Apr 302024
 
best cover songs
The Dirty Nil — Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler cover)

I’m honestly surprised there weren’t more “Total Eclipse” covers during this month’s total eclipse. Perhaps because our total eclipse was of the sun, rather than the heart. Or, more likely, because this song is hard as hell to sing. Best of the bunch came this garage-rocking version from Ontario trio The Dirty Nil. Gritty and raw, and singer Luke Bentham sells the hell out of it. Continue reading »

Apr 112023
 

Does the world actually need another countrified tribute to the Rolling Stones? We’ve already seen 1997’s Stone Country and 2011’s more alt-country focused Paint It Black, not to mention the myriad one-off covers stemming out of Nashville and Texas. (I dare say we mentioned many of them here.) Now we’ve got Stoned Cold Country, and you’re probably thinking you know just what it’s going to sound like. And you’re probably right. So I’ll ask again: Do we need this?

Frankly, the answer is probably immaterial, as I share the view that you can’t have too much of a good thing, even, if, to coin a phrase, you can’t always get what you want. And it’s always good to see some young cubs getting to take a bite at the Jagger-Richards canon. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Continue reading »

Feb 142023
 
new beach boys covers

Four days after the Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy returns to the Dolby Theatre in LA to stage an all-star tribute to The Beach Boys. All surviving bandmembers were present to watch a host of A-list artists tackle their hits and, occasionally, deeper cuts. The proceedings were filmed for A Grammy Salute To The Beach Boys, which will air later this year, but for now you can preview it with audience footage that landed on YouTube.

Below, find videos of Beach Boys covers from Mumford & Sons, St. Vincent, Beck, My Morning Jacket, Weezer, LeAnn Rimes, Brandi Carlile, Fall Out Boy, Little Big Town, Charlie Puth, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, and Hanson, along with a couple cool duets among the artists performing: Beck and Jim James of My Morning Jacket doing “Good Vibrations,” Carlile and Legend doing “God Only Knows” (pictured above), and Luke Spiller of The Struts & Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless doing a medley of “Surfin’ USA” and “Fun Fun Fun.”

It’s a little hard to compare them all since sound quality is inconsistent, but three performances that stand out here at Mumford & Sons collaborating with Sam Gendel on a strange jazzy “I Know There’s an Answer,” St. Vincent crooning “You Still Believe in Me,” and LeAnn Rimes singing the hell out of “Caroline No.” And Weezer, of course, who were made to do crunchy power-pop covers of Beach Boys hits. (I couldn’t find any video of three performers from this show: Andy Grammer, Lady A, and Take 6).

Mumford & Sons – I Know There’s an Answer

St. Vincent – You Still Believe in Me

Beck – Sloop John B

My Morning Jacket – I Get Around

Beck & Jim James – Good Vibrations

Weezer – California Girls

LeAnn Rimes – Caroline No

Brandi Carlile – In My Room

John Legend – Sail On Sailor

Brandi Carlile & John Legend – God Only Knows

Fall Out Boy – Do You Wanna Dance [5th slide]

Little Big Town – Help Me Rhonda

Charlie Puth – Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Foster the People – Do It Again

Norah Jones – Warmth of the Sun

Pentatonix – Heroes and Villains

Luke Spiller & Taylor Momsen – Surfin’ USA / Fun Fun Fun

Hanson – Barbara Ann [4th slide]

Nov 102022
 
loretta lynn tribute

Last weekend, CMT broadcast “A Celebration of the Life and Music of Loretta Lynn” at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. A host of country music royalty turned up to play her songs, from veteran industries stars like George Strait and Tanya Tucker to newer outlaws like The Highwomen and Margo Price. Jack White sang “Van Lear Rose,” off the album of the same name he produced for Lynn in 2004. Keith Urban busted out a banjo-guitar for “You’re Lookin’ at Country,” Lynn’s 1971 hit. Strait tackled early chart-topper “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” Her tracks pushing at the conservative country establishment got airings too: Price performed the pioneering birth control song “The Pill” – a song the Opry, where this show took place, once tried to ban – and Darius Rucker (of all people) performed the feminist anthem “Fist City.” Continue reading »

Oct 052020
 
best tribute albums

Over our time tracking cover songs (13 years this month!), we’ve written about hundreds of new tribute albums, across reviews, news stories, and, when they’re good enough, our best-of-the-year lists. We also have looked back on plenty of great tribute albums from the past in our Cover Classics series. But we’ve never pulled it all together – until now. Continue reading »

Mar 262018
 
elton john tribute albums

If you are a fan of Elton John and all of his many reinventions, this is the time of your life. It started in late 2017 when Elton along with Bernie Taupin sponsored a worldwide YouTube contest to reimage videos for three of Elton’s most popular songs, “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man,” and “Tiny Dancer,. It continued with his announcement that his upcoming three-year tour will be his last. Suffice to say, our eyes and ears will be treated to various projects with the volume turned up to “all Elton, all the time” for the foreseeable future. Continue reading »