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01-07-2011, 02:17 PM
I'm working a bit on a covers comp and can use some suggestions. I'm trying to stay away from live stuff, well-known covers, or ones where the originals are so obscure no one would recognize that it's a cover in the first place. Here's what I have so far:

If you want to add to it and make this a group comp the songs in the screenshot can be found here ( (except in FLAC).

So wha'cha got?

01-07-2011, 04:00 PM
Grizzly Bear's cover of "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)" might go well with this mix. They also do a pretty good version of "Owner of a Lonely Heart".

How about the Mountain Goats' take on "Tell Me On a Sunday"?

There are thousands upon thousands of good covers, especially in the age of the internet.


01-07-2011, 04:29 PM
I'm not sure whether this fits into your mix, but I've always loved Colin James cover of Into The Mystic. I'm trying my first file share here (, so if it doesn't work, please let me know.


01-07-2011, 04:41 PM
Blackmore's Night - Streets of London

01-07-2011, 04:58 PM
There's also a pretty good Joe Cocker cover that the Beatles did but I can't remember the name of it.


01-07-2011, 06:08 PM
I'm not sure whether this fits into your mix, but I've always loved Colin James cover of Into The Mystic. I'm trying my first file share here (, so if it doesn't work, please let me know.

Thanks.When I click the link it automatically opens with Quick Time. I can listen to it but can't save it. Good cover though! :)

Mr Peabody
01-07-2011, 06:18 PM
I don't know if any of these would help:
Red Hot Chilli Peppers, covers Hendrix, Fire
I also like their Stevie Wonder cover
Primus, Pink Floyd's, Have A Cigar
Anthrax, covers Sabbath's, Bloody Sabbath
Gary Moore, Shape Of Things
Ann Wilson, covers Zepplin's Immigrant Song on a solo album. Actually, all covers I believe.
Brownsville Station's cover of Bare Footin'
Deadsy, covers Rush's, Tom Sawyer
Travis Tritt, covers ARS's, Homesick, pretty smoking

LOL, pick up anything by Hayseed Dixie

01-07-2011, 06:31 PM
There's also a pretty good Joe Cocker cover that the Beatles did but I can't remember the name of it.

~RaeI think I'll go with the Yes cover instead.

01-07-2011, 06:35 PM
Anthrax, covers Sabbath's, Bloody SabbathI like their cover of Joe Jackson's Got The Time too.

I can easily do an all-metal covers comp . . . some other time.

01-07-2011, 07:28 PM
Okay about a little Grandaddy does the Beatles ( Let me know if the link works this time.

Nope. Looks like this just Quicktime too. I don't know why this isn't working. :(

01-07-2011, 09:51 PM
I always liked this minimalist version of the John Lennon song ...

01-08-2011, 04:17 AM
I always liked this minimalist version of the John Lennon song ... have a really good version of Mercury Rev doing Isolation but it breaks my no live covers rule so I'm leaving it out.

01-08-2011, 04:34 AM
Okay about a little Grandaddy does the Beatles ( is this from? I thought I already had every Grandaddy CD and EP :confused:

I just remembered I have that Sun Kill Moon - Tiny Cities album but Modest Mouse covers seem a little out of place with the rest of what I have so far.

I also have a Will Oldham tribute CD, but again, the originals aren't very well-known. Speaking of Will Oldham, I also have Bonnie "Prince" Billy's - Ask Forgiveness CD with covers ranging from The Misfits to Sinatra. Might have to pull something off of that.

01-08-2011, 05:01 AM
Luke Doucet - "Sundown"
Faith No More - "Let's Lynch the Landlord"
Iron and Wine - "Such Great Heights"
PAJO - "Where Eagles Dare"

01-08-2011, 06:17 AM
James Blake does a great version of Feist's Limit To Your Love
Dinosaur Jr.'s acoustic cover of Bowie's Quicksand
Iron & Wine's Waiting For Superman (he needs to do a Covers album...)
Couple good ones on the Allison Kraus/Robert Plant disc - I'm partial to the Gene Clark covers

01-08-2011, 06:38 AM
Always ready with unhelpful suggestions. :-)

Tom Waits doing Sea of Love?

The Residents doing I left my Heart in San Francisco?

Wish I had a copy of their version of "It's a Man's World", that one's cool.

01-08-2011, 08:16 AM
Cat Power's covers of Been Loving You Too Long and Fortunate Son off the Dark End of the Street EP. I think Cat Power has two full-length covers albums also.

01-08-2011, 10:33 AM
Where is this from? I thought I already had every Grandaddy CD and EP :confused:

It's from the I Am Sam movie soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is Beatles covers. It's an excellent disk. I highly recommend it.

01-08-2011, 10:40 AM
Yes' cover of Paul Simon's America on the album Fragile is smokin.

Willie Nelson also covers Simon with Graceland and American Tune on Nelson's cover album from '93 Across The Borderline

Cake's cover of Guitar Man(Bread) on the album Pressure Cheif

the Stones' cover of Just My Imagination on the album Some Girls

David Bowie covered Waitin For The Man, found on the Almost Famous soundtrack

Anything off the Endless Highway: The Music of The Band tribute with DCFC doing Rocking Chair or Guster doing Wheel's On Fire
or My Morning Jacket doing It Makes No Difference

and most recently, Nada Surf did a covers album where they covered Spoon, Dwight Twilley, Depeche Mode and
even The Moody Blues (Question)

01-08-2011, 10:46 AM
...Alone Again Or, but you already have it. Great song and a great cover.

