311 did it so much better.
April 7, 2011 § 2 Comments
I was talking with someone at work (Libby? Or maybe it was with Colleen at Ikea) about covers and why a band would cover a song if they didn’t change any of it. If it ain’t broke, why fix it I guess. Our conversation didn’t progress much further than that, but it got me thinking about some of my favorite covers and why I like them. Sometimes, a cover is so good it totally blows the original out of the water–sorry, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley might not have been able to swim (too soon?) but he totally kicked your ass on that one. Others seem so ubiquitous that they completely overtake the original until no one is sure who did it first; I think “Such Great Heights” was Iron & Wine’s song, but honestly I still don’t know. Rarely, a totally shitty band gets a little cred by making a pretty sweet