Monday, March 16, 2009

Cover Me

Sorry I haven't posted here as often as I like. Part of it is my time constraints and part of it is lack of inspiration. Something has to really get me off my butt to motivate me to post. That something was hearing M. Ward's fantastic version of Buddy Holly's "Rave On" this morning on my way to work.

I love cover versions of songs. I should clarify; I love GOOD cover versions of songs. There really is an art to it. If you make them sound just like the original it may come off as "what's the point". If you stray too far from the original, it may come off as disrespectful.

Take Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower"; arguably the best cover version of all time. It is almost indistinguishable to Bob Dylan's acoustic guitar/harmonica original, but it manages to turn an already powerful song into something else entirely. The fact that Dylan has only performed it in "Hendrix version" style proves that Jimi transformed the song into something the original could not touch.

There are also two types of cover versions which can be equally good. First, you have the cover version of an already popular song. This can be hard to pull off (See The Cure doing Purple Haze). Second, you have the cover version of a song that wasn't popular in the first place. This will get you coolness points depending on which one you choose (See Nirvana's Meat Puppets covers).

So anyway, I've compiled some of my favorite cover versions for your listening pleasure. In many cases, I feel these surpass the originals. I hope you like them as much as I do and make sure to You Tube the original versions if you've never heard them.

Covers Tracklist

1. The Byrds-Mr. Tambourene Man (Bob Dylan)
2. The Clash-Police and Thieves (Junior Murvin)
3. Aimee Mann-The Scientist (Coldplay)
4. Nirvana-The Man Who Sold The World (David Bowie)
5. The Band-When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan)
6. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman-Sitting Here in Limbo (Jimmy Cliff)
7. The Replacements-Black Diamond (Kiss)
8. The Doors-Light My Fire (Jose Feliciano)
9. PJ Harvey-Highway 61 Revisited (Bob Dylan)
10. The Rolling Stones-Just My Imagination.... (The Temptations)
11. Peter Tosh-Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
12. Patti Smith-Within You Without You (The Beatles)
13. Neil Young-Oh Lonesome Me (Don Gibson and Chet Atkins)
14. M. Ward-Rave On (Buddy Holly)
15. Love and Rockets-Ball of Confusion (The Temptations)
16. Levon Helm-The Mountain (Steve Earle)
17. Sufjan Stevens-Ring Them Bells (Bob Dylan)
18. Dinosaur Jr.-Just Like Heaven (The Cure)
19. Uncle Tupelo-Effigy (Credence Clearwater Revival)
20. My Morning Jacket-It Makes No Difference (The Band)
21. Rickie Lee Jones-Show Biz Kids (Steely Dan)
22. The Church-Cortez The Killer (Neil Young)
23. Nina Simone-Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
24. Bob Dylan-Can't Help Falling in Love (George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, and Luigi Creatore)

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