Let's about these;

Iron Man - The Cardigans
Hurt - Johnny Cash
Jealous Guy - Elliott Smith
Rocks Off - Spoon

01-08-2011, 10:53 AM
Dozens of great covers with these artists/albums:

Dread Zeppelin (all covers mash-up of Elvis / Led Zeppelin / reggae standards)
Richard Cheese (hilarious lounge covers of rock standards)
Moog Cookbook (cheesy synth covers of rock standards)
El Senor Cocoanut (big band latin covers of Kraftwerk songs)
The King and Eye- The Residents (all Elvis covers)

01-08-2011, 11:36 AM
Prince's psychedelic mashup of Crimson & Clover/Wild Thing

Scissor Sisters cover of Comfortably Numb

ok...I better stop now

01-08-2011, 01:59 PM
Scissor Sisters cover of Comfortably Numb

I love the Scissor Sisters (I know, it surprises me too) and I love The Floyd, but this is a terrible cover. :sosp:

01-08-2011, 02:22 PM
Annie Lennox's covers on Medussa are quite good, if you ask me. Her rendition of favorites like Don't Let it Get You Down and (A Thin Line Between) Love and Hate are beautifully arranged and presented with all her effective (and affective) pathos and charm.

Another recording is Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back, which includes of covers like David Bowie's Heroes, David Byrne's Listening Wind and Paul Simon's The Boy in the Bubble. Like the rest of PG's work, the album is pensive and brooding; but the arrangements of these pieces is intricate and superbly crafted in unexpected turns that demand the listener to sit still and hear what has to say. Very recommended.

01-08-2011, 02:27 PM
I love the Scissor Sisters (I know, it surprises me too) and I love The Floyd, but this is a terrible cover. :sosp:
I don't even remember when I heard it, but just did a quick search and it does show up on a bunch of best covers lists. Number 9 on the top 50 list below, which looks like a pretty good list (both of the Clash covers are perfect) with the possible exception of number 9, eh? Even has Troy's Señor Coconut & His Orchestra :)

They did it their way: The Telegraph's music critics select the 50 best cover versions ever recorded

In the late 1980s, there was a band with the astute name of Pop Will Eat Itself. As the number of TV talent shows expands, it does sometimes seem as if there are no more old songs left to sing – or massacre, in the case of most contestants. But this year has also seen a surge in rather brilliant cover versions – reworkings of songs which have displayed the wit and originality that can shine a new light on a classic track.

To celebrate the renaissance of this pop tradition, our team of music writers have chosen their 50 best cover versions of all time. To qualify, a song had to be well established by one artist, then given a new lease of life by another. It was a tough list to make - and we did it our way. We hope you enjoy it. Let us know at

50 Don't Leave Me This Way - The Communards, 1986

orig. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, 1975

It was camp enough to begin with, but Jimi Somerville and Sarah Jane Morris's triumphant falsetto-basso profundo duet on this cover of the 1975 disco classic takes the phrase "row of tents" and flings it in the air like a glittery handbag on an underlit dancefloor. One suspects that the singers swapped voices for a laugh. Key moment: The final, monumental "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah BABY!" just before the last chorus.

49 Going Back to My Roots - Richie Havens, 1980

orig. Lamont Dozier, 1977

Woodstock star Havens caused barely a ripple in 1980 with his impassioned rendition of a song first recorded by Lamont Dozier. But eight years on, it was rediscovered, becoming an arms-in-the air anthem to a million British ravers. As the battered Havens larynx pours out Dozier's vision of the things that really count in life, the goosebumps take over. Key moment: a truly storming piano intro.

48 Step On - Happy Mondays, 1991

orig. John Kongos, 1971

The Manchester baggy anthem, driven by a trademark acid house piano riff, is a hugely inventive remake of He's Gonna Step on You Again by long-forgotten South African singer-songwriter Kongos. Shaun Ryder added his own inimitable lyrical touch, contributing a new saying to the British pop lexicon with his opening declaration: "You're twisting my melons, man!" Key Moment: When it all breaks down to reverb-drenched female backing vocals singing the spookily threatening chorus line.

47 Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) - The Wedding Present, 1990

orig. Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, 1975

John Peel indie favourites the Weddoes gave Harley's classic the angry makeover its sardonic lyric was crying out for. Gone were the acoustic thrummings and sunny Ooooh-la-la-la backing vocals, replaced by thrashing electric guitars over blistering drums, seemingly at twice the original's speed. Key moment: The 15-second mid-song pause, silent except for a wavering note of guitar feedback. Then Dave Gedge's Yorkshire growl returns: "There ain't no more, you've taken everything."

46 The Robots - Señor Coconut & His Orchestra, 2000

Orig. Kraftwerk, 1978

German musician Uwe Schmidt found a little cha-cha-cha in his waters when he moved to Chile, and felt moved to recreate the clinical oeuvre of Kraftwerk with the magical addition of Latin swing. This is the highlight of his wonderful experiment, a sashaying, hip-clicking antidote to the Düsseldorf automatons' metronomic precision. Key Moment: The horn flourish and celebratory "Olé!" before the vocals kick in.

