Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cover me, come on and cover me

There are few delights as rich and satisfying as a cover which can stand next to the original. We can toss out the entire genre of punk covers, which can be described as the same song played faster and less well. A good example is the Atari's cover of Boys of Summer. Grrrr.

We can also leave aside the sound alike cover, like 311's take on the Cure's Love Song. If you don't pay attention their version sounds like it might be the Masters of Moroseness themselves. Boring.

Here then are covers where the artists manage to present them as something new.

Lemonheads - Mrs. Robinson. Unlike its followers this early up tempo cover works very well. While it loses some of the humanity of the original, it does a nice job of turning it into a rock song. Perhaps looking back in horror, Dando tried to turn the tide with his decidedly down tempo version of the Misfits Skulls.

Johnny Cash - Hurt. OK, beyond obvious I know. I only include it because I had a conversation with someone who said that one of the only good songs of the last 15 years was Johnny Cash's Hurt.

After the Fire - Der Kommissar. Sometimes all it takes is a new language, and presto, new song. And I much prefer After the Fire's spy themed video to Falco's green screen running in front of police car video.

Sonic Youth - Superstar. Tough one. I for one can only listen to the Carpenters when they do Christmas carols, so the fact that I really like this is an accomplishment. The video has Sonic Youth in formal wear which is a treat.

Metallica - Whiskey in the Jar. All this one does is add the Metallica chunka-chunka sound to the Thin Lizzy take on the Irish standard. Kirk Hammett's playing is essential here as well. And just so you know Last Caress is a Misfits song, and is all the more creepy for Danzig's jolly delivery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Duran Duran's "Lay Lady Lay."
Good as the original, if not better.