The inspirational message and history of the song has made it a favorite of many musicians. This is pioneering metal band Motörhead performing the song. It was a longtime favorite of theirs, and they do a great and strong version.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
31 December 2020 - A "Heroes" Special
The inspirational message and history of the song has made it a favorite of many musicians. This is pioneering metal band Motörhead performing the song. It was a longtime favorite of theirs, and they do a great and strong version.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
30 December 2020 - Ashen Ringlets - Ivo
Friday, December 25, 2020
25 December 2020 - Alyssa Hankey - Back Door Santa
Meet Alyssa Hankey. If you like raspy voiced women and acoustic guitar, you are going to love this song. I know I do. If you do, go subscribe to her YouTube channel and seek out her music on Spotify. Do a small time artist a favor today, on this Christmas Day, and listen to her stuff.
25 December 2020 - Jet - Back Door Santa
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
23 December 2020 - Velvet Belly - The Man With The Child In His Eyes
Friday, December 18, 2020
18 December 2020 - Mariah Carey - Joy To The World
Thursday, December 17, 2020
17 December 2020 - Acid Drinkers ft. Ania Brachaczek - Love Shack
Monday, December 14, 2020
14 December 2020 - Alex Guthrie and Jennifer Hudson – Lovely Day
Guthrie went on to be a contestant on The Voice in 2019.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
2 December 2002 - Seth Haapu & Stan Walker - Moemoeā
It's a Crowded House cover, of this song. Stan Walker, the 2009 Australian Idol winner, from New Zealand, started singing the song - with blended English and native Maori lyrics - while on tour opening for Beyonce in 2014, as a way to pay tribute to New Zealand. In 2017, he and Seth Haapu recorded an all-Maori version.
Monday, November 23, 2020
23 November 2020 - Danielle Dax - Tomorrow Never Knows
Friday, November 20, 2020
20 November 2020 - Colin Hay - Overkill
He also wrote it and performed it when he led a band called Men at Work. This song was a pretty big hit for them - reaching #3 on the Billboard charts.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
19 November 2020 - Electric Light Orchestra - Xanadu
The movie was awful. The musical based on the movie is a bit better.
This is a rerecording of the song in 2000, featuring a Jeff Lynne lead vocal. Different vocalist, different feel, self-cover. And it isn't bad, to be honest.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
18 November 2020 - Sam Phillips - Holding On To The Earth
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
17 November 2020 - Christina Aguilera - Genie 2.0
Monday, November 16, 2020
16 November 2020 - Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now
Saturday, November 14, 2020
14 November 2020 - The Polyphonic Spree - Lithium
What The Polyphonic Spree bring are the excitement and exuberance - they retain the spirit of the party song this truly is.
Plus their harp player looks an awful lot like Dave Grohl.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
12 November 2020 - Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom
And yet, Sturgill Simpson takes a very loud song and makes it into a sweet coming of age tune - which is exactly what the original was for him when he was 13, when, as he puts it in an interview with Rolling Stone:
I remember in seventh or eighth grade, when [Nevermind] dropped, it was like a bomb went off in my bedroom. For me, that song has always summed up what it means to be a teenager, and I think it tells a young boy that he can be sensitive and compassionate — he doesn’t have to be tough or cold to be a man.”
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
13 November 2020 - Lana Del Rey - Heart-Shaped Box
Seriously, I love her version so much - it's sublime compared to the original - but it's a little weird after Courtney said that....
11 November 2020 - No Doubt - Sliver
Saturday, November 7, 2020
7 November 2020 - Jessie J - Party in the U.S.A.
Friday, November 6, 2020
6 November 2020 - A Special Post Malone Nirvana Tribute Edition
Thursday, November 5, 2020
5 November 2020 - A Nirvana 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Special
Each of these covers today have two things in common:
1) They were all recorded on the same day in April 2014.
2) They all featured Krist Novocelic, Dave Grohl, and Pat Smear
These performances were from the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction of Nirvana, and they decided to do it live with a bunch of different lead vocalists. While each are faithful covers - I mean, the backing band - none of these vocalists attempt a Kurt Cobain impersonation, and that's a good thing.
The first one, "Lithium", from the Nevermind album, features a woman named Annie Clark who Krist Novocelic erroneously introduces as the vocalist from the BAND St. Vincent - Annie Clark IS St. Vincent - but that's not important. What's important is that she was probably the least well-known vocalist of the lot, and this was something of a star-making performance.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
27 October 2020 - Lena Katina - All The Things She Said/ Ya Soshla S Uma
Here, we are once again pushing what a cover is. Why?