45 Rock el Casbah - Rachid Taha, 2004

orig. The Clash, 1982

Franco-Algerian bad boy Taha idolises Joe Strummer, but sensing something patronising in the original, he recorded this storming Arabic version of the Clash warhorse. Lutes and strings twang and swoop against a thundering rhythm track and exultant chorus. But it's the guttural attack of Taha's vocal that makes your hair prickle – a technique he learnt from records of old and obscure Algerian singers. Key Moment: The plaintive desert flute that kicks it all off.

44 Oops I Did it Again - Richard Thompson, 2003

orig. Britney Spears, 2000

The sparky old folk-rocker toured with a self-explanatory show (and recorded a live album) called 1,000 Years of Popular Music. This was one of his examples of 20th-century songwriting, and in his hands – acoustic guitar, percussion, lots of echo on the voice – Britney's song actually becomes quite scary. Key moment: He tries to get the audience to sing along. Mostly, they laugh.

43 Jolene - One Dove, 1993

orig. Dolly Parton, 1974

To make this song – so completely associated with Dolly herself – their own was no mean feat for Glaswegian trio One Dove, but they pulled it off with style. Dub reggae bass and echo effects, a glistening electronic production and Dot Alison's vulnerable vocal made for another melancholy rave-era classic. Key moment: When the squiggly noises of the intro give way to that bassline.

42 David Bowie - It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City, 1975

Orig. Bruce Springsteen, 1973

The Boss's gruff tale from urban bohemia is recast as an overblown disco classic by a deranged-sounding Thin White Duke in this priceless 1975 cover, in which Bowie succumbs to vocal hysteria over a backing of crunchy rock guitar and silly strings. Four minutes of inspired madness. Key moment: The Dame finds notes he never knew existed to squeal "Don't that man look pretty!"

41 Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles, 1987

orig. Simon & Garfunkel, 1966

Who knew that Paul Simon could write a great heavy metal riff? The circling, folky-psychedelic guitar part of the original, turbocharged by legendary producer Rick Rubin for the Less Than Zero soundtrack, rocks hard here. The all-girl Bangles' slick vocal harmonies turn it into a faultless piece of '80s power pop. Key moment: That riff.

40 I Fought the Law - The Clash, 1979

Orig. The Crickets, 1959

In its original version by the Crickets (post-Buddy Holly), it could have been about returning library books late. Merging punk-rock passion with rock and roll swagger, the Clash make it sound like the wailing of ragged outlaws on the run from a chain gang. Key moment: With its thundering tom tom-driven opening, combined with Mick Jones's ripping two-note guitar lead, the record kicks off like a jail break in progress.

39 Ms Jackson - The Vines, 2002

orig. Outkast, 2000

The Australian band took one vaguely insincere hip-hop apology (inspired by Andre 3000's break-up with Erykah Badu) and turned it into an epic lament for love turned sour. Sampled drum beats, a baleful piano motif and Craig Nicholl's icy vocals build into crashing walls of psychedelic sound. Key moment: The layered, echoing cries de coeur of the bridge: "You can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather."

38 Wichita Lineman - Dennis Brown, 1970

orig. Glen Campbell, 1968

Boy of 15 from Kingston, Jamaica takes on Glen Campbell's lament of a world-weary telephone repairman in the American Midwest? It sounds hare-brained, but the result is haunting. Destined to be a reggae great, the adolescent Brown sings with a choirboy purity that should be incongruous but instead underlines the song's timeless, otherworldly quality. Key moment: The crystal clarity of the opening – "I am a lineman for the county."

37 Heartbreak Hotel - John Cale, 1975

orig. Elvis Presley, 1956

As darkly humorous as anything he did with the Velvets, Cale's homage to Elvis took the blue mood of the rockabilly original and painted it black. The screaming gothic synthesizers, cello-like guitars and funereal pace obscured the fact that Cale's expiring vocal was actually following the melody note-for-note. Key moment: That weird squeaking over the house-of-horror riff at the start.

36 Dear Prudence - Siouxsie & the Banshees, 1983

orig. The Beatles, 1968

Much misunderstood at the time, the Banshees' take on punk was about individuality through experimentation – arty, but with a pop sensibility. Little wonder, then, that they should cover a Beatles song from the White Album, or that it should become their biggest hit. It seemed made for them. Key moment: The mesmerising "look around-around" coda; punk turns into psychedelia.

35 Gloria - Patti Smith, 1975

orig. Them, 1965

Patti Smith's first single was a piano-accompanied meditation on Hey Joe. For her debut album, Horses, she enlisted a full rock band, but, on Gloria, its opening track, the same spirit of poetic licence ran free, as Smith turned Van Morrison's libido-driven beat tune into a hymn of self-determining spirituality. Key moment: The opening line, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" – So, not just about getting laid, then.

34 Fell In Love With A Boy - Joss Stone, 2003

orig. the White Stripes, 2001

The big surprise, and best track, on Stone's soul pastiche debut album was a remake of the White Stripes' Fell in Love With a Girl. As great covers can, her smokily jazzed-up vocal discovered unimagined melodic depth in Jack White's scuffed garage lurve song, and rendered it pretty well unrecognisable. Key moment: The suavely saucy pay-off at the end of the first verse: "Sarah says it's cool, she don't consider it cheatin'."

