Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song
I remember the joy with which I first heard “Golden Brown” by the Stranglers. It sounded nothing quite like anything going on in the charts at the time: a harpsichord and a hypnotic, repetitive melody, played in peculiar and shifting, almost conflicting, time signatures. Then a gentle crooning vocal, singing about… well, what was it about? Continue reading »
That’s A Cover? explores cover songs that you may have thought were originals.
If you’re a fan of power pop – roughly speaking, the place where early rock n’ roll, ‘60s bubblegum, and the British Invasion converge – then Blondie probably ranks high on your list of faves. Refracting modern rock through multiple lenses – ’50s pop, ’60s girl groups and ’70s punk, to name a few – the band sucked you in with clever, poppy melodies while maintaining a distance sharpened by dark, ironic humor.
If it doesn’t quite represent their commercial peak, the band’s 1978 album Parallel Lines is without much doubt their finest work, crashing out of the gate with “Hanging on the Telephone,” a near-perfect snapshot of illicit romance and sexual frustration, come and gone in 2 minutes 17 seconds.Continue reading »
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Last night, to the surprise of no one, that Academy Award for Best Documentary went to the Amy Winehouse movie Amy. The movie, as is typical for these things, is more about the personality than the music; producers seem to think public breakdowns make for better visuals than the nitty gritty of work in the studio (a premise with which we strongly disagree). But still, if it gets some young Adele fan who wasn’t around for Adele’s predecessor to give Back to Black a listen, another exhaustive look at Winehouse’s demons was perhaps worth it.
We, however, are all about the music, which we celebrate today with the latest in our series of Full Album cover sets. Though as is always the case the big hits have way more covers than the deep cuts, it’s a testament to how deep the album’s bench is that every song has been given at least one cover worthy of Amy’s talent.Continue reading »
In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.
The 27 Club is one of the most enduring legends of rock and roll apocrypha, and although the member list is distinguished, no one’s really clawing to get in. It refers to the peculiarly high number of prominent musicians who died at the age of 27 – blues legend Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison, Big Star’s Chris Bell, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain, amongst (too) many others.
In 2011, the club expanded its membership yet again with blue-eyed soul ingénue, Amy Winehouse. Continue reading »
When we think back to this year, we might remember 2011 as the year that the whole concept of the “cover album” became more fluid, and not always for the better. Thanks to the increased prominence of sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, a cover album could be conceived, recorded, and shared in the space of a weekend. This didn’t necessarily lead to better cover albums, but it certainly led to more of them. They came in all formats – digital, CD, vinyl, and even cassette-only – and from all directions – labels, blogs, and even some magazines.
Which, we like to think, makes this list that much more helpful. In a year where the biggest single-artist cover album we got came from William Shatner, it proved a particular challenge to dig through the many obscure artists and assorted tributes and extract the gems. Gems there certainly were though, be they from newcomers making an impression with their favorite songs or old-timers honoring groups that influenced them decades ago. It may have taken a bit more work to find them, but the end result is as strong a selection as we’ve seen.
It’s mento, people, not Mentos. A Jamaican musical genre that predated ska and reggae, mento has not received the same attention that its more popular offsprings have, but The Jolly Boys have been performing this acoustic-based music for the last six decades. A while back we heard them cover Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” Now they return with something a little more vintage.
Check out the video below for the latest in mento: The Jolly Boys covering The Doors‘ classic “Riders on the Storm.” The song lends itself to the easy beat they lay down, but there’s something strange about a band with ‘Jolly’ in their name playing island music but singing about a twisted, dangerous drifter.Continue reading »