You might recall that this song was originally recorded by Russian duo t.A.T.u. And this is a faithful cover of the song....... by someone who was half of t.A.T.u. So, can it be considered a cover? Here she is, performing the song live in Milwaukee.
Monday, October 26, 2020
26 October 2020 - Poppy - All The Things She Said
Poppy has become an odd and interesting mix of pop, electronica, and metal.....
...which makes her unusually well-suited to cover the biggest international hit by Russian duo t.A.T.u, and, while making it both heavier and poppier (no pun intended), still manages to remain faithful to the original.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
6 October 2020 - A "Ripple" Special
Perry Farrell's voice is definitely not Jerry Garcia's, and yet this cover of a Grateful Dead classic is one of my favorite covers of all time. This version brings a trippy, and not earthy, flavor that is wholly appropriate to the song.
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
So it's appropriate to close this with a harp cover. It's instrumental, but you'll be singing along.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
15 September 2020 - Lush - Hey Hey Helen
Thursday, September 3, 2020
3 September 2020 - The Dandy Warhols -The Last Time
Friday, August 28, 2020
28 August 2020 - Throwing Muses - Cry Baby Cry
Thursday, August 27, 2020
27 August 2020 - The Breeders - Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
26 August 2020 - Pseudo Echo - Funkytown
Who would have thought they could make it rock?
And yet that's what happened. Pseudo Echo made Lipps Inc. rock and rock hard. In the 1980's, it was possible to rock hard if you had a guitar, even if you also had a keytar.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
25 August 2020 - Little Mix - Telephone
To refresh your memory, this quartet got their start on the British television show X Factor, winning the show's 8th series in 2011. Today's Wicked Guilty Pleasure was covered on episode 6 by this group of four talented young women, interpolating a little Queen with their Gaga.
Monday, August 10, 2020
10 August 2020 - Charlotte Hervieux & Doryan Ben - Into The Unknown
She did not, however, originally sing it in English. So, although we are doing this on the same day we did THIS on Wicked Guilty Pleasures - including Charlotte's French version of the song - we thought it was more appropriate to put this version here.
And it's brilliantly done.
Monday, August 3, 2020
3 Aug 2020 - Avril Lavigne - Song 2
It's just weird to call it an Avril Lavigne cover. She's not singing it - she's DRUMMING. You see, this is something she did at her shows - let her band take the lead for one song while she jammed out behind the drums.
She's pretty good - and she's clearly enjoying herself!
Friday, July 31, 2020
31 July 2020 - Natalie Imbruglia & Scala - The Hanging Tree
In this version, Natalie Imbruglia starts acapella, and then is joined by Belgian women's choir Scala, followed by full orchestra. It's a very powerful version of the song. In this performance, they even captured the movie's feeling.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
30 July 2020 - The Loud Family - Erica's Word
Not only did the vocalist, Scott Miller, WRITE the song, his previous band, Game Theory, originally recorded it. The drummer for The Loud Family was the last drummer of Game Theory. One could say that The Loud Family were nothing more than a renamed Game Theory.
One would be wrong.
It's not the same band, and it's absolutely not the same song. It's harder-edged, angrier and less optimistic. The Loud Family were a less poppy band than Game Theory, and this song is the perfect illustration of that different direction.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
28 July 2020 - Aerosmith - Heartbreaker.
There's not a lot more I can say about this one - except it's one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs, and it sounds here like it was tailor-made for Aerosmith. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry bring as much energy and emotion to the song as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
16 July 2020 - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let the Day Begin (with a Call-back)
This song was originally done by a band called The Call, and you can hear the original version here. The songwriter and lead vocalist of The Call was Michael Been.
When BRMC started, their lead vocalist went by the name Robert Turner - but it wasn't his real name. His real name was Robert Levon Been, and he is the son of Michael Been. By the time their third album was released, he went to his given name.
Michael was very proud of his song, and in 2010, he was acting as a sound engineer at a BRMC appearance at the Pukkelpop festival in Belguim. He suffered a fatal heart attack backstage soon after the band's appearance.
In 2013, Robert's band recorded their own version of his father's best known song, and it is a hell of a song.
That same year, The Call reformed for a couple of shows, with the younger Been on vocals.