33 Money (That's What I Want) - The Flying Lizards, 1980

orig. The Beatles, 1963 (after barrett strong, 1959)

David Cunningham and some pals from Brixton bashed on a drum, added some electronic peeps and cheesy backing vocals, and stormed the charts with this avant-garde, lo-fi take on the bluesy Beatles number. Deborah Evans speaks the lyrics deadpan, in the style of an upper-class English dominatrix. Key moment: The way Evans sounds as if she's going to come to your house, whip in hand, and retrieve the cash personally.

32 Chimes of Freedom - Youssou N'dour, 1994

orig. Bob Dylan, 1964

The Senegalese singer encountered Dylan's apocalyptic vision of liberty when it became the anthem of 1988's Amnesty Tour with Springsteen, Sting and Peter Gabriel. Feeling that poor English had prevented him doing the song justice, he produced this epic Wolof language version six years later. Key moment: Intoned over cataclysmic ritual percussion, the French chorus makes this a startling example of cultural appropriation in reverse.

31 Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word - Mary J Blige, 2004

orig. Elton John, 1976

If the new Bridget Jones film takes this poignant reading of Elton John's 1976 hit to a wider audience, it may not have been a waste of time. Stripped of accompaniment, Blige's raw vocal manages to sound at once vulnerable, resigned and iron-willed. Where Elton was merely a bit gloomy, Mary uncovers a world of sublime melancholia. Key moment: Her gentle, barely audible "hmmms" and "aahs" between lines.

30 I'm A Believer - Robert Wyatt, 1974

orig. The Monkees, 1966 (written by Neil Diamond)

The Monkees might claim this as the perfect three-minute pop song, but it took Robert Wyatt's plaintive voice and radical transformations of the music to make you really believe in the lyric. Repeating piano chords, bass, drums and violin power it all along. Key moment: The final choruses, where Wyatt's vocals, perhaps intensified by his recent accident and confinement to a wheelchair, are simply heart-rending.

29 Black Steel - Tricky, 1995

orig. Public Enemy, 1988

Tricky claimed that Public Enemy's Chuck D was "my Shakespeare". His tribute replaced the low-end, funky militancy of the hip-hop original with a hyper-agitated mesh of distorted electronica, asthmatic growls and, most daringly, the mellifluous Martina Topley-Bird on lead vocals. Key moment: When Tricky incants "Now you switch on, you switch off" in his Bristol burr and mutates the grammar of rap into a new, entirely English register.

28 Jealous Guy - Roxy Music, 1981

Orig. John Lennon, 1971

Recorded as a tribute to John Lennon after his murder in December 1980, the former Beatle's paean to self-obsession gave Roxy Music their only UK number one single. In the process, they transformed an exquisite but lovelessly produced miniature into a full-blown, six-minute smoocher, while perfectly preserving its intimacy. Key moment: When the mild-mannered solo guitar cedes to a gleaming, sensuous sax.

27 Summertime Blues - The Who, 1968

orig. Eddie Cochran, 1958

More than any of their '60s peers, the Who represented the same young, working-class male disaffection as their '50s American rock and roll forebears. This cover, then (on their hard-rocking Live at Leeds album) is mightily appropriate. Townshend's crashing power chords and Daltrey's libidinous howls add up to pure aggro: the giddy, bracing sound of trouble brewing. Key moment: the first guitar "KLANGGGG" sets the pulse racing splendidly.

26 I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - The White Stripes, 2003

orig. Dusty Springfield, 1964

Garage rock's first couple are strong on covers, on a mission to keep songwriting traditions from throughout the last century alive. Indeed, the days when everyone had a crack at a Bacharach/David tune are long gone. Their treatment of this one, originally a number three hit for Dusty Springfield, is breathtaking in its emotional intensity. Key moment: The crashing chords, into "Like a summer rose, needs the sun and rain."

25 Wonderwall - Ryan Adams, 2004

orig. Oasis, 1995

With gently picked acoustic guitar and ambient atmospherics, Adams recreates the Britpop anthem as an intimate blues. Oasis delivered it as a declaration; for Adams, it's a heartbreaking plea. Noel Gallagher was so impressed, he now performs Adams's version of his own song in concert. Key moment: The broken-down emotion Adams conjures singing: "Maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me…"

24 Why Can't We Live Together - Sade, 1985

orig. Timmy Thomas, 1972

At the height of '80s greed and Cold War angst, the young Anglo-Nigerian Sade Adu insinuated into the wine bars of the world this lush, plaintive call for peace, love and understanding. The final track on her huge-selling Diamond Life album, it introduced Timmy Thomas's hit to a whole new generation. It may lack the Hammond organ funk of the original, but her voice never sounded stronger. Key moment: The outro, "Gotta live, gotta live."

23 Caravan of Love - Housemartins, 1986

orig. Isley Jasper Isley, 1985

Hull's finest nabbed their only number one single, at Christmas, with this ingenious a cappella reworking of Ernie and Marvin Isley (and cousin Chris Jasper)'s Christian rallying call. With the bass vocal beating out the "bom bom boms" against a shimmering choral waterfall of "aaaaahs", a defiant Paul Heaton pleads for the world to join in love and peace. And at Christmas, what better message is there? Key moment: "I'm your brother, don't you know?"

22 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Devo, 1978

Rolling Stones, 1965

Who'd have thought that five boiler-suited geeks with flowerpots on their heads could tackle such a monolithic '60s hit and triumph? Somehow these Darwin-opposing robo-punkers twisted Mick Jagger's disaffection for modern consumerism into their own future-retro logic, and the whole Rolling Stones rebel ruckus into an irresistibly funky techno-pop masterpiece. Key moment: Singer Mark Mothersbaugh's seemingly endless "baby-baby" repetition, like a malfunctioning robot.

