May 132022
 

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

stevie wonder covers

For some artists we look at for these lists, it seems like every time someone covered one their songs, it turned out pretty good. Leonard Cohen was like that; the quality of the average Cohen cover is fairly high. John Prine, too.

Stevie Wonder is not one of those artists.

It’s not his fault, or the fault of his songs, but his material often gets sucked into the same cocktail-jazz muck that fellow piano man Billy Joel’s does. Nothing wrong with that sort of lounge jazz-pop when done well – and there are a few times on this list when it is – but there’s a lot of mediocrity to wade through. Stevie’s performance and production skills are so sharp that, when placed in lesser hands, his songs can come off as sentimental shlock. All the “Isn’t She Lovely”s alone are so sugary sweet you feel like you’ll get diabetes.

But here’s the good news: Covers of Stevie Wonder’s songs are so ubiquitous that, even when you weed out the bad and the just-okay, you’re still left with plenty of greatness. The fifty below span funk, bluegrass, rock, hip-hop, jam band, jazz, and into galaxies beyond. So here they are, signed, sealed, and delivered to knock you off your feet.

P.S. Join our Patreon to get this entire list – and every other Best Covers Ever – in playlist and MP3 formats!

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Aug 052019
 
jacob collier moon river

The first few seconds of singer and composer Jacob Collier’s cover of “Moon River” will leave listeners lost in a sea of harmonies. He enlisted over 140 collaborators in all, including Chris Martin, David Crosby, Charlie Puth, Ty Dolla $ign, and Hans Zimmer. If that wasn’t enough, Collier added over 5,000 (!) of his own vocal tracks.

The beautiful “oohs” of each collaborator blend perfectly together to create something truly special. Each second adds another harmony making each listen to the song different than the last depending on which harmony you follow. Normally this much harmony would be overwhelming, but Collier manages its perfectly truly showing off his musical prowess. The entirety of the song is a capella, but upon first listen it feels like a full orchestra is performing. Continue reading »