Back to BRMC, though. It is apparent how much it means to Robert to be playing his father's song. It is no carbon copy, either - he makes the song his own.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
25 June 2020 - Weezer - Africa
It was similarly frequently requested that Weezer cover this Toto classic. It was a Cleveland teenager named Mary Klym who requested that Weezer cover "Africa" on Twitter.
On May 24th, 2018, Weezer replied by posting this song.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
24 June 2020 - René Froger & Candy Dulfer - Baker Street
Candy Dulfer is perhaps the best known saxaphonist of the late 1980s and early 1990s. She also happens to be Dutch.
This live performance by two moderate Dutch stars is a somewhat perfect pairing - at least for this song, with perhaps the best known saxophone solo of all time.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
23 June 2020 - Veruca Salt - My Sharona
A B-side to the single "Victrola", Nina Gordon and Louise Post bring a much slower, darker feel to this song, a huge hit for The Knack. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
10 June 2020 - The Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl
I posted this because this might be the cheeriest song about domestic violence ever performed. And it DOES tell a great and clear story.
And OK, zombie Dennis Franz.
I posted this because there's a great story and a controversy.
This song is a cover of a song originally recorded by country band Sons of the Desert - BUT there's a bit of a story here. Soon after Sons of the Desert recorded the song for their planned album, the Dixie Chicks discovered the song and claimed it as their own. Their shared record label parent company (different labels, both owned by Sony) sided with the ladies, and Sons of the Desert left Epic Records as a direct result.
At any rate, this version is denser and more layered - so enjoy.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
9 June 2020 - Instituto Mexicano del Sonido - Sinfonía Agridulce
Instituto Mexicano del Sonido - Mexican Institute of Sound in English - is the brainchild of Camilo Lara and is part of a growing Mexican electronic movement. This cover of the Verve song "Bittersweet Symphony" appears on the 2009 album Soy Sauce, which, in the case, would be sauce asserting its identity.
I don't feel good about that terrible joke, so let's get to the music.
Monday, June 8, 2020
8 June 2020 - Kelly Willis - Little Honey
As you know from my two blogs 1) this is where and how I met my former co-writer, Scott Colvin, and 2) I am a fan of somewhat guilty pleasure music, so I pushed the envelope of definition of that format, which was mostly met positively.
Coincidentally, I discovered an alt-county artist named Kelly Willis. At the time, MCA Records was trying to sell her as some sexpot artist - but she was - IS - much more than that.
Take this cover of Dave Alvin's "Little Honey", which originally appeared on the soundtrack to the motion picture Thelma and Louise. Her huge emotive voice brings a different, angrier and yet still heartbroken feeling to the song. This is a live performance from 2016, 25 years after the original version was released.
I closed almost every show I did on WSBU from 1991 on with this song. Was it an odd choice for someone who regularly played rock, new-wave, and punk music? Maybe. I didn't care. It's a beautiful song, and alternative is alternative, be it rock or country. It resonated with me and had a good end-of-show feel.
So, this is the last song I played as a college radio DJ. So, for that reason and so many more, it retains a lot of personal feeling for me to this day.
Here's the studio version of the song. It was as fantastic then as it is today, almost three decades later.
Monday, June 1, 2020
1 June 2020 - First Aid Kit - America
I struggled with what to post here.
I chose to go with a cover of a very innocent and idealistic Simon & Garfunkel song that celebrates the beauty of our country and the idealism of youth. The cover is performed by two Swedish sisters, Johanna & Anna Söderberg, and they do a fine job of paying proper tribute to Paul Simon's composition.
Monday, May 11, 2020
11 May 2020 - Royal Teeth - Heartbeats
This song is different. So many artists have their own unique and really good takes on what was originally a synth-heavy song, it's impossible to ignore.
Royal Teeth started off in folk, actually. By the time they got around to recording "Heartbeats" in 2012, they were a percussion-heavy band - and it shows in their take of the song, which borrows heavily from both the José González and original version - while still making it completely their own.
It is, possibly, my favorite version of the song.
This cover is so good I had to publish a 2nd performance of it. It isn't all that different from the 1st one, but it's beautifully undetatched, in stark contrast to the original, which has famously and intentionally cold. Royal Teeth also bring a lot more energy to the song than anyone else - it's not quiet or calm. It's desperate and pleading.
