Astute readers will (and did) notice that in my haste to make sure I got yesterday’s post up on time, i accidentally skipped a day1. So here is the entry that was skipped, and tomorrow we’ll be back on track.
This is another hard one to pick a single song. I’m a huge fan of covers2, especially covers that do something really interesting and different with a song that transform in a way that feels entirely organic and natural. I mean, I also love covers that are just gimmicks,3, but someone taking a song and really turning it into something personal is always a treat.
So I’m using this entry to share a favourite track from one of my favourite musicians, Richard Thompson. At a 2000 tribute to Joni Mitchell, he performed this rendition of her classic song, “Woodstock”, and it delights me every time I hear it.
As soon as you mentioned covers, I knew I’d hear one of two artists, and Richard Thompson, who absolutely elevates other people’s work, was one. Here’s the other, with a couple of tunes played about as straight as they play anything, which in this case works perfectly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8_rf_MzMJ0
I love their cover of “(Theme From) Shaft”. 🙂
Rob: Their range, from serious to seriously comic, is lots of fun. I could have thrown a dart at their catalog, and wherever it landed would have qualified here. (I think I prefer The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, as far as their covers of movie themes go, with Shaft also beating out Thunderball.) (Also, too, I debated Ride/Machine vs. Wuthering Heights, but if someone else wants to post the latter, I’d certainly grok)
I love the Ukes!
Eric Coleman Beats a Pink Floyd Flamingo.
Watch Joni … her reactions are amazing.
Yeah. And I really love that slight, satisfied smirk that RT has at the end, where he knows that he pulled it off. (I read somewhere that he wasn’t even supposed to be the one doing that song, but someone else didn’t show up and he stepped in at the last minute.)
He learned it a couple hours before.
This is what I was going to post. I LOVE this version!
Me too! Heard it live in Bangor. I was playing Ingress outside the waterfront stage when this song reached out and grabbed me by the neck. 🙂
I’m not a fan of artists who try to cover songs verbatim. Why bother? If I wanted the original, I’d choose the original. I say “put your own spin on it.” And few bands matched the sheer uniqueness (and social commentary) of Devo.
Ok this one is easy for me. I didn’t even remember Tears for Fears’ original (had to look it up when I found out this was a cover) but the cover grabbed me so hard. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4N3N1MlvVc4
I love that cover.
A few years ago on So You Think You Can Dance, they did a fantastic routine to this track.
That is a cool dance number. And I see they added a drum track.
T J Burnside Clapp
This one might be my all-time favorite. I still get chills when I hear it! SO much better than Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen.
Huh…The only version I’d ever heard was this 10,000 Maniacs. Never knew it was a cover.
Heather: Here is Patty Smith’s version,
I grew up listening to this CD (the MTV Unplugged set) in the car with my mom. This was always my favorite song. <3
T J Burnside Clapp
Oh, and this one!! The folk cover of the Rolling Stones’ classic (damn, I love “A Mighty Wind”!)
Start at 2:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDIQfTdKWuY
I think this cover blew Joni’s mind. And for good reason. Long Live RT!
This one…I was never really a fan of the originally. Not my favorite style, musician, content. But when I heard this cover, I fell in love with the song. That’s what a good cover should do 🙂
Oh, that’s *splendid*. thanks!
And to add to the cover song party:
https://youtu.be/boanuwUMNNQ -- Whiskey In The Jar
https://youtu.be/J_sEtNrYlC4 -- Last Kiss (Where Can My Baby Be)
and for one of my personal favorite filk songs, calling Barry Childs-Helton, any chance you can post a link to Madman On The Watchtower?
OMG, and Ever SIngle Song by Postmodern Jukebox!
I love PMJ so hard. I really, really want to see them live.
Oh, and finally, this, because it’s so their lyrics and so his spin on it:
OK, gotta sneak in one more. Original by Nine Inch Nails: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go
Oh yeah. That’s the gold standard for a great cover. Even Reznor says that it transcended the original completely.
That song came up in chatting with Miles while out on a date the other night, and we had to pull it up and play it.
I remember a friend telling me about the night they DJ’d in a club here in Seattle right after Johnny Cash died. They played this, and the entire club went apeshit, cheering and mourning their favorite goth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc
“a recording or performance of a previously recorded song made especially to take advantage of the original’s success.” Definition of “cover. Is “remake” the same? I ask because of Disturbed’s The Sound of Silence. This is not just “someone” singing anther artists’ song. It is as relevant today as it was decades ago. And would any of my current students listen to Simon and Garfunlkel? T J Burnside Clapp made me think. (Gosh dang it). I AM enjoying listening to all the music with this challenge!!
I think being still relevant is hte mark of a great song. A cover is just someone else other than the original doing it. *Good* covers do interesting things with the material. Some covers are bad, or just pedestrian.
(I somewhat disagree with the “made especially to take advantage of the original’s success” clause in that definition, which seems both speculative and slightly dismissive.. but, eh.)
My daughter Alanna adored this song, had to be this particular version of it, she liked to sing along with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
I’m gonna give you a couple other covers from these guys -- I dislike the lyrics of this song but I love the music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV5KAbV34NU&feature=youtu.be
And the visuals of this are just amazing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM8JhvfoqdA
The Big Daddy version of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The whole album!
My all time favorite cover version!
Blind Lemming Chiffon
This. This cover has me in tears every single time I hear it. So good.
Oh, this is sublime. Thanks for sharing. (I’ve always loved this song.)
You’re welcome. ^-^ I love this song as well, and First Aid Kit is just so freakin wonderful.
I’m not familiar with them, but I look forward to hearing more. I love their sound.
Two sisters from Sweden who grew up listening to Emmylou Harris. They’re exceptional. <3 I love this music sharing thing you're doing; I've really been enjoying it. I might have to do it myself when life's not so busy. 🙂
Video won’t play in the UK. Fortunately, VPN sorts that out…
The Bobs: Purple Haze
Love those guys. Saw them live three times, including one of their very last performances.
Paul McCartney’s cover of “Till There Was You” originally from The Music Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjFpdxFWHU
T J Burnside Clapp
Oh wait, how could I forget this one … it even spawned a lawsuit with Fox that was depicted on an episode of “The Good Wife”! 😀
This was actually the first Coulton song I ever heard. Someone (possibly Elliott Mason) played a recording of it for me in the con suite at OVFF many years ago, and I thought “I don’t know who this cat is, but I want to know more.”)
T J Burnside Clapp
I already owned the album it was on when “Glee” stole his arrangement -- but I bought the single again just so he’d get the royalties, since he got no satisfaction from Fox.
I had already quit Glee by the time that happened, and it certainly made me angry enough that I was never tempted to check back in on it.
As T.J. beat me to that one, let’s add https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHvSYSY4cR4