Friday, December 31, 2021

31 December 2021 - Lights - Believe

Also, we're ending 2021 here with an uplighting Cher cover.  

By Lights.  

You see, if you look at Wicked Guilty Pleasures since March - and by the way, March over there was epic with a capital Eh - you'll see it's been dominated by not one but TWO artists - one of whom I had no knowledge of before February and was the subject of a post I made here an hour or so ago...

...and one who I had known about for years and because of this song, I had a blind spot for.  I mean, it was over-autotuned by a solo artist who was clearly trying to make it look like she was a full band (an assumption on which I was wrong). I still don't like her first album so much, but it's growing on me a little.  

So, March came, and I felt like I needed to include Lights in there somewhere.  I mean, Canadian, pop artist - fit the theme.  So, I started hunting through her catalog. SURELY, there had to be something that I'd like.   Everybody has one.  

When I first had asparagus, it was canned asparagus.  It tasted funny and it was really mushy, so I didn't come back to it for years.  Then, my girlfriend, later wife, introduced me to grilled asparagus, which was so much better and now, I love asparagus and it's probably my favorite vegetable. Although not my favorite way to have it, I can deal with canned asparagus better.  

"Saviour" and, for that matter, the whole The Listening album, is canned asparagus.  Siberia - her 2nd album - is grilled asparagus.  It's one of a few that I can listen to end to end without a skip, repeatedly - those who know me well know there's about a half dozen albums that get that high praise.  

So, yeah, I found something I liked.  I found a lot to like in 2021.  I discovered two not-new albums that are now among my favorites ever - Siberia being one of them (this post talks about the other) and admittedly the better one (special message for Scott - maybe better than House Tornado. Maybe. Hard for me to admit that. But it's close). I discovered a deep catalog with a LOT of collaborations that I'll be enjoying for years to come.  

Which brings me back to this Cher cover. It's fantastic. It's raw. Lights speaks directly to her haters with this one.  Enjoy it, and enjoy your 2022.

31 December 2021 - Cœur De Pirate - You Know I'm No Good

If you didn't know that a Cœur de Pirate song was going to close 2021 here, you haven't been paying attention.  .

Or you don't read Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  

Anyway, I was experiencing déjà vu today. You see, I was about to talk about how Cœur de Pirate had been commissioned to do an album of covers for the Canadian drama Trauma, and also was going to go into how I was insisting on spelling it "Cœur" and not "Coeur" like YouTube insists upon doing to be accurate to the French.... even though the link to this post makes it look like her stage name is "Cur" because URLs can't have an œ in them.....

And I was going to link the other Trauma post I made to this - but it turns out, I said literally all that I was going to say HERE in THAT post.  

So, instead, I'm going to talk about how brilliant this Amy Winehouse cover is.  It's subtle and quiet and dark, with nothing but piano to accompany Béatrice Martin's voice.  

Thursday, December 30, 2021

30 December 2021 - First Aid Kit - Running Up That Hill

I feel like I've been neglecting this blog in favor of Wicked Guilty Pleasures, and I might merge the two blogs someday.   Maintaining two music blogs is a full time job in and of itself.  

But I've endeavored to try to do better this year, and, well, this was our biggest year since 2013.  I'm pretty proud of that.  

And I love this blog, and I love covers.  Take this folksy reading of one of Kate Bush's best known songs by Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit.  It's beautiful in its quiet start that grows to an exciting conclusion!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

29 December 2021 - E.G. Daily - Breathe

I think I've made enough Tommy Pickles jokes for one year.  I should probably just feature the artist who voiced Tommy Pickles.  

Well, at age 51, she tried out for The Voice and, well, spoiler alert, she made it to Team Blake.  Never mind that she had a recording contract in the 80's, was on American Bandstand with Dick Clark, sang on Friends as a guest star (friend of Phoebe, for those who are so inclined), and was in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, but she STILL tried out for The Voice.  

And, she killed it.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

28 December 2021 - Charly Bliss - Heart of Glass

Remember when we did a ton of covers of this song some time ago?

Gosh, I wish we hadn't missed this one.  But I wouldn't discover this band for another couple of weeks.

And yeah, this song sounds a little bit like Tommy Pickles singing Blondie, but the combination of the musical reinterpretation - a darker mix of the original music - and the Eva Hendricks (not E.G. Daily - oh, you didn't expect me to know who voiced Tommy Pickles?!) nearly childlike vocal really hits hard.  Plus, I like it when artists don't try to do a Debbie Harry impersonation.    

Monday, December 27, 2021

27 December 2021 - The Wiggles - Your Song

Remember when The Wiggles covered Tame Impala?  Ah, that was a great moment in 2021 music.

Turns out, they do a LOT of covers.  Everyone wants to hear the world's most popular band for kids do songs for adults.  Which, when you harmonize for a living, comes pretty easily.  Here they are doing an Elton John classic.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

25 December 2021 - Lights - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

You're reading Totally Covered on Christmas Day, too?

Well, then, you get more Lights, this time covering the John Lennon classic Christmas song in an electronic way.

Friday, December 3, 2021

3 December 2021 - Hole - You Know You're Right

Courtney Love was the lead vocalist for Hole, and also the widow of Kurt Cobain.  So, it makes sense that she would cover her husband's last song live.  She sings it differently than he did - softer, sweeter, more reverently.  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

28 November 2021 - The Polyphonic Spree - Don't Change

I love it when a band that covers a song TRULY understands the original essence of the song - and makes it their own.  

Such is the Polyphonic Spree, who released their version of this INXS classic as a single earlier this year.  Adding horns and strings and giving it a more orchestral sounds serves to make it a bigger, grander song.  