Friday, May 8, 2020
8 May 2020 - KONGOS - Tokoloshe Man
They do a great job paying tribute to their dad, John Kongos, who was a bit of a late hippie who had a few hits in the 1970's - and they even throw in a little accordion to liven things a bit.
Monday, May 4, 2020
4 May 2020 - Ween - Ohio
Ween, known for being off-kilter, do an amazingly and unexpected straight reading of this song.
If you aren't familiar with the original, or the story, it's over here on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
30 April 2020 - Glen Campbell - Hold On Hope
You see, Ghost on the Canvas was meant to be his farewell album. This song - about the hope that everyone holds on to - was perfect for him, as he was struggling with Alzheimer's and the end of her career. He brings a different sadness than the one Robert Pollard brought to the original - this one is a less dark sadness, one of hope and resignation, and not of despair.
By the way, he recorded two more albums.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
28 April 2020 - José González - Heartbeats
Here's the video for the song. It brings warmth and sadness to a song that was a purposefully and beautifully cold breakup song, and still the song works!!
Sony used this version of the song in a commercial - and that sparked interest in the original by The Knife - so they lost their anonymity and took to wearing Venetian bird masks. I include the bouncing ball video - the Sony Bravia commercial that caused all this trouble,
Monday, April 27, 2020
27 April 2020 - A Brazilian "Stay" Special
So, this is a song Brazilian artists want to cover.
Take Tallene, from São Paulo . This one departs wildly from the sound of the original - making the sweet rock song into a metal anthem. They also seem to be interested in making a video that's more than a performance piece - but that ran into a snag.
Paradox decided to go a little more traditional in their reading. Paradox are a band from Novo Hamburgo, in Brazil - and they do admirable job covering this song.
Not to be outdone, Tonantes Verdes Fritos have a cover of their own. Hailing from Ribeirão Preto, I think, this faster tempo version accomplishes something even Danny Elfman couldn't - proper annunciation of the lyrics. Or did you think it was a cat show with prizes at the door, like I did for years?
Let's flip it a little bit. Here's Rock'n Coaster, from São Paulo, with a female singing the song. It gives the song a slightly different feel, doesn't it?
Hot Rocks is also from São Paulo, and they bring this post full circle - back to the party band vibe that Oingo Boingo brought in the first place.
However, you know us. We hate leaving perfect circles. Liga Joe, from Goiânia, also have a cover of this song - and it's less party and more straight-ahead power rock. It's different, but still valid...... and they capture the orginal's outro really well!
The song is just a well known song in Brazil. This performance by Vintage Cult illustrates that well - the crowd is singing along!
You got this far. Now go listen to the original on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.
Friday, April 17, 2020
17 April 2020 - Seven Boots - Peter Gunn
Here's a clearly Jethro Tell-inspired version of Peter Gunn to finish your week. Performed live by German band Seven Boots (go to www.sevenboots.com to learn more about them) , it features a lead flutist.
I love this. That's all I can really say about that. I hope you do, too!
Thursday, April 16, 2020
16 April 2020 - The Cramps - Peter Gunn
I firmly believe that this cover - released by the Cramps in 1997, but really released as a Poison Ivy guitar showcase (no Lux Interior to be seen) - is a cover of the Art of Noise version we published two days ago, and not of the original Henry Mancini version.
Either way, Poison Ivy OWNS this song on guitar. The Cramps are a perfect band to cover this song, combining punk and surf sounds regularly, primarily because of her guitar work.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
15 April 2020 - Emerson, Lake And Palmer - Peter Gunn
What happens when Henri Mancini's class meets prog rock? The answer, of course, is this ELP cover of his classic. It's interesting to hear so much keyboard in a song that is clearly guitar-driven.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
14 April 2020 - The Art of Noise featuring Duane Eddy - Peter Gunn
Two days, two Peter Gunn covers, each very different. Duane Eddy is well known for covering this song in the 1960's - in the 1980's, he teamed up with avant-garde group Art of Noise to bring together the worlds of surf guitar and electronic experimentation. Doesn't sound like a good combination, does it? It works.
Tune in tomorrow to see if your guess is right.
Monday, April 13, 2020
13 April 2020 - The Jody Grind - Peter Gunn
In its original version, it didn't. Henry Mancini wrote it without lyrics, in support of the television series of the same name.
