Amanda Palmer and The Righteous Babes — The Last Day of our Acquaintance (Sinéad O’Connor cover)
You’re going to notice a theme here. We have the usual grab-bag included below (see “Best of the Rest”), but, for our featured covers up top, it’s all Sinéad. There were so many wonderful tributes performed, often in concert and always powerful and moving. Many did “Nothing Compares 2 U,” technically a Prince cover but really a Sinéad song now and forever, but others selected from elsewhere in her catalog. Of this one, which just came out Tuesday, Amanda Palmer wrote, “This song means a great deal to me, as does the artist who penned it, along with everything she still stands for.” A portion of the money from sales will be donated to The Irish Women’s Survivor Support Network.Continue reading »
Bob Dylan has been on a covers roll this year. On tour, he has primarily covered a number of Dead (“Truckin’,” “Stella Blue,” “Brokedown Palace”) or Dead-associated (“Not Fade Away,” “Only a River”) songs. But he’s dipped into other classic catalogs occasionally too. He did Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” for the first time and then, not long after, maybe the deepest cut yet: Merle Haggard’s 2016 track “Bad Actor.” The tape took a while to surface. It was worth the wait.Continue reading »
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).
“Covering the Hits” looks at covers of a randomly-selected #1 hit from the past sixty-odd years.
“All Night Long (All Night)” is the fifth of seven chart-topping singles in Lionel Richie’s career, two with the Commodores (“Three Times a Lady,” “Still”) followed by five under its own name. The extremely goofy parenthetical in the title clearly did not impact the song’s journey towards the top. Nor its legacy either; some of these chart-toppers we look at in Covering the Hits did not, in fact, get covered much. “All Night Long (All Night)” – that’s the last time I’m writing that parenthetical – still gets covered constantly. I mean, have you ever been to a wedding?
But below we’ll dig a little deeper into the most notable and most interesting covers, from the ‘80s through just last month.Continue reading »
What’s better than one Indonesian black-metal Dua Lipa cover? Three Indonesian black-metal Dua Lipa covers! Not that you’d ever know these were Dua Lipa songs unless you were listening really closely to the lyrics (and could manage to make them out).
The Band of Heathens – El Paso City (Marty Robbins cover)
During lockdown, Band of Heathens hosted a regular livestream variety show called Good Time Supper Club. One segment, “Remote Transmissions,” featured them covering a new song every episode – over 50 in all. They’re collecting some of the best on a forthcoming album of the same name: Remote Transmissions. “Making records is always about cataloging any point in time. We wanted to celebrate the unique collaborative aspect of the show,” guitarist Ed Jurdi told American Songwriter. “What better way to document the last year than with these songs?” First up is this take on a Marty Robbins country classic.Continue reading »