28 November 2021 - Bruce Springsteen - Don't Change

Bruce Springsteen performing this INXS anthem with added horns and his deep growl in Sydney is a fitting tribute to Michael Hutchence and his legacy.  It is almost desperate in its execution, and still beautiful. 

28 November 2021 - Limp Bizkit - Don't Change

When I heard this cover existed, I expected "Don't Change Your Nookie".

What I GOT was Fred Durst and a guitar, with minimal accompanyment, passionately singing the hell out of this song, doing INXS and Michael Hutchence proud.  It's beautifully arranged and meticulously performed.   

Friday, November 19, 2021

19 November 2021 - k-os - Just What I Needed

In what is the second least expected cover* of the year, the "Crabbuckit" guy did a cover of what is arguable the best known song by The Cars.  Adding some hip hop in for good measure, it is mostly a straight forward, yet fun cover by the Toronto native.  

And clearly, he doesn't mind you coming here and wasting all his time.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

11 November 2021 - Ryan Adams - Wildest Dreams

My former co-author Scott would be proud.  You see, I'm discovering that Taylor Swift isn't actually a bad lyricist.  Ryan Adams brings a folkier feel to her most iconic album, 1989.  "Wildest Dreams" is one of her better known songs and, in fact, my favorite of hers - it was briliantly and heartbreakingly executed in its original form, and briliantly covered and given a melancholy gender swap in this form.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

20 October 2021 - Cœur de Pirate - Slow Show

Why do I insist upon spelling it with the œ rather than the oe that YouTube uses?  

Maybe I'm just showing off my character map skills. 

Maybe I just want to accurately represent her name.

Maybe I just wanted to share this piece of a soundtrack album for the 5th season of the Canadian TV series Trauma, which was a bunch of covers, including this one originally done by The National, all by Cœur de Pirate.  

Maybe you should just enjoy this.   

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

22 September 2021 - The Jazz Band Rejects - Waiting Room

When you hear that a School of Rock is covering a Fugazi song, you probably think, "oh, pretty easy, pretty common jam band classic. This could be disrespectful."

I'm here to tell you that it is not.  I went into this expecting it to be a terrible trainwreck.  It is not.  It is excellent, and performed by musicians who absolutely understand the energy and feeling of the original, with the lead vocalist (who is identified in the comments as "Emma") bringing the stage presence and gravitas that rivals what Ian MacKaye brought to the original. 

This is a frequently covered song, by a lot of big time artists.   This is the best one I've heard.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

16 September 2021 - Cats On Trees - Love You Like A Love Song

This cover of the Selena Gomez classic by French band Cats On Trees rethinks the song as a soulful, mournful ballad.  Sometimes this type of reimagining of a song makes it lose its soul - but not so much in this case. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

9 September 2021 - Weezer - Big Me

Weezer started performing this Foo Fighters classic live, after the Foo Fighters stopped performing it.  When they toured together, the Fighters were compelled to perform it themselves again.  

Still, this is a pretty great cover. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

27 August 2021 - Calexico - Corona

In 2004, Calexico, a Tuscon, Arizona-based Tex-Mex band, decided to take a Minutemen classic, give it some horns and a mariachi-inspired extended guitar solo, and made a new classic.  Give this 2015 live version a listen. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

16 August 2021 - Sixpence None The Richer - I Need Love

It is interesting to me that Sixpence None The Richer, a band with roots in the Christian music world, covered this song, with the line "I need God, not the political church".  

And yet, Word Records put this out as part of their greatest hits album in 2004.  

Sixpence None The Richer have excellent taste in covers.   In this one, Leigh Nash brings her sing-songy voice to a song written and performed by the huskier-voiced Sam Phillips, and makes it into a differently beautiful masterpiece.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

12 August 2021 - Los Lobos - La Bamba

In 1987, a movie about the life of Richie Valens was released.  

La Bamba

Lou Diamond Phillips starred as Richie Valens, and he appears in this video with LA band Los Lobos, who did the singing and performing, at the request of the Valenzuela family (his real name was Richie Valenzuela). This version of the song went to #1 around the world and was by far the biggest hit of Los Lobos's career.    

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

13 July 2021 - St. Vincent – Sad But True

Who had St. Vincent doing a Metallica cover in their 2021 list?

I sure as hell didn't.  And yet, here it is.  It takes a decidedly more electronic feel than the original, and yet, somehow, it remains dark, maybe even dystopian.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

8 July 2021 - Kailee Morgue - Black Sheep

I had absolutely no reason to post such a complete tribute to this song across both blogs today, other than the song is stuck in my damn head.  

But this version by Kailee Morgue makes me glad that I did this.  It brings a little more of an electronic and ever-so-slightly ethereal feeling to the Metric song

The song by the same artist is a little more straight-forward rock than electronic in its live version, but she still brings a happy energy to the song.

8 July 2021 - Dear Elise - Black Sheep

Remember what we said over on the Wicked Guilty Pleasures post about this song's rerelease with the Brie Larson vocal in June?  Well, coincidentally or not, LA band Dear Elise recorded a cover of the Metric song in 2021 that gives us chills. Check it out!

Friday, June 25, 2021

25 June 2021 - Cher - Waterloo

In 2018, Cher released an album of ABBA covers, called Dancing Queen.  

It's glorious.  ABSOLUTELY glorious.

The amazing part isn't Cher's age.  It's the fact that she completely sings a song meant to be sung by two women, by herself, and sells it completely.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

24 June 2021 - Vince Gill - Jesus Take The Wheel

Vince Gill does not have the two-octave range the Carrie Underwood version of the song demands.  However, he brings a soft, subtle feel to the song.

