Friday, December 30, 2022

30 December 2022 - Johnny Cash - Rusty Cage

You really don't hear Chris Cornell's lyrics in the original version.   Not so much, anyway, as when Johnny Cash took the song and made it his own.  In fact, Cash so much made his song his own that Chris Cornell used Cash's mix of the song when performing the song as a solo artist.  Essentially, he was covering the cover. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

19 December 2022 - Natalie Merchant - Children Go Where I Send Thee

In 1997, A Very Special Christmas, the third album in a series supporting the Special Olympics, was released. For her entry, former 10,000 Maniacs leader Natalie Merchant chose a traditional song with a LOT of Bible references.  See if you can catch them all.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

23 August 2022 - Hole - Bittersweet

Why, yes, that IS Courtney Love singing today's Wicked Guilty Pleasure.  

Yes, that is Brad Shepherd, guitarist from the Hoodoo Gurus who performed second vocals on the original and this version.

Yes, Courtney does screw up the words in parts.   

And yes, I do like this cover even with the blown lyrics.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

21 April 2022 - Tracy Bonham - 50ft. Queenie

This song, the B-side to "Mother Mother", is a really faithful PJ Harvey cover.  For those not family, PJ Harvey was something of a contemporary (and labelmate) of Tracy Bonham in the 1990s, and in that context, this cover makes sense.  

The frenzied violin in the middle is a great addition.  

This version is from the 1997 PinkPop festival in the Netherlands.

Friday, April 15, 2022

15 April 2022 - Poi Dog Pondering - I Had To Tell You

I frequently get asked what my favorite cover might be.  

It's tough to pick just one, but this cover of the 13th Floor Elevators classic by Poi Dog Pondering is high on that list.  It's a rare band that can take a song so iconic like this one and make it completely their own, making you forget exactly who originally performed the song.  And this rendition is hauntingly beautiful.

Monday, April 11, 2022

11 April 2022 - Maisy Stella - Secret | Billie Eilish - Secret

I want to start with the original recording, which was a cover of a Missy Higgins song sung by 7-year-old Maisy Stella of Whitby, Ontario.

Well, a young Billie Eilish saw that recording.... and yeah......

So, she said she did the song at a talent show herself.......  She very much did.

Monday, April 4, 2022

4 April 2022 - This Mortal Coil - Song To The Siren

This was the real song being covered on Friday.  Let's be honest.  

Elizabeth Fraser sings this Tim Buckley classic exquisitely.  

Lest you think there are studio tricks here..... nope.  Liz Fraser just OWNS this song.  It's her song now.

Friday, April 1, 2022

1 April 2022 - Ashen Ringlets - Song To The Siren

So why a Tim Buckley cover?

This is actually a This Mortal Coil cover - as the 4AD house band, with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins on iconic vocal, that is matched here.  The TMC version gives me goosebumps, and so does this version.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

31 March 2022 - Cœur de Pirate - True Colors

It's been a beautiful month of Canadian music on Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  Totally Covered has mostly stayed out of it, but we could NOT pass up one more œ here.  Tœtally Cœvered?

Anyway, it's Cyndi Lauper being covered by Béatrice Martin, beautifully. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

29 March 2022 - Babygirl - Kiss Me

Today's Wicked Guilty Pleasure is a little band with sad guitars from Ontario named Babygirl.  

I accidentally learned that they have a Sixpence None The Richer cover for all of us to enjoy.  It's a little hard to picture the song with sad guitars, and yet they pull it off. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

16 March 2022 - Lennon Stella - Hey Beautiful

I was watching "How I Met Your Father" the other day.   I heard the opening theme song, which is, of course, a cover of the "How I Met Your Mother" theme song, "Hey Beautiful", originally performed by The Solids.

I was thinking to myself, "Tony, that sounds a lot like Lennon Stella."

I decided THIS AFTERNOON to check to see if I was right.  

I was.

16 March 2022 - Lennon & Maisy - Call Your Girlfriend

Originally performed by Robyn & Erato, Lennon and Maisy Stella posted this video in 2012, when they were 12 and 8, respectively. 

31 million views later, they were cast on the ABC drama Nashville - in fact, the notoriety they gained from this video was instrumental in their work visas being granted (they are Canadian and needed those to work in the US).  Their careers have soared from there.  

16 March 2022 - Lennon and Maisy - You Belong With Me

At the CMAs

Five feet from Taylor Swift.

They knocked it out of the park.

Maisy got a hug and a bunch of kisses from Taylor.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

15 March 2022 - The Stellas - Perfect

The Stellas are well known for their cover of this Fairground Attraction classic - probably more than anything else. We can't say for sure.  

Saturday, March 12, 2022

12 March 2022 - Eastwood Collegiate's Songwriting Recording Class - Up We Go

I can't describe this any better than the YouTube description does.
This is a senior songwriting and recording class from Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, Ontario.  Most students in this class are in the Waterloo Region Integrated Arts Program, representing several arts disciplines, including instrumental music, vocal music, strings, visual arts, dance, drama, and production technology.  This year we are excited to be able to sing/play indoors but we still faced the challenge of recording music together live due to indoor distancing requirements, co-horting and contract tracing.  Many hours were spent planning, arranging, learning the parts, performing, mixing the recordings and video editing for this project and we are proud of how it turned out.  We chose “Up We Go” by the Lights because the chorus lyrics really spoke to the class considering the time we are all living in:

“Everyone here is ready to go
It's been a hard year with nothing to show
From down this road, it's only on we go, on we go"
You go, kids.