21 Only Love Can Break Your Heart - St Etienne, 1990

orig. Neil Young, 1970

Acid house was not all about euphoria. The Balearic scene emerging from Ibiza had a penchant for melancholia amid the hedonism, and this record fitted right in the middle of that. Moira Lambert's plaintive indie-style vocal rides a loping hip-hop beat with shimmering synths, giving Neil Young's lost, wistful mood a modernist twist. Key moment: Grown men crying on the dancefloor.

20 Police and Thieves - The Clash, 1977

orig. Junior Murvin, 1976

At a time when British reggae comprised polite but dull attempts at authenticity, the Clash's stripped-back, garage rock approach came as a glorious revelation. While the ethereal falsetto of the original sounded incongruous on lines about "guns and ammunition", Strummer's gleefully thuggish tones take us straight to an inner city that feels all too real. Key moment: the DM-clad spring in the bass line's step.

19 Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies, 1988

orig. Velvet Underground, 1970

Spare, evocative remake of the Velvet Underground's 1970 original. Much moodier and less grungy, it is Margo Timmins' almost whispered vocals, recorded in a church, which reignite Lou Reed's seedy, downtown anthem. The pacing and phrasing are perfect. Key moment: Timmins's longing, languorous bridge: "Heavenly wine and roses seem to whisper to me when you smile."

18 Just Can't Get Enough - Nouvelle Vague, 2004

Orig: Depeche Mode, 1981

Terrific though it is, Depeche Mode's original Just Can't Get Enough can at times evoke stumbling around a suburban nightclub while cradling a warm shandy. Enter Gallic musos Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, whose sublime bossa-nova reworking, with Rio-born singer Eloisia, whisks one instead straight to the sands of Ipanema, c1965. (Try their Nouvelle Vague album if this sounds your tasse de thé.) Key moment: The glorious pronunciation of, "All the fing ya do ta me, an everyfing ya say…"

17 Mad World - Gary Jules, 2003

Orig. Tears For Fears, 1982

Apparently possessing nothing more than a piano and a voice not unlike Michael Stipe's, unknown singer-songwriter Gary Jules ran away with last year's Christmas number one spot via his haunting and devastatingly simple rendition of Tears for Fears' plinky-plonky electro plodder from 1982. A great example of less equalling more. Key moment: The little wobble in Jules's voice when he first sings "I find it kinda sad."

16 Billie Jean - Shinehead, 1984

orig. Michael Jackson, 1982

Two years after Michael Jackson's global hit came this eerie, dead-slow reworking from Shinehead, aka New York dancehall reggae MC Carl Aiken. Rough & Rugged was the name of the brilliant debut album it appeared on, and that sums it up perfectly, as Aiken's falsetto floats above a vast echo-chamber of dub and stabbed piano chords. Key moment: The whistled "Oo-wee-oo-wee-oo" from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that opens the song.

15 Wild Horses - The Flying Burrito Bros, 1971

orig. The Rolling Stones, 1970

Country-rock visionary Gram Parsons was on course to self-destruct long before he recorded this exquisitely world-weary version of the Stones ballad. The sincerity and aching fragility of his delivery show up the hamminess of the original to startling effect. Key moment: "Let's do some living, after we'll die" had the feeling of lived reality – within three years Parson was indeed dead.

14 Rocket Man - Kate Bush, 1991

orig. Elton John, 1970

Elton John's lament to the loneliness of space travel (or cocaine addiction, depending on your age group) was vacuous tinny pop until Kate Bush's keening cadences gave it the poignancy it deserved. Her little-girl-lost voice and the bittersweet sound of Uilleann pipes add startling beauty, and a thrilling chill to the Martian air. Key moment: The breathy, pained gasp of "Oh" before the chorus line "No no no I'm a rocket man."

13 My Favourite Things - John Coltrane, 1960

orig. Rodgers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music), 1959

Cool adventurous jazz was probably the furthest thing from the mind of audiences for The Sound of Music. John Coltrane got hold of this hit song, though, and by adding subtly oriental harmonies and choosing the soprano saxophone as the melody instrument, he was able to create a contemporary jazz masterpiece. Key moment: the first time you recognise the tune, as the sax gleefully skips around the waltz-like rhythms.

12 One - Johnny Cash, 2002

orig. U2, 1991

Producer Rick Rubin had rescued Cash's career with the American Recordings series of albums, and on Vol 3 Cash had truly hit his stride, especially on this towering acoustic version of the U2 song. There's a lifetime of difference between the two renditions: Bono strains and screeches, Cash just reaches down into his soul. Key moment: Cash sings: "You say love is a temple." There's an organ playing. Spines tingle.

11 Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Roberta Flack, 1971

orig. Shirelles, 1960

This Carole King-penned narrative of a woman's questioning of a lover's blithe sweet nothings was sad and beautiful enough in the Shirelles' Spector-produced version. Slowed down to a drifting lament and sung in Roberta Flack's velvet voice, it becomes almost unbearably lovely. Love and loss, trust and betrayal, innocence and experience are blended into a heartbreaking small-hours classic. Key moment: "Tonight the light of love is in your eyes": so slow, but so perfectly sung.