And yes, that's Ms. Underwood sitting on the couch.  

Friday, June 11, 2021

11 June 2021 - Post Malone - Return Of The Mack

Perhaps there is no one more perfect than Post Malone to cover this Mark Morrison classic 90's jam.  He certainly has a lot of respect for the rhythms of 90's R&B and 90's music in general.  

At any rate, the crowd was into it.  

Friday, June 4, 2021

4 June 2021 - Walk off the Earth - Teenage Dirtbag

Walk Off The Earth are a Canadian duo known for their earnest and unusual covers.  Perhaps their best known is their cover of Wheetus's "Teenage Dirtbag".  OK, maybe not their BEST known, but probably their most conventional.  

Friday, May 28, 2021

28 May 2021 - Belinda Carlisle - Lay Down Your Arms

This song was originated by The Graces, a band led by former (and current) Go-Go's guitarist Charlotte Caffey, in 1988.

So, I guess it isn't that surprising that her friend and fellow Go-Go Belinda Carlisle would cover the song in 1993.  What is surprising is that it was more successful than the original, despite the original getting an awful lot of MTV airplay.

The song appears on Carlisle's 5th album, Real, which is full of songs co-written by Charlotte Caffey, so it's fair to say she was probably on board.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

20 May 2021 - Eddie Vedder - Keep Me in Your Heart

Performed at the ceremony for David Letterman - at his request - when he won the Twain award - Eddie Vedder does a beautiful heartfelt cover of Warren Zevon's last song, 14 years after he passed.  Paus Schaffer accompanies on piano. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

13 May 2021 - Jennie - Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Well, there are four members of BLACKPINK.   This is the fourth straight solo cover post by them, plus last Friday's full group covers post.   

But Jennie - someone you expect something more hip-hop coming from - covering Frankie Valli is next level.  

Also, we were really kind to Rosé yesterday..... but Jennie takes a New Jersey classic and slays it.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

12 May 2021 - Lisa - Say So

This is the third straight day we've featured member of BLACKPINK doing covers.  I recognize this.  I promise I didn't plan this.  

But if anyone was going to cover Doja Cat, Lisa was the perfect one to do this.   And, to her credit, Doja Cat herself is a fan of the cover.  

Also, we were really kind to Rosé and her English skills yesterday, but Lisa speaks SEVEN languages - Thai (her native language), Korean, English (she claims not well, but I call BS on that), Japanese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Indonesian..... soooooooooo, also, this helps her. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

11 May 2021 - Rosé -The Only Exception

OK, I admit it.   

I'm a bit of a #blink.  

That doesn't mean that Rosé doesn't do a hell of a job on this Paramore cover.  Hers is the most successful international K-Pop solo debut to date by a female artist, and it is my opinion this is because she is fluent in English - far more so than most of her peers, because it is her native language (and she speaks it with an Aussie accent) - and can easily perform completely in English.  So, a nuanced song like this one is less of a hurdle for her.

It doesn't hurt that she plays guitar and piano as well.

Monday, May 10, 2021

10 May 2021 - Jisoo - Stay High

That's right.   

Jisoo from BLACKPINK doing a cover of Tove Lo.

More accurately (and why we titled this post "Stay High" and not "Habits") is that she's covering the Hippie Sabotage remix of the song.... which was released under this title.  

Famously, Jisoo has the least spoken grasp of the English language of all the members of BLACKPINK.... but 1) clearly, that's changing 2) the cultural changes in lyrics (some of Tove Lo's lyrics don't work with a Korean audience), as well as translation of lyrics into Korean, were actually written by Jisoo.  

Friday, May 7, 2021

7 May 2021 - BLACKPINK - Price Tag/Lonely/You & I

Rosé  can play guitar.   That's right.

So this impromptu double cover - with Rosé and Jennie starting off with a duet on Jessie J's "Price Tag" and then the whole group moving to a pair of K-Pop covers - labelmates 2NE1's "Lonely" and Park Bom's (herself a member of 2NE1, by the way) "You & I".  It's a fun and probably manufactured moment, but still, natural-looking.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

29 April 2021 - MARMELLO - Slut Like You

My favorite K-Pop band that plays their own instruments covering Pink's classic of female empowerment that uses language not generally seen as appropriate in Korean culture? 

Yes. MARMELLO traditionally covered this or another female empowerment song when performing live. Now, I share with you. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

27 April 2021 - TWICE - Nobody

Covers are not only an English language phenomenon.  Here, we have current K-Pop idols TWICE covering a Korean classic, a worldwide hit originally performed by the Wonder Girls.

Friday, April 23, 2021

23 April 2021 - Don Johnson - Heartbeat

Do you remember the 1980's, when Miami Vice was an absolutely giant hit show?  Don Johnson, father of the girl from Fifty Shades of Grey, was also one of the stars on that television show.  In 1986, this song went to #5 on the US Pop charts and was a similarly big hit worldwide.  

What you didn't know is that it was originally released in 1983 by Helen Reddy.  

Thursday, April 22, 2021

22 April 2021 - Linda Ronstadt - You’re No Good

Linda Ronstadt is not an artist you hear about much anymore.  She was HUGE in the 1970's.  She was once called the highest paid woman in rock and roll.

That's probably because a lot of her hits were covers.  Take this one, originally recorded by Dee Dee Warwick in 1963.  Ronstadt's 1975 version went to number one on the Billboard charts, the only time she would reach the summit in her illustrious career.  

The irony is, she doesn't think she sang it very well.  She doesn't like her own biggest hit.  That's OK.  Everyone else does!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

21 April 2021 - Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed

Terry Hall of The Specials co-wrote this song with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's.  Terry Hall was also the vocalist of Fun Boy Three. 

