Apr 292022
 
best cover songs april 2022
Aimee Mann – Brooklyn (Steely Dan cover)

If you missed the whole brouhaha when Steely Dan dropped Aimee Mann as their opening act, it’s too long to recap here. To skip to the end, Mann tweeted, “All is forgiven if Donald [Fagan] just tells me what Brooklyn is about.” And he did! So, at a recent show at City Winery, she covered it. All does indeed appear to be forgiven. Continue reading »

Apr 292022
 
coheed and cambria love gun

“Love Gun,” the title track to KISS’ 6th album, is not one of their bigger hits but is regarded by lead singer Paul Stanley as one of their signature songs. Like most of KISS’ repertoire, it’s fairly straightforward arena rock with lyrics that don’t leave much to the imagination. But it features a fun, scale-climbing solo by Ace Frehley, some bolero-esque breaks and the bass part practically dances. Continue reading »

Mar 282022
 
karine hannah i was made for loving you

Karine Hannah is a Canadian singer living in New York who we first noticed doing a Journey cover back in February. She has a powerful voice and now she has taken on “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” When KISS released the disco-influenced song (including a 12-inch club version!), it divided their fanbase. But there’s no denying the song’s success, notably in the UK where KISS has so far failed to crack the market. And Hannah reinvents it dramatically.

The slow piano cover is a cliche, but can be saved by a strong vocal. Hannah’s approach begins as a slow piano cover but picks up speed in the choruses, the point at which her cover most resembles the original song. (It would have been interesting if she’d played the hook slower.) Unlike slow piano internet covers, Hannah has invested in accoutrements, with what sounds like a string section and even hints of orchestral percussion. Hannah’s voice is double-tracked much of the time but whether it is or not, it’s a powerful instrument. If the instrumentation around it weren’t so sparse, it might be too much, but the restrained arrangement lets her voice shine.

Check out more KISS covers here.

Oct 082021
 

I was obsessed with the thrash metal band Anthrax in the late ‘80s. After repeatedly seeing their videos on MTV, I purchased several of their albums and even saw them headline the Headbangers Ball Tour in 1989.

Around that time, I remember having a heated dinner-time discussion with my brother about Anthrax’s long-term musical prospects. “They won’t be around in five years,” my brother declared. I was more confident in the band’s sustainability, but even I couldn’t have predicted that thirty-two years later the group would be celebrating its 40th anniversary. I doubt even they could have imagined such longevity. Metal still rules, apparently.

Continue reading »

Oct 272020
 
struts kiss cover

As with many bands, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the Struts’ 2020 musical plans. They had originally intended to record an EP this year, but with all touring activities cancelled, the British rockers instead released a full album entitled Strange Days. On the album, the group included a cover of the Kiss deep cut “Do You Love Me.” At a time when the normal excesses of the rock n’ roll lifestyle have been curtailed, it comes across as a work of downright nostalgia for an era whose time has passed.

Continue reading »

May 292020
 

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs may 2020
Daniel Romano’s Outfit – Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan cover)


This one’s for all the Dylan superfans. In 1984, Bob Dylan played three songs on Letterman with L.A. punk band The Plugz. They were gritty and garagey and raw. It boded well for his new sound. And then he never played with them again. The album he was ostensibly promoting, Infidels, was much smoother, helmed by Mark Knopfler. For those who still wonder what could have been, Daniel Romano covered the entire album as if he’d recorded it with The Plugz. Continue reading »