In their first live performances since 2019, Columbusites Twenty One Pilots had something special planned for their fans at Summerfest 2021. Nearing the end of their set, they performed My Chemical Romance’s 2005 hit “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” coming out of their own hit “Shy Away.”
‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.
There is no Queen without Freddie Mercury. On a fundamental level, we all agree that is true. But, if you want to be literal about it, there is Queen without Freddie Mercury. Thirty years after Freddie’s death, the show must go on, and so the band still exists. Adam Lambert now sings Freddie’s parts on tour, just as Paul Rodgers did before him. The Bohemian Rhapsody movie included some new vocal recordings – not by star Rami Malek, but by Canadian singer Marc Martel. And then of course there are the many singers who fronted Queen at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, broadcast to an audience of up to one billion people. (If you haven’t watched George Michael singing “Somebody to Love” or Annie Lennox joining David Bowie for “Under Pressure,” go do that now, then come back.)
Suffice to say, millions if not billions of people have heard Queen songs sung by singers other than Freddie Mercury. But none of those we just mentioned are covers, strictly speaking, since they feature most or all of the band’s three surviving members. Bassist John Deacon has since departed – and his joining Queen fifty years ago this month, solidifying the lineup, marks the anniversary we’re pegging this post to – but guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have kept the Queen name alive. No doubt, when touring becomes a thing again, Queen will be back on the road once again.
The forty actual covers on our list do not feature any members of Queen. As such, they’re free to roam much further afield than Adam Lambert or George Michael, turning the band’s hits and the occasional deep cut into genres from polka to punk, a cappella to acoustic instrumental. Queen dabbled in so many different genres during their time – I mean, “Bohemian Rhapsody” alone! – I think they’d appreciate how malleable their songs can be. Even when they’re not the ones performing their songs, Queen will rock you.
Or, in one case, polka you.
The list begins on Page 2.
There’s been a long-standing, at times insufferable debate as to whether or not My Chemical Romance were an really an emo band. While that description was accurate in terms of the lyrical sentiments, it didn’t reflect their actual sound, a manic mix of early Queen, Iron Maiden, The Misfits and The Smiths. But no matter where they’re categorized, for some listeners coming of age and not fitting during the early noughts, they were the only band that mattered. While their signature song “Welcome To The Black Parade” was epically bombastic and capable of driving moms crazy, it also had an unfailingly earnest, empathetic and melodic heart beating inside of it.
Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
Call me Esperanza Spalding, because I’m about to upset some Justin Bieber fans.
Earlier this season, when some press outlets reported rumors that Glee would spend an entire episode paying tribute to Justin Bieber, my heart sank a little. Fortunately, those rumors were blown out of proportion; instead of a whole episode, Glee gave over only a couple songs to the teenage sensation. Still, those 20 minutes or so when Bieber provided the central focus for the show’s plot created a pretty horrific viewing experience.