May 312023
best cover songs may 2023
Beck – Hands on the Wheel (Willie Nelson cover)

Willie Nelson’s giant 90th birthday concert in Los Angeles featured a whole host of covers. Some of them featured the man himself. Admittedly, that makes those not really covers, so we’ll feature a couple Willie-less Willie tunes. First up, Beck tackles Willie’s Red Headed Stranger classic “Hands on the Wheel.” (Find another cover of this song in the Best of the Rest list.) Continue reading »

May 152023
Rufus Wainwright

The title track of Neil Young’s breakthrough album Harvest is a bit of a deep cut. Never released as a single, it has never got the radio play that the hits from Harvest have received over the years. This is especially true since Young’s last hit of any size was “Harvest Moon,” an unrelated song that further obscured the original. Continue reading »

Apr 212023
goodnight sunrise rockin in the free world cover

Released in 1988, “Rockin’ in the Free World” was Neil Young‘s biggest hit in over 15 years and has become one of his most covered songs. It captures much of what made classic Young great: abrasive, distorted guitar, acerbic political lyrics, and a seemingly iconoclastic desire to perform those same lyrics in a completely different way. Much like with the iconic “Hey Hey, My My” and Rust Never Sleeps, Young actually recorded a softer acoustic version of “Rockin’ in the Free World” to help bookend its accompanying album Freedom.

Fellow Canadians Goodnight Sunrise have been performing together since 2011. They’ve recorded two albums and a few EPs and are currently touring ahead of their first album in seven years. As part of this new project, they’re recorded a cover of the electric version (the famous version) of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Continue reading »

Mar 172023

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

Low covers

Today we place Low in the spotlight, even if the Duluth-based band has already occupied the spotlight in recent months, and for the worst of reasons: Low’s co-founder Mimi Parker passed away in November 2022, age 55. The tributes and memorials that poured out to Mimi took many beautiful forms, all of them disbelieving and heartbroken. As we sample the amazing music that she and her husband Alan Sparhawk (Low’s other co-founder and the band’s primary songwriter) gave us in their 30-year run as a band, we’ll look at covers by Low and covers of Low, and pay our respects to Mimi along the way.
Continue reading »

Feb 282023
adam lambert
Adam Lambert – Getting Older (Billie Eilish cover)

On his new covers album High Drama, Adam Lambert didn’t pick one of the obvious Billie Eilish songs to cover (“Bad Guy,” “Everything I Wanted,” etc). He goes for relative deep cut “Getting Older,” off her 2021 album Happier Than Ever. Eilish’s original was fairly minimalist. Lambert doesn’t do “minimalist.” His “glam” version, as he describes it, makes the song sound like a much bigger hit than it was. Continue reading »

Feb 242023
melt harvest moon cover

Neil Young‘s sweet, gentle “Harvest Moon” has become an oft-covered classic in recent years. Most covers of “Harvest Moon” treat it pretty reverentially. Given the song’s feel and lyrics, maybe that make sense. New York-based “indie-soul” band Melt are here to change your mind about how a “Harvest Moon” cover should sound. Continue reading »