In the 1960, Jay Livingston & Ray Evans added lyrics. This version was originally recorded by Sarah Vaughan - in this version, the song is called Bye-Bye. The Jody Grind - an Atlanta band that released two albums in the early 1990's but disbanded when two of their members were killed in a car crash - covered THAT. Kelly Hogan's huge, soulful voice completely dominates the tune, and that's a good thing!
Friday, April 10, 2020
10 April 2020 - Fine, it's Pink ft. Platonic Scale - Teen Spirit (Dreaming of Nirvana) | Fine, it's Pink - This Feeling
Ioana Lefter isn't Kurt Cobain, and that's OK - a Nirvana impersonation doesn't do this song justice. The band teamed with Victor Mihailescu (Platonic Scale) to give the song a darker, modern feel.
Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, even in Romania, the band is separated. That doesn't mean they aren't making new music..... This is a cover of the Alabama Shakes song "This Feeling" that the band recorded in multiple locations, separated, and released to their Facebook page - please give them a like.
This might be my favorite song of the moment - both in its original version and this cover. I think the lyrics nicely capture what a lot of us are feeling right now.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
8 April 2020 - A Cover Me Canada Sundown Special
The video itself was made by folk group Come Eat A Cat as an audition tape for a Canadian reality competition in which they could cover one of four Canadian songs. Don't worry. I'll be featuring the other three songs soon.... but there were so MANY solid covers of this song that we had to start here.
There were so many good covers that were so different we couldn't help but feature a second. Valley
are decidedly NOT a folk group - representing my favourite province, Alberta (they're from St. Albert, Canadian friends).
So I don't get shit from my Ontario friends, here's a Toronto band covering Sundown....
..although, for my money, the Credit Valley metal take from Ontario was a little better.
In researching this post, I heard a LOT of really bad covers of this song. I won't be sharing them..... Honestly, I didn't expect this post to become a tour of Canada... but sometimes, the posts go where they want to go.
Here's a band from British Columbia - Vancouver, to be precise. - to finish up. High Society goes all Postmodern Jukebox with a horned-up hip-hop take.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
7 April 2020 - Foo Fighters - Never Talking To You Again
The song itself is very simple - it's performed only on guitar, with no additional accompaniment - and yet still stays pretty faithful to the original (which did feature Hart and Bob Mould together on vocals and guitar).
Monday, March 30, 2020
30 March 2020 - Joan Osborne - One of Us
That's the whole title.
What you did NOT know is that this song was originally written and performed by Eric Bazilian, who is best known for his work as a member of The Hooters. However, he recorded it as a demo and hid it as a hidden track on his debut solo album (and The Hooters have performed the song as well since).
Bazilian was part of the songwriting team that worked on Osborne's debut album, Relish, and he ended up playing his demo for this quick little song he wrote to impress a girl - and she asked to record the song.
The song went on to win several Grammys, so right choice, Eric!
The song expounds on the imagery of man being created in God's image - and some found it to be a little sacrilegious - which, of course, missed the point of this beautiful song.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
26 March 2020 - Hole - Gold Dust Woman
Wow, was I wrong. Courtney Love brings even more anger to an already angry classic, owning it herself - and this was originally from the genius of Stevie Nicks!!!!
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
25 March 2020 - Patty Loveless - Don't Toss Us Away
Anyway, it was a top five hit for Loveless. And it is beautifully performed.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
6 February 2020 - fIREHOSE - Walking The Cow
Turns out it was a cover of a Daniel Johnston song. Inspired by a Blue Bell ice cream wrapper, the late Johnston recorded the original on a tape recorder in his Austin home. This version is only slightly more hi-fi than that - replacing chord organ with boom stick - and a fitting tribute.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
5 February 2020 - Shawn Colvin - Crazy
Saturday, February 1, 2020
3 February 2020 - Dana Williams and Leighton Meester - Dreams
We kid. We know Leighton Meester can sing. Anyone who saw Country Strong knows this.
I also don't want to ignore Dana Williams, who is equally strong on this track. She's not as well known as her co-singer (having been in an Apple commercial and the reality show Rising Star) but that's not a reflection of her talent, as the two ladies harmonize quite well.
1 February 2020 - R.E.M. - Wichita Lineman
Many of you know my favorite song is "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell. I said as much here. It's become more meaningful to me as I have aged.
"Wichita Lineman" was a song by Jimmy Webb, written for Campbell but also recorded by Webb. This version, for an R.E.M. concert film, is a beautiful and haunting version of an already beautiful and haunting song. This version captures the simplicity of the song as well.