This recording was done for the CBC Music 2021 Canadian Music Class Challenge.  No, they didn't win.  YES, they did a damn good version of this great song (now go to Wicked Guilty Pleasures and bask in the original).  

Saturday, March 5, 2022

5 March 2022 - The Weakerthans - Bad Time to Be Poor

Totally Covered hates being left out of things.

So for #MapleLeafMarch, here's one Canadian icon, The Weakerthans, bringing a Rheostatics cover - another Canadian icon. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

3 March 2022 - Viola Wills - If You Could Read My Mind

Is this an abomination?  Maybe.  

Was it a big hit and still an excellent tribute to Gordon Lightfoot? Absolutely.  

3 March 2022 - Olivia Newton-John - If You Could Read My Mind

In 1971, Olivia Newton-John released her debut album, called If Not For You.  This was a covers album, with mostly recent songs featured.   This Gordon Lightfoot classic had been a huge worldwide hit the year prior, so it was ripe to be covered.

To her credit, ONJ understands the mournful feel of the song, and she covered it well.  

Monday, February 28, 2022

28 February 2022 - Doja Cat - Celebrity Skin

Once upon a time, there was a big football game that people watched for the commercials.  One of those commercials was for a little taco joint chain restaurant, and it featured a song that everyone knew was performed by Hole.... but it wasn't Courtney Love singing it....

...and why was Doja Cat in the commercial?

Well, it turns out Ms. Cat was also the artist of record on that song.  And, after that suberb owl of a game, she released the whole song... which became an instant hit on the ROCK charts, a place she hadn't been before.  

That's right.  Not a pop hit. A ROCK hit.  


Seriously, the song is a walking fire.  You can't get rid of it.  Here's the whole song, in a fan-made video, clearly cut from the Taco Bell commercial. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

3 February 2022 - Kelly Willis - Harper Valley PTA

Jeanne C. Riley had her biggest hit with her debut single, written by Tom T. Hall.  Kelly Willis recorded a fantastic and nuanced cover of this song, building as it goes. Stick with it, because she understands the rising emotional impact of this super huge hit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

25 January 2022 - JoCo and Friends - Just What I Needed

Jonathan Coulton is someone who does a lot of quirky songs, including quirky covers.  This one, however, is spot on and reverent.  Accompanied by a who's who of session musician/songwriters - Jim Boggia (guitar), John Roderick (guitar), Christian Cassan (drums), Jon Spurney (keyboard) - and yes.  That's Aimee Mann on bass and 2nd vocal - Coulton and his band give the Ric Ocasek classic its due. 

And yes, this is because it's Scott's birthday and I absolutely remember that he saw Aimee Mann ten years ago Sunday, and also that today is his birthday.

Monday, January 24, 2022

24 January 2022 - Kim Wilde - Sleeping Satellite

Kim Wilde covered Tasmin Archer's biggest hit in 2011.  She brings a more pop and less soulful feel than the original, but still, she understands the emotional gravity of the song, and delivers it appropriately. 

It sounds like I'm giving her a performance review.   I promise that I'm not.  She just does a good job.  Sometimes, there's not a lot more that has to be said.

Friday, January 21, 2022

21 January 2022 - The Smithereens - It Don't Come Easy

The Smithereens released a great and faithful cover of one of Ringo Starr's biggest hits.  They really didn't change it at all.  Pat DiNizio might as well have been Richard Starkey.   Rather than break down the song any more than I already did, I figured you could just listen.  

Friday, January 14, 2022

14 January 2022 - Mandy Moore - Senses Working Overtime

TEN Years ago today, on Wicked Guilty Pleasures, Scott posted the following:
Years ago, my old office had an administrative assistant who listened to a lot of the same indie rock and alt stuff as I did at the time. Needless to say we got along smashingly. One day I was asking her a question and today's song was playing on her computer. I then had a non-work question: "who's this covering XTC?" She wisely asked if I liked it. I said, "yeah, it's pretty cool." She said, "It's Mandy Moore." I died a little inside that day. Fortunately, Mandy went on to marry Ryan Adams which of course made her cool in the eyes of hipsters everywhere (I'm certainly making that last part up). I should say though that her last two records: Wild Hope and Amanda Leigh are some damn fine folkie/pop.

Forget the Ryan Adams comment, which didn't exactly age well.  But it was - is - a terrific cover.  He was right about that.  But also, this started us both thinking, and those thoughts led us to the creation of this blog a couple of months later.  

So, I consider this the anniversary of Totally Covered.

Friday, January 7, 2022

7 January 2022 - Camila Cabello - good 4 u

When big artists go to BBC Radio 1, they do big covers.  So, when Camila Cabello went, she brought.... wait, a mariachi band? - to cover this big Olivia Rodrigo hit.  She doesn't curse during it, but she does it justice.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

5 January 2022 - Juliana Hatfield - Can't Stand Losing You

After her album of Olivia Newton-John covers, Juliana Hatfield needed another project.

So, why not The Police?  

Indeed, she covered a number of their hits, including this UK hit about teenage suicide.  In the video and on the recording, she performs all the musical parts and self-harmonizes - which I guess beats cloning herself....

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

4 January 2022 - David Hasselhoff – The Passenger

We're almost ten years into this thing and we don't have David Hasselhoff yet? 

Well, let's fix that!!   Germany's sweetheart brings us an Iggy Pop cover.