You may listen to the gentle plucking when this begins and thing, boy that’s not what I expected from that band photo. Is this an acoustic flying V? Blacktop Mojo’s “My Girl” stays pretty and meditative for over half the run time, turning the oldies classic into a pretty folk-rock ballad. Eventually, though, true to that long-hair-and-leather image, the heads start banging and axes start shredding.Continue reading »
As a part of a retrospective on English folk singer-songwriter Bill Fay, Julia Jacklin has just released a cover of his yearning ballad “Just To Be A Part.” The original version has Bill Fay at the piano, with a persistent high hat and a can-filling contribution by the rest of the band. There is urgency in his vocal, with the electric guitar wailing like yells and groans of desperation.
Jacklin’s cover builds more slowly, starting with her trademark indie guitar sound, before building the rest of the band and double tracked vocals in for a swelling, powerful finish. The song structure of starting solo and then adding more band elements as the song progresses is still here, but the clean crisp indie tones take this song to another level. Check out the track below.
Shania Twain wrote “You’re Still the One,” the biggest hit yet of her career, about her then-husband/producer Robert “Mutt” Lange. (They divorced many years later, so it just goes to show you that even a massive pop hit can’t guarantee success in marriage.) Lange being Lange, the original song has tons of instruments and backing vocals (including Lange’s) on it. It’s a typical ’90s country pop ballad with a little too much shine and sparkle for the simplicity of the message.
From the beginning, Hutson plays it more restrained; there is only a ringing guitar or two, Hutson’s double-tracked vocal, and drums. Jacklin joins him on backing vocals for the chorus, as does what sounds like a marimba. (An interesting choice to be sure.) For the second verse, Jacklin takes the lead, turning it into a proper duet.
It’s a nice, restrained take on one of Shania’s best songs. Check it out below:
Adia Victoria recorded this powerful Badu cover for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She said of the time she discovered the song, “I was looking for something that was bigger and deeper and felt more warm than the idea of a Christian God. And I dove into my imagination. And the first time I heard ‘on and on’ it felt like Erykah Badu was waiting for me to be her there.”Continue reading »
The first single from Björk’s second adult, “Army of Me” might be the closest she ever got to industrial pop sound that was everywhere in the mid ’90s. The synthetic bass, the sample, it’s all low, with only Björk’s vocal (lower in her range) and the clanging percussion brightening things up. On their new cover, Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin and RVG take a less ominous and more wrong approach to the song.Continue reading »
Follow all our Best of 2017 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.
Year-end lists are a time to look back. That’s something we’ve been doing a lot of this year.
See, we turned ten years old in 2017 – practically ancient in internet-blog terms – so we’ve indulged in what we feel is well-earned nostalgia. At the beginning of the year, each of our writers picked the ten most important covers in their life (see them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We even listed the ten most important covers in Cover Me‘s life, from the song that inspired the site to our very first Best of the Year winner.
Then, to cap things off, in October we commissioned a 25-track tribute to the cover song itself – which you can still download for free. We love the covers everyone contributed so much, incidentally, that we didn’t consider them for this list. It’d be like picking favorite children – if you had 25 of ’em.
Oh, and have I mentioned I wrote a book? … What’s that you say? I mentioned that constantly? Well, I’m quite proud of it. It’s called Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time and it makes a great Christmas gift and – ok, ok, I’ll stop. You can find plenty more about it elsewhere.
Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of looking back this year. And we hope you’ll indulge us this one last glance rearward before we leap into 2018. Because if it’s been a hell of a year for us, it’s certainly also been a hell of a year for the cover song in general. Some of this year’s list ranks among the best covers we’ve ever heard, period. So dig in, and thanks for your support this past decade.