discovery, and I’ve now got a lot of new favorite bands to dig deeper into. Hopefully you’ll find a few here too.

– Ray Padgett, Editor-in-Chief


Jul 022018
cover songs june
Andrew Combs – Reptila (The Strokes cover)

The Strokes’ Is This It songs have been covered to death, so musicians are digging deeper. We heard a killer Angles cover in April from Billie Eilish (more on her in a minute), and now singer-songwriter Andrew Combs takes on this Room on Fire track. His own music leans Nashville Americana, but from the crazy horns here, sounds like he’s been spending time in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Aug 242011

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

Echo & the Bunnymen formed in Liverpool in the late ‘70s.  Vocalist Ian McCulloch had been in a band with Julian Cope and Pete Wylie.  McCulloch recruited underrated guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson; and yes, there was a drum machine involved prior to Pete de Freitas joining in 1980.  Was this the “Echo” in Echo & the Bunnymen?  That depends on who you ask. The band’s best quality output came over their first seven years and five albums.  An output that brought critical acclaim and UK success, but little more than a cult following in the States. Continue reading »

Aug 142009

This Week’s News

It’s been quite a week here at Cover Me, so you’ll excuse me for starting with a round-up of the events. First of all, we have a contest to replace that ugly blogger-default header! So any Photoshop wizards or aspiring artistes, check out how you can help out, design a logo, and win free stuff! If you need inspiration, there are ten art-themed tracks to get the creative cells flowing. The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 25.

Also, let’s not forget Shuffle Sundays, the new feature we debuted last week! What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

Finally, it looks like the Broken Chimneys will be tackling Springsteen’s “For You” for this month’s Cover Commissions. Can’t wait to see what Adam comes up with – check back in a few weeks to hear the results.

James Eric was our first Cover Commissions artist earlier this year, giving us top-notch versions of Devo’s “Beautiful World” and MGMT’s “Time to Pretend.” Covering single songs is no longer enough for him though; now he’s covered all of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with Erin Fogel!

Where my Ben Harper fans at? Don’t be ashamed, you know who you are. His album White Lies for Dark Times with the Relentless7 only came out in May, but it’s already gotten the full-album treatment as well!

Speaking MGMT, I attended All Points West a couple weeks ago. Though I ditched the MGMT set, apparently they covered The Clean’s “Anything Could Happen,” a video of which is now up at Stereogum.

I posted about Neil Nathan’s excellent covers EP months ago, but now his take on ELO’s “Do Ya” has a video. And a soundtrack inclusion! Great job Neil.

The music world lost a legend yesterday, hitmaker and electric guitar pioneer (and de facto inventor) Les Paul. Never one to waste time, Brian over at Coverville already has a tribute to the legend up.

A Supergrass cover album is cool, and with Nigel Godrich the Radiohead producer behind the boards it stands to be legendary.

I love A Place to Bury Strangers, having seen them twice and interviewed main man Oliver Ackermann once. I always wanted to hear them do a cover, since I thought their “loudest band in New York” shoegaze would make that impossible. I was wrong.

Built to Spill played Siren Fest along with A Place. Their set got pretty weak reviews. Perhaps if they’d played “Paper Planes” or “Edit the Sad Parts” things could have picked up.

Buzz is heating up about The XX, which makes this a perfect time to link to their Aaliyah cover.

Bradford Cox is the indie blogosphere’s wet dream all by himself, but when the Deerhunter man’s new band Atlas Sound covers Fleetwood Mac, the internet may explode.

This Week’s Submissions

Autorotation – For a Friend (Communards) [more]

The Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Head – Rapper’s Delight (Sugarhill Gang) [more]

Greg Laswell – Killing Moon (Echo and the Bunnymen) [more]