10 Mr Bojangles - Nina Simone, 1971

orig. Jerry Jeff Walker, 1967

Much recorded, often trampled underfoot (hang your head in shame, Bob Dylan, Lulu and Robbie Williams), this strange Jerry Jeff Walker ballad about an itinerant dancer was made famous by Sammy Davis Jnr as a theatrical showstopper. The inimitable Nina Simone gets to the lonely heart of the tale, in an ethereal, understated, drifting, low-key version. Key moment: The whole song. Simone's almost casual delivery de-dramatises the narrative yet ensures the inherent emotion resonates all the louder.

9 Comfortably Numb - Scissor Sisters, 2004

Orig. Pink Floyd, 1979

Only divine inspiration could explain how, or why, New York's bendiest band came to pop Pink Floyd's balloon of pretension by re-recording their most horribly self-regarding song in the style of the Saturday Night Fever-era Bee Gees. At once cold, sexy and relentlessly danceable, it far outshines the original in both concept and execution. Key moment: The flurry of electronic handclaps after the line "You may feel a little sick."

8 Twist and Shout - The Beatles, 1963

Orig. the Isley Brothers, 1960

The Beatles recorded their version in a single take for their debut album Please Please Me – and the world changed. John Lennon's lead vocal sounds as raw and urgent as a live concert, aeons away from the bland, computerised studio sound of today. Key moment: John's barked "Shake it up baby" after Paul and George's aaahs in the middle.

7 Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds, 1965

orig. Bob Dylan, 1964

Folk and rock were inconceivable bedfellows, respectively too earnest and too thrill-driven to contemplate each other's existence, until these Californian Beatles obsessives fused the two musics in one exquisite, harmony-loaded Bob Dylan cover. The lyrics reflected how Dylan, tiring of polemic, was now consumed by the seduction of pure music. The Byrds completed that transition for him in none-more-beautiful sound, and went to number one. Key moment: That guitar-chiming intro.

6 Tainted Love - Soft Cell, 1981

orig. Gloria Jones, 1964

With Marc Almond's heroically overwrought vocal adding a deliciously deviant twist to Dave Ball's slinky synth-pop backing track, this straight-ahead '60s soul stomper (originally performed by Gloria Jones – later mother of Marc Bolan's son, Rolan) was somehow transformed into the mystical bridge between Northern soul and acid house. Key moment: The syncopated handclap/keyboard lurch combo which launched a million dancefloor forays.

5 Respect - Aretha Franklin, 1967

orig. Otis Redding, 1965

Soul queen Aretha took Redding's original and turned it into a kind of proto-girl power anthem. Redding sang: "All I'm asking is for a little respect when I come home." Franklin changed the "I" to "you", added the r-e-s-p-e-c-t bit, and made the song her own. Key moment: "Sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me sock it to me."

4 Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley, 1993

orig. Leonard Cohen, 1984

If Leonard Cohen has a fault, it's a weakness for ponderous, synth-heavy arrangements, and nowhere was this more so than on his original version of this lyrically magnificent song. Then Jeff Buckley got hold of it, stripped it down, and sang it in his exquisitely pure chorister's voice. Definitive. Key moment: The serene, sustained falsetto note towards the end.

3 My Way - Sid Vicious, 1979

orig. Frank Sinatra, 1969 (after Paul Anka, 1969)

He knifed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death and died soon afterwards from an overdose of heroin supplied by his own mother. But Sid Vicious should also be remembered for this riotous version of the song made famous by Sinatra, recorded with the rump of the Sex Pistols following Johnny Rotten's departure. The Pistols rock like demons, and Vicious snarls and sneers his way through the song's valedictory lyric with twisted glee. It's mad, hilarious, and thrilling. Key moment: Vicious sings the first verse in tones of mock-seriousness (inserting obscenities along the way); then the guitars and drums kick in.

2 You Were Always on My Mind - Pet Shop Boys, 1987

orig. Elvis Presley, 1972 (after brenda lee, 1971)

The Boys, on career best form, elevated Elvis's tender elegy – written by Willie Nelson – into a monumental explosion of high pop camp. Chris Lowe conjures an electronic symphony of rumbling drums, swelling strings and glittering synths to underpin Neil Tennant's crystalline vocals. "I'm sorry I treated you wrong," mourned Elvis. "You'd be a fool to lose me, cad though I am," seems to be Tennant's message. Key moment: the stabbing trumpet sample, introduced before the song kicks in: Da! Da-da-da-da-da. Da!

And the greatest cover ever...

1 All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1968

orig. Bob Dylan, 1967

Hendrix's version of a so-so track from Dylan's John Wesley Harding album completely outgunned the original. A light, scampering ballad re-emerged as a mini-epic of foreboding with Hendrix's heavy three-chord intro hanging like a thundercloud and Dylan's lyrics sounding an ominous epitaph for the 1960s. Key moment: The last words – "And the wind began to howl" - before the closing guitar storm.

01-08-2011, 02:30 PM
No Manfred Mann's version of Blinded By the Light? Bah, what do they know?

01-08-2011, 02:42 PM
No Manfred Mann's version of Blinded By the Light? Bah, what do they know?
Sure, though I doubt Springsteen's original was very well known at the time. It does kind of fit with the list intent, though to be honest, I don't much like either version. The MM one is definitely easier to take, but loses some of the tongue-in-cheek playfulness in Springsteen's version.

01-09-2011, 07:42 AM
I am making some progress on this. I've added:

Grandaddy - Revolution
Iron & Wine - Such Great Heights
Uncle Tupelo - Effigy
Grizzly Bear - Owner Of A Lonely Heart

I have those Wilco/Billy Bragg Mermaid Avenue CDs but since I already have a Jeff Tweedy song I'll probably pass on those.

Yesterday I found Cat Power - Dark End Of The Street EP on vinyl but didn't want to buy it for just one song (that I don't even know if I'll like or not).

Could still use some more suggestions. Right now the comp is at 65 minutes. I would like to fill up an entire CD-R.

01-09-2011, 07:46 AM
Jealous Guy - Elliott Smith
What album is this on?

01-09-2011, 08:07 PM
Really digging the Jolly Boys, an old Jamaican mento band, doing Iggy Pop's The Passenger lately:

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01-09-2011, 08:09 PM
Also really dig Justin Townes Earl's take on the Replacements' Can't Hardly Wait:

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01-09-2011, 08:15 PM
Also...Link Wray does a killer version of It's All Over Now Baby Blue:

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And I'll stop there.

01-10-2011, 09:29 AM
Yesterday I found Cat Power - Dark End Of The Street EP on vinyl but didn't want to buy it for just one song (that I don't even know if I'll like or not).

Could still use some more suggestions. Right now the comp is at 65 minutes. I would like to fill up an entire CD-R.

Here's a youtube link to Cat Power's "Fortunate Son". Digital downloads of this EP and/or tracks from it are scarce and I'm not set up to record my vinyl copy (except to cassette). It may be too much trouble to include on a comp. I've given up trying to include it on my own comps. (Of course there's the whole other issue of whether anybody but me likes it.)

Mr MidFi
01-11-2011, 07:56 AM
It's hard to compete with dbi's epic Tolstoy-post, but seriously... there is a metric buttload of excellent covers on this 2-disc set:

Just look at the artist list, man. It's amazing.

Finch Platte
01-11-2011, 01:10 PM
I did a 4-disc compilation a while back with some stuff from my collection. Got more I could add now, but dunno if it's enough to fill another disc.

(Artist, song and original artist)

1) Material Issue- Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy)
2) Ducks Deluxe- Teenage Head (Flamin' Groovies)
3) Gary Myrick & The Figures- Who'll Be The Next In Line (The Kinks)
4) Nomeansno- Manic Depression (Jimi Hendix)
5) J Church- Don't Bring Me Down (ELO)
6) The Hypnomen- Hush (Deep Purple)
7) Tin Machine- Working Class Hero (John Lennon)
8) Leslie Spit Trio- Angel From Montgomery (John Prine)
9) Little Caesar- I Wish It Would Rain (The Temptations)
10) Mudfunk- Papa Was A Rolling Stone ( The Temptations)
11) Bob Weir- I'll Be Doggone (Marvin Gaye)
12) Ben Folds Five- Barrytown (Steely Dan)
13) Brian Setzer Orchestra- Bodhisattva (Steely Dan)
14) Jason & The Scorchers- Drugstore Truck Driving Man (Gram Parsons)
15) Bootsauce- Everyone's A Winner (Hot Chocolate)
16) Primus- Amos Moses (Jerry Reed)
17) Sammy & The Wabos- Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35 (Bob Dylan)
18) The Last Hard Men- School's Out (Alice Cooper)
19) SoHo- Whisper To A Scream (Icicle Works)
20) VEX- It Could Be Sunshine (Love & Rockets)
21) Slow Gherkin- Hava Nagilah (sic)- (Moshe Nathanson)

Disc 2

1) Gus- Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)
2) Susanna And the Magical Orchestra- Love Will Tear Us Apart (Love & Rockets)
3) Joe Ely- Every Night About This Time (Dave Alvin)
4) Peter Frampton- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
5) Beasts Of Bourbon- C*%#sucker Blues (Rolling Stones)
6) Montrose- Connection (Rolling Stones)
7) Bob Weir- Easy To Slip (Little Feat)
8) Primus- The Family & The Fishing Net (Peter Gabriel)
9) Jim Reid- I'm Stranded (The Saints)
10) Ken Stringfellow- Down On My Knees (Bread)
11) Robyn Hitchcock- I Want You [She's So Heavy] (The Beatles)
12) Ducks Deluxe- It's All Over Now (Bobby Womack)
13) Living Colour- Memories Can't Wait (Talking Heads)
14) Wilco- Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Steely Dan)
15) Ikon- She's In Parties (Bauhaus)
16) The Judybats- Jive Talkin' (Bee Gees)
17) Primus- Scissor Man (XTC)

Disc 3

1) Buck O Nine- Pass The Dutchie (Musical Youth)
2) Cracker- Shake Some Action (Flamin' Groovies)
3) Jimmy Buffet- Sea Cruise (Frankie Ford)
4) Neko Case- Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth (Sparks)
5) Rod Stewart- So Far Away (Carole King)
6) Dave Navarro- Venus In Furs (Velvet Underground)
7) Dread Zeppelin- Ramble On (Led Zep)
8) Lambchop- This Corrosion (Sisters Of Mercy)
9) Calexico- Love Will Tear Us Apart (Bauhaus)
10) Southern Culture On The Skids- Happy Jack (The Who)
11) John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band- And The Cradle Will Rock (Van Halen)
12) Royal Crescent Mob- Mama Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J)
13) Golden Smog- Shooting Star (Bad Company)
14) Brian Setzer w/ Brian Wilson- Little Deuce Coupe (Beach Boys)
15) The Pietasters– Time Won’t Let Me (Outsiders)
16) Furious George- Old MacDonald (??)
17) Diesel Boy- Dust In The Wind (Kansas)
18) Fastball- Androgynous (The Replacements)
19) The Motorettes- I'm On Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
20) Tempest- Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
21) Infectious Grooves- Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
22) Steel Panther- Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC)
23) Children Of Bodum- Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)

Disc 4

1) Cavedogs- What's New Pussycat? (Bacharach/David)
2) Concrete Blonde- Beware Of Darkness (George Harrison)
3) Big Umbrella- Rikki Don't Lose that Number (Steely Dan)
4) Candy Skins- For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
5) EMF- Strange Brew (Cream)
6) Gloritone- I'm Not In Love (10cc)
7) Grant Lee Buffalo- Burning Love (Elvis Presley)
8) Ian McCulloch- Jealous Guy (John Lennon)
9) John Lee Hooker- Money (everyone)
10) Les Claypool- Hot Rod Lincoln (Commander Cody)
11) Lords Of The New Church- Like A Virgin (Madonna)
12) Scatterbrain- Earache My Eye (Cheech & Chong)
13) Shadows Fall- Wecome To The Machine (Pink Floyd)
14) Taildragger- My Wife (The Who)
15) Hoodoo Gurus- Teenage Head (Flamin' Groovies)
16) Tantric- The Chain (Fleetwood Mac)
17) Tenderloin- Heard It On The X (ZZ Top)
18) The Tubes- Monkey Time (Curtis Mayfield)
19) Toots & The Maytals- Country Road (John Denver)
20) Widespread Panic- And It Stoned Me (Van Morrison)
21) Blues Saraceno- Funk 49 (James Gang)
22) Buckcherry- On The Road Again (Willie Nelson)

Butt weight, there's more! Made for a friend who likes prog. (Some selections may be duplicated above)

Song/Original artist/Artist

Disc 1

1) Dance On A Volcano- Genesis (Jordan Rudess)
2) Just The Same- Gentle Giant (JR)
3) Tarkus- ELP (JR)
4) Stargazer- Rainbow (Dream Theater)
5) Tenement Funster- Queen (DT)
6) Odyssey- Dixie Dregs (DT)
7) Lark's Tongue In Aspic- King Crimson (DT)
8) To Tame A Land- Iron Maiden (DT)

Disc 2

1) Soundchaser- Yes (Jordan Rudess)
2) Take Your Fingers From My Hair- Zebra (JR)
3) Stairway To Heaven- Led Zeppelin (Rodrigo y Gabriella)
4) Monkey Time- Curtis Mayfield (The Tubes)
5) Living For The City- Stevie Wonder (Toto)
6) Could You Be Loved- Bob Marley (Toto)
7) Burn Down the Mission- Elton John (Toto)
8) Sunshine Of Your Love- Cream (Toto)
9) War Pigs- Black Sabbath (Gov't Mule)
10) Peter Gunn Theme- Henry Mancini (Hellecasters)
11) I Put A Spell On You- Screaming Jay Hawkins (Jeff Beck)
12) Hell Is For Children- Pat Benatar (Children of Bodum)
13) Rebel Yell- Billy Idol (CoB)
14) Oops... I Did It Again- Britney Spears (CoB)


Death Cab For Cutie- World Shut Your Mouth (Julian Cope)
Travis- Gimme Some Truth (John Lennon)
The Yum Yums- Shake Some Action (Flamin' Groovies)

Plus a new-to-me disc of reggae Police covers that's pretty cool. Mojo mag's also got several cover discs out that I've got.

01-11-2011, 01:33 PM
It's hard to compete with dbi's epic Tolstoy-post, but seriously... there is a metric buttload of excellent covers on this 2-disc set:

Just look at the artist list, man. It's amazing.Yeah, I have it and already pulled a song off of it listed above.

I think I'm gonna forget "Such Great Heights" too since all of the other songs are classic-rock-ish. A Postal Service cover is too out of place here.

Mr MidFi
01-11-2011, 02:24 PM
Yeah, I have it and already pulled a song off of it listed above.

So, you're saying I should actually read and pay attention to posts before I respond to them? That's... that's just crazy-person talk, man!

01-31-2011, 04:31 PM
I came across this on YouTube while looking for something else. I've always liked this cover.

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01-31-2011, 04:59 PM
Oh, I kinda forgot about this. Still not completely happy with it but as of now it looks like this:

02-01-2011, 04:17 PM
Lots to digest here. I've a couple from back in the day.

1. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Hendrix's cover from Monterey.
2. "How can you mend a Broken Heart" - Al Green's cover is amazing.
3. "You make me feel (like a natural woman) - Carol King wrote it byt Areha Franklin owns it.
4. "Gonna Take a Miracle" - Laura Nyro's cover with LaBelle backing is awesome.
5. "You've Got a Friend" - Often done but the version on Donny Hathaway's live album is like going to church. A religious experience.
6. "We Gotta Get You A Woman" - The Four Tops covered this tune late in their Motown career, it flat out rocks.
7. "Who's Loving You" - Smokey wrote this and recorded it, but The Jackson 5's version is like opera. This song shows you what Michael Jackson started out as, one amazing singer!
8. "Caravan" - We close our shows with this Van Morrison tune. I think we do it well.