This version is gloomy, but it's interesting.  And, because it came second, I'm calling it a cover.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

13 April 2021 - The Flaming Lips - Elephant

Tame Impala is frequently compared to The Wiggles The Flaming Lips, and the bands have toured together.  So, it makes sense that Wayne Coyne and co. would cover one of Tame Impala's best known tunes... and somehow make it even more psychedelic.  Wayne is very much enjoying this song, and he and the Lips do it justice.

Monday, April 12, 2021

12 April 2021 - The Knocks ft. Foster The People - South Side

The THIRD track from Melody & Silence is this cover of a Moby and Gwen Stefani classic.  I'm not sure who the female is in the duet with Mark Foster - who has supplied the vocals for all of these covers - but, once again, it is a song that respects the original.  

12 April 2021 - The Knocks ft. Foster The People - Devil's Haircut

The second track from Melody & Silence is a cover of a Beck classic that, frankly, I didn't think would ever be covered - because it was so uniquely Beck.  This version replaces the jangly guitar with synthesizers, but still captures the Beck spirit.

12 April 2021 - The Knocks ft. Foster The People - Bittersweet Symphony

The Knocks are a New York duo that have done a few singles with Foster The People.  Some think the frequent collaborators should just be Foster the Knocks!

No matter. As part of the release of their collaborative single "All About You", the two groups collaborated earlier this year on an EP with some spectacular covers and that single, called Melody & Silence.  This is one of those covers, and it really shows an understanding of what Richard Ashcroft was going for.

Friday, April 9, 2021

9 April 2021 - The Wiggles - Angel of Harlem

I never expected to post so much Wiggles.  And nothing is topping yesterday.  Let's be clear on that.

But this cover of a U2 classic, performed because U2 tribute band Rattle and Hum did a cover of a Wiggles song on the Australian game show Spicks and Specks, by the classic Wiggles lineup, is pretty incredible, even with Captain Feathersword's growl.  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

8 April 2021 - The Wiggles - Elephant

This is NOT something I thought I'd see in my lifetime, and it is BRILLIANT!

Interpolating their own song, "Fruit Salad", The Wiggles cover Tame Impala.

Let me say that again for those in the back.   

Children's band The Wiggles.  Covering Tame Impala.  

OK, the shock has worn off, but this cover is shockingly amazing and ADULT.  Except for the "Fruit Salad" part.  But I love fruit salad, so it's all good.  Current Wiggles Anthony, Lachy, Simon and famed AUSLAN expert Emma (on the drums and CLEARLY enjoying herself, despite learning drums to play THIS very complex song and needing notes to play it (look closely)) are joined by ORIGINAL Wiggles Murray and Jeff.

This version of the song 1) adds a lot more keytar and pipe organ than the original does, which works as a stand in for some of the psychedelic riffs of the original 2) actually gets a prominent mention on the Wikipedia page for this song 3) is far FAR more complex than anything else The Wiggles normally do, but they knocked it out of the park.

This performance on Triple J kicks off the 30th anniversary of The Wiggles, so I think we're going to go further with them tomorrow on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

6 April 2021 - PRXZM - You'll Miss Me When I'm Not Around

PRXZM are a duo from California.  They're pretty heavy on the synth, but it's nice at the beginning of this Grimes cover to hear obvious acoustic guitar incorporated in the electronica. Clearly, PRXZM takes a lot of inspiration from Grimes, so this cover makes sense..... and the vocal performance is so earnest, the musical portion unique. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

2 April 2021 - Ingrid & Jim Croce - Song For A Winter's Night

The narrator on this particular video would have you believe that Jim Croce wrote this song.   While he and wife Ingrid perform it beautifully, it's really Gordon Lightfoot's song.

But still, enjoy.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

1 April 2021 - Robin Lee - Black Velvet

Now that March is over, I can post this.  

Robin Lee is, of course, American.  She was signed to Atlantic Records in the early 1990s, at the same time as Alannah Myles, so of course, it was a natural that she would cover this song, turning it into a pretty big country hit.  

It's a faithful cover while still keeping to country roots.  

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

31 March 2021 - Nick Carter and Cœur de Pirate - I Want It That Way / Cœur de Pirate - 12:59 Lullaby

I cannot stop smiling at this performance.

CLEARLY Nick Carter's appearance was a surprise.  In her words:

"Comme une jeune fille tremblait"

It doesn't matter that she was already well known enough that she was Cœur de Pirate and NOT Béatrice Martin to the host.  At the end of the day, she's a music fan, and that was her favorite Backstreet Boy.

She does start with a short cover of Bedouin Soundclash tune - "12:59 Lullaby".  Recall that the vocalist of THAT band was also 1/2 of Armistice with Cœur de Pirate.  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

27 March 2021 - Corb Lund - Hockey Song

A longtime fan of this page (and by longtime fan, I mean my sister) pointed out that Alberta native and Canadian country star Corb Lund did a cover of the Stompin' Tom Connors classic, even adding an extra verse. 

But Lund is an Oilers fan. I may not be able to forgive that. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

26 March 2021 - Scott Helman x Jann Arden - Lovesong

Canadian up and coming musician Scott Helman teams with huge-voiced Jann Arden to recover a Cure cover in a hotel room?

Yes. Just yes.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

24 March 2021 - k.d. lang - Helpless

A lot of people don't know that Neil Young is Canadian, but he is, and he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame.  At that organization's 2017 induction ceremony, k.d. lang covered one of his best known songs - beautifully.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

23 March 2021 - The Wiggles ft. The East Pointers - Click Go The Shears

The Wiggles (who of course include famed AUSLAN expert Emma Watkins) and The East Pointers teamed up for a somewhat Canadian take on a traditional Australian folk song.

Come on.  This is amazing.  You know it's amazing.   

Monday, March 22, 2021

22 March 2022 - Blue Rodeo - Song For A Winter's Night

Blue Rodeo isn't a band that's well known outside their native Canada or the Buffalo, NY area. That's a travesty, because the country-rock band is a delight.  Their cover of this Gordon Lightfoot classic is a decent introduction to the band.   

22 March 2022 - Glass Tiger - Song For A Winter's Night

Do you think Canadian bands have a lot of respect for Gordon Lightfoot?   This is now the 4th cover by a Canadian artist of THIS song I've posted today.

And I'm not done.

Glass Tiger was a one hit wonder outside of their native Canada, with "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone", a song we should feature on Wicked Guilty Pleasures sometime.  In 2020, they teams with Natalie MacMaster on violin for a dynamic cover of this classic song.  

22 March 2022 - Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night

I swear, I don't intend to post as much Sarah McLachlan as I am lately.   But the Canadian superstar has just too rich a catalog to ignore.

Originally recorded for the soundtrack to the 1994 remake of the movie Miracle on 34th Street, McLachlan has featured this Gordon Lightfoot classic song several times since. Which is a good thing, because she covers it brilliantly.

22 March 2021 - Good Lovelies - Song For A Winter's Night

The Good Lovelies are a Canadian folk-rock band, and something of an award-winning big deal.  The three ladies that comprise the band were all Toronto-area solo artists who came together to form something beautiful and harmonic.

Their take on Gordon Lightfoot's winter classic is something to behold.  

22 March 2021 - Winsome Kind - Song for A Winter's Night

This husband/wife duo from Vancouver turn Gordon Lightfoot's mournful Canadian classic into a beautiful direct love song.  You can see the love in their eyes as they each sing the song to their favourite person.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

17 March 2021 - Mudmen - Home For A Rest

Canadian Celtic rock band Mudmen were not included in the Spirit of Canada single, as far as I can tell.  Which is OK, because this little band from Alvinson, Ontario did their own excellent and very different version of this song - complete with bagpipes.

17 March 2021 - Spirit of Canada - Home For A Rest

I cannot state this any better than FYI Music News did.

Record a track in the men’s room with nearly 50 of Canada’s most celebrated musicians? That is one for the history books.

And history they made as Alan Doyle, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Sarah McLachlan, Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Spirit Kids Barney and Dustin Bentall, Colin James, Craig Northey and The Odds, Shari Ulrich, Jim Byrnes, Kendel Carson, Daniel Lapp, Spirit of the West with Cory Tetford, Shehab Illyas and Kris MacFarlane and many more of Canada’s top musicians came together to cover Spirit of the West’s “Home for a Rest” in honour and support of frontman John Mann and his battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

So, pretty much every Canadian musician you know got together to record a beautiful version of this Spirit of the West classic song and gave all the money to John Mann for his medical bills.  

The song was, of course, originally recorded live, but there was one more musician involved in that one.  

I'm not crying.  You're crying.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

16 March 2021 - Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane

I have to admit - the first time I heard this song, I was confused.  I knew the Velvet Underground song.  Sure, some of the lyrics matched, but this was not the "Sweet Jane" I knew, from Loaded.

I was not yet aware that there was a 2nd version, which appeared on VU's 1974 live album, recorded in 1969 - predating Loaded.  

And really, it doesn't matter what I think of it.  This version, a cover by Canadian band Cowboy Junkies, is Lou Reed's favourite version, and since he wrote the song, I'm going with this opinion.  

This version was recorded at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, straight to two-track.  The acoustics in the church made for some amazing reverberation that makes this version glow.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

10 March 2021 - Avril Lavigne - How You Remind Me

When a woman covers her boyfriend's (at the time) biggest hit song, she better either make it completely her own, or knock the cover off the ball in her version.

Avril Lavigne did both, with the blessing of Chad Kroeger (the other half of perhaps the most Canadian musical couple ever).   From the soundtrack to the movie One Piece Film: Z, it is a slower, cooler version of the song.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

9 March 2021 - Carly Rae Jepsen - White Flag

I just wanted to remind you that Carly Rae Jepson started off her career as a contestant on Canadian Idol. She DID NOT WIN. The song that got her eliminated?  This Dido cover.

Monday, March 8, 2021

8 March 2021 - The Modern Day Warriors - The Spirit of Radio

Rush has inspired an industry of bands just dedicated to covers of their songs.  The Modern Day Warriors, from Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, are one of my favourites.  Rather than trying to completely mimic the original, they adapt it, making it almost their own.  

Sunday, March 7, 2021

7 March 2021 - Good Lovelies - Crabbuckit

I don't always write posts sequentially. You'll be hearing from this Canadian trio later - but I can tell you that they chose to cover this k-os classic because it was about their hometown of Toronto.  Their three part harmonies lend the song a depth it did not otherwise have. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

5 March 2021 - Sarah McLachlan - Blackbird

It is said (in the YouTube comments of this video) that Sarah McLachlan could sing the phone book and sound phenomenal.  

So when the Canadian songstress takes on Lennon/McCartney, of course she's going to knock it out of the park.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

4 March 2021 - Common Deer - Drinking in L.A.

Common Deer, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, are described on their Facebook page as both "indie" and "orchestral".

Which makes them a great choice to cover this somewhat orchestral song originally performed by Montreal music collective Bran Van 3000.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

3 March 2021 - Lights - Hotline Bling

Canadian artist Lights goes to New York City. To cover Canadian artist Drake.

She actually brings a lot more emotion and soul to the song than Drake (who admittedly did an excellent job on the original).  Check it out!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

2 March 2021 - Anne Murray & Chicago - You Won't See Me / Anne Murray & Dionne Warwick - You Won't See Me

Anne Murray covered this Beatles classic and took it to the top 10 in the US and her native Canada.   As I was growing up, I heard this version of the song so much - as my mother was a big fan of Anne Murray - that I thought it was her song, and didn't realize it was a cover.

But, since even John Lennon was a fan - calling it the best cover of one of his songs he'd heard - I think that's OK.

Murray has revisited the song a couple of times as a duet, but this version from 1986 with Dionne Warwick is among my favourites.

Monday, March 1, 2021

1 March 2021 - Alanis Morissette - Crazy

That's right.  Alanis Morissette covers Seal.  And releases it as a single.   

And it's an achievement.  The Canadian adapts the song both to her musical style and vocal range, which isn't the same as Seal's - but is still pretty broad.  I was impressed when I found this gem.   

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

24 February 2021 - Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman - Somethin' Stupid

Here's something you didn't realize. 

Nicole Kidman can sing.  For real.  

This song, a cover of the song originally recorded by Carson and Gaile in 1966 and made famous by father/daughter duo Frank and Nancy Sinatra in 1967, went to #1 in the UK in 2001.  Kidman and British hitmaker Robbie Williams make a charming pair, good enough to earn the coveted Christmas #1 that year.

Friday, February 19, 2021

19 February 2021 - Charly Bliss - Steal My Sunshine

Brooklyn band Charly Bliss has been compared to Weezer....

in the comments to the video on YouTube, Weezer with Tommy Pickles as lead singer, but that wasn't a bad thing.

When they showed up at A.V. Club in 2017, they covered the Len classic song, without the Andrea True connection.  I personally think they nailed it.  

(Update: 10 May 2021) A.V. Club apparently took this video down, so we replaced it with a live version that's pretty solid.  

(Update: 23 August 2023)  The A.V. Club version is back!  That's good, because it's better.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

18 February 2021 - My Chemical Romance - Song 2

We've been mostly paying attention to Wicked Guilty Pleasures lately.   So should you, by the way.

But we still love covers.  Here's MCR covering what is probably the best known song by Blur.  Well.

Friday, February 12, 2021

12 February 2021 - The Din - The Old Apartment

The Din are a Canadian band who took on a very Canadian song with a lot of direct Toronto references.

For a song recorded in their den, it certainly is a terrific, heartfelt cover.  I especially appreciate the commentary prior to the music.  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

11 February 2021 - John & Mary - Alcohol

Buffaloians covering The Kinks?   

We've got you.  In a rare John Lombardo vocal performance, here are John and Mary (providing a feverish violin) giving a fantastic rendition of a classic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

10 February 2021 - 10,000 Maniacs - Peace Train

After Yusef Islam - formerly Cat Stevens - (allegedly) called for the death of Salman Rushie for his book The Satanic Verses, Natalie Merchant demanded this song be removed from future pressings of their album In My Tribe and they never played it again.  

Which is a shame.  It's a beautiful song and they performed it beautifully.    

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

9 February 2021 - Alana Davis - 32 Flavors

Alana Davis took an Ani DiFranco folk song and made it her very funky debut single.  It would be her only top 40 single (to date - she's still making music) but it is so spectacularly done, I still listen to it to this day.  

I somewhat love this live version a little better.  Davis's personality truly shines through in this live performance.  This is the very meaning of "taking ownership of a song" personified.

In 2018, Alana Davis re-recorded the song.  It's far more stripped down, and yet seems even MORE genuine.  

Monday, February 8, 2021

8 February 2021 - Goo Goo Dolls w/ Lance Diamond - I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man & Down on the Corner

Before they were national superstars, the Goo Goo Dolls were a local Buffalo band and a big deal.  On a couple of their early albums, they teamed with local personality Lance Diamond on a couple of covers.  The band met Diamond when then-vocalist Robby Takac moved into the same apartment building as him. 

In this free concert in downtown Buffalo (and, for the record, I was in downtown Buffalo but not at the concert that day, and I don't remember why we didn't go), Diamond joined the Goos for these covers, which were both incredible.  

Thursday, February 4, 2021

4 February 2021 - Charli XCX - Stay With Me

There was once a time where I posted a LOT of Charli XCX on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  Some of you have asked why I don't post her stuff anymore. 

I don't have a great answer for that - I'll probably get back to it at some point, but there's a lot of great music.  Even Charli realized that.  This song, a cover of the Sam Smith hit, was recorded in 2014, and it's pretty excellent.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

3 February 2021 - Carly Rae Jepsen - Hold Me

It takes a singer with a pretty huge voice to cover a duet by themselves.  

Carly Rae Jepson is that singer.  This song, originally sung by Fleetwood Mac and performed at a festival in tribute of the band, was such a duet.  Clearly, she's making some concessions with the chorus, but she makes it work.

Unfortunately, it seems like this was a one-time performance, which is a shame, because she absolutely slayed this song.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

2 February 2021 - Devo - [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones were - are - a band with a lot of roots in soul and blues.  Devo is the opposite of that.  That doesn't mean that they're bad - Devo is excellent! - they're just different bands.  So when Devo covered one of the best known Rolling Stones songs, it was met with some skepticism.  

It shouldn't have been.  The frenetic, electronic nature of the cover brings a different feel to the song, but still a valid, enjoyable one. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

1 Feburary 2021 - A Cover Me Canada Life is a Highway Special

You may recall that when I posted the first Cover Me Canada special last year, I told you two things.  1) The bands in the competition could, as part of their audition, cover one of four Canadian classic songs - we featured Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" in that installment 2) I would be revisiting the other three in the future.  
 Don't worry.  I'll be featuring the other three songs soon. - me

Whereas that post took me by surprise, I had some time to plan this one.  It's still going to be a tour of Canada, but this time, we know where we're going.  And we're starting with The Eastman Encounter, from Ontario, covering "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane.  Their cover is pretty faithful, if not a little guitar-heavy.  The video was recorded at Stroud Farms, outside of Oshawa, Ontario.

The Metronomes from British Columbia took over a mall for an acapella version of the song.  Frankie Cena is the leader of this little glee club, and it suits him, as does the spotlight, as he's gone on to other TV hosting jobs.  

TEA, from Montreal, Quebec, did NOT go acapella.   They went orchestral, and I have to admit, I like the song on the harp and standup bass.   It's inventive and I will be looking into what else they might have done for a future post.  

Let's head back to British Columbia and get a little heavy with 2StepCloser. Now, it's been a few years, and I'm sorry to report that this duo has broken up, but you can still enjoy their Cover Me Canada audition. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021

28 January 2021 - The East Pointers - In Bloom

I have a funny feeling we're going to posting a lot of stuff from The East Pointers.  The little folk band from Prince Edward Island is absolutely delightful and it is criminal that Mumford and Sons gets a lot of attention and these guys don't.

This particular version of Nirvana's classic "In Bloom" takes some cues musically from the Sturgill Simpson cover while accurately paying homage to the original.  This version is noteworthy for being percussion-free, allowing a violin to stand in for guitar and letting the guitar and banjo handle the rhythm.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

27 January 2021 - Toadies - Heart of Glass

90's "alternative" hitmakers The Toadies appeared on KXRP Radio in 2014 and did this almost completely acoustic, completely swampy cover of the Blondie classic.  It's not female-driven, which is unusual for a cover of this song, but the desperation in the song shines through.

27 January 2021 - Gisele Bündchen - Heart of Glass

Most of the other covers we post today are excellent.  This one is no exception, but it's very different than the others. 

Gisele's cover of the Blondie classic was commissioned by H&M.  Whereas most of the other versions of this song today are paying some tribute to the punk/rock aspect of the song, this version is 100% electronic, going full-on disco and uptempo.  Gisele takes the vocal out of dreamy and into sultry.

27 January 2021 - Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - Heart of Glass

Whereas the original version of this song was a full-on disco homage, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals turn it into a rock anthem, leaving the electronic elements out and minimizing the percussion entirely.  Seems like this version is well-suited for the Flying V being used!

27 January 2021 - Superbus - Heart Of Glass

In the past, we might have just made a "Heart of Glass" special edition post. 

We aren't going to do that today.  

A lot of people who criticize covers of this Blondie classic don't like that the vocalists cannot match Debbie Harry's original dreamy vocal.  Jennifer Ayache, lead vocalist of French band Superbus, doesn't even try to do that.  She brings a different dreamlike vocal to the song, and it works. 

27 January 2021 - Miley Cyrus - Heart Of Glass

Miley's take on Blondie is a study in homage and contrast.   The original version of this song was a disco/rock fusion built around a drum machine beat, with Debbie Harry's breathy falsetto driving the lyrics home.

Miley's take does MUSICALLY pay homage to the disco influence, with the obvious drum machine opening.  There is, however, no breathy falsetto, instead being replaced by her trademark huge throaty voice.... and it works here, almost bringing a bigger desperation to the song.  

This performance had such a positive review that it was released as a single and added to the digital edition of her album, Plastic Hearts. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

26 January 2021 - Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk To F**k

This French band is known for their inventive poppy covers, often of songs that are seen as not great cover candidates.

Take this Dead Kennedys classic.  The ladies take Jello Biafra's lyrics, clearly intended to be in-your-face punk, and give them a gentle lounge treatment.  Soak it in, like the audience does.  

Monday, January 25, 2021

25 January 2021 - Nina Persson - The Windmills Of Your Mind

In 1968, the performance of this song by Noel Harrison won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as this song was featured in The Thomas Crown Affair.  Nina Persson, vocalist for Swedish band The Cardigans, does an admirable job bringing feeling and sorrow to the song.  The version is done as part of a tribute to Dusty Springfield, who made a cover of the song a minor hit.  

Yes, she also does it in Swedish.  I think it's even a little better here.   

Friday, January 22, 2021

22 January 2021 - Stevie Wonder - We Can Work It Out

This cover of a Beatles classic was a Top 15 hit in 1971 and earned a Grammy nomination.  And yes, Paul McCartney is CLEARLY a fan.  This performance is from a Paul McCartney tribute at the White House in 2010.  

Wonder's version is far more densely layered than the original, adding keyboard and harmonica parts and a much funkier bassline than even Paul himself envisioned.  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

21 January 2021 - Evanescence - The Chain

This was one of Fleetwood Mac's darkest song, so it stands to reason that it would be one that Evanescence covered as part of their return - giving it an even darker and more orchestral feel.  Of course, it's dominated by Amy Lee's huge voice, but, in an unusual move, every member of the band sings at least a little bit.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

20 January 2021 - Rouge - O Amor É Ilusão

The story of this version is a little darker than most.  In 2005, the band Rouge were three albums in and on the verge of breaking up.  Their label demanded a compilation (read: "Greatest Hits") album.  This song, which was included on an album of rerecorded hits and translated English language songs, was part of the compromise.

As it turns out, the song was a minor hit for the band, but it didn't stop their breakup.  

They did reform in 2018, though.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

19 January 2021 - Trine Rein - Torn

Trine Rein is a Norwegian-American artist.  If you don't read Wicked Guilty Pleasures, you think this is a Natalie Imbruglia cover.   It isn't.  The song was written and performed by the band Ednaswap (that's TODAY's Wicked Guilty Pleasure).   

Rein took this song to the top 10 in Norway in 1996, a full year before Imbruglia (who admittedly was working with one of the songwriters)  released her version.  In fact, it is THIS version that likely sparked the big hit cover.  

I kind of love this version, though.  

Monday, January 18, 2021

18 January 2021 - Pat Benatar - Shadows Of The Night

This song was so huge and so tightly identified with Pat Benatar, you thought it was an original, didn't you?

It isn't, though.  It was originally composed for a movie - Times Square - but was rejected from the movie.  Helen Schneider also released a version of the song, in 1981, before Benatar did.  That version was a hit in Europe.  Rachel Sweet also released a version before this one.

This version, which won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance, took a couple of liberties with the original lyrics to make it little less bleak. This version is the one we remember.  Benatar made the song contemporary for 1982, and the song doesn't sound dated today.  

And yes, you're right.  That's Judge Reinhold and Bill Paxton in the video.  

Friday, January 15, 2021

15 January 2021 - The Veronicas - Habits

Three interesting facts about The Veronicas.

1)  Yes, they are twins.  From Brisbane, Australia.
2)  No, neither one of them is named Veronica.  Lisa and Jessica, in fact.  The name is a reference to the movie Heathers, which I recommend wholeheartedly.  
3) They know the words to Tove Lo's first hit song.  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

14 January 2021 - The Odds - Cinnamon Girl

Do I post Craig Northey stuff just because he follows me on Twitter?

Not JUST, but it doesn't hurt.  (If you're a musician and want me to post about your stuff, I'm @redargyle and the story behind that name is a doozy)

He's a remarkably nice guy, by the way.  I probably owe him a drink the next time I'm in Canada.

Here he is with his band, The Odds, in 1993 doing a Neil Young cover and enjoying the hell out of themselves while doing it.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

13 January 2021 - The Dirty Nil (ft. Craig Northey) - School

This is The Dirty Nil from Dundas, Ontario, Canada.  They team up with one of my favorite Canadians, Craig Northey (of The Odds), to cover a Nirvana classic from Bleach.... and do an admirable job without doing a Cobain impersonation.  

If you can get past the busy background, you will be rewarded.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

12 January 2021 - SoHo - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)

From the motion picture soundtrack to the 1996 movie Scream, here are SoHo, covering an Icicle Works classic, the original of which was an early favorite song of mine.  If you are in the US, you know the original by the title "Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)".  

This cover is a lot more uptempo and hits you with an even greater wall of sound than the original - but it still works for the song.  Enjoy. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

11 January 2021 - Black Barn Band - Pachelbel's Hook

A song that brilliantly mashes  Pachelbel's "Canon In D" and Blues Traveler's "Hook" (which famously used the same chord progression), this version by a little band from Michigan features a tubaist/vocalist, which in itself is endearing.  


Friday, January 8, 2021

8 January 2021 - Cher Lloyd - No Diggity/Shout

By now, you should know that I have a soft spot for Cher Lloyd, who I believe is an underrated artist and who barely lost to One Direction on X Factor.  

Here, she ties together a Tears for Fears classic and yesterday's Wicked Guilty Pleasure, two very different songs from two very different musical eras, and blends them together so well, even Simon Cowell has to take notice.  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

7 January 2021 - Blackstreet - Billie Jean

A cover of the Michael Jackson classic 1) was a B-side to "No Diggity" 2) heavily sampled the A-side.  Blackstreet turned the song into a slow jam, but it works.   

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

6 January 2020 - Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson - I Am The Cosmos

Let's get this out of the way right up front.  

Yeah.  It's that Scarlet Johansson.  

If you didn't know she could sing, well, aren't you in for a surprise!  Not only does she sing, but her voice (along with Pete Yorn's providing harmony) do great justice to the only single by the late Chris Bell of Big Star.  In its original release, it was the A side to "You And Your Sister", which we talked about just last week.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

5 January 2021 - Marmello - HandClap

Yesterday, we talked about Marmello in the context that they did an Ashlee Simpson cover.  

We felt like this Korean girl group that PLAYS INSTRUMENTS - this isn't common in the K-Pop genre, people - needed a little more attention than that.  Although they appear to have broken up in 2018, we still hope for a reunion.  

Watch them enjoy covering the biggest hit by Fitz and the Tantrums and, well, making your hands clap.  

Monday, January 4, 2021

4 January 2021 - Marmello - La La

Today, we celebrate the 9th anniversary of our sister blog, Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  That blog famously (ha!) opened with a tribute to Ashlee Simpson.  You'll see there's an Ashlee Simpson song there today, too.  

What better way to pay tribute than with a guilty pleasure in its own right, a K-Pop rock band?

Friday, January 1, 2021

1 January 2021 - This Mortal Coil - You and Your Sister

Let's kick off 2021 with an artist that isn't really an artist.

Rather, This Mortal Coil was the "house band" for 4AD Records.  Basically, it was a collective to allow artists to record music that was outside their genre.  There were three TMC albums released between 1983 and 1991.  

This interpretation of a song originally written and performed by Chris Bell (and released after his death) was recorded while Kim Deal (primary vocalist) and Tanya Donnelly (second vocalist, guitar) were working together on The Breeders.  It's a faithful cover that captures Bell's melancholy quite accurately.