May 122023
smith crazy mary

Earlier this week, we wrote about Smith’s amazing 1969 Youngbloods cover “Let’s Get Together” for our The Best Covers of 1960s One Hit Wonders list. Now Smith is back with another cover!

Wait a second. Turns out, this is a different Smith. That other band broke up in 1971. This SMITH (all caps) is…well, it’s not quite clear. She has never revealed her name or her face, saying “I’m afraid it’ll take something from the art vs add to it.” We do know that she — whoever she is — has earned a Grammy-nomination for her writing and production for Jack Harlow’s album and become the first female artist to have a Billboard Top 40 charting song at Alternative Radio and Urban Radio. Continue reading »

Apr 192013

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Fans of Gram Parsons are generally divided into three camps over 1999’s Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons. The first thinks it’s brilliant, a reverent homage to a great songwriter and a testament to the weight of his country rock influence. The second likes the raw sound of another tribute album better: 1993’s Conmemorativo: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, featuring the likes of Bob Mould and The Mekons. And the third camp feels that the only person that can sing Gram Parsons songs is Parsons himself.

If we took the philosophy of the last opinion to heart, this site wouldn’t even exist. While the so-called purists would deny any version other than the one by the original artist as being legitimate, it certainly would be a dull world if all musicians were content to color within the lines without recognizing that someone else before them drew those lines. While Conmemorativo does contain some gems, there are two reasons why Return of the Grievous Angel is better: great production values, and the guiding hand of Emmylou Harris, who worked so closely with Parsons and who served as executive producer of the compilation. So count us among the members of that first camp. Now let’s meet the man who inspired the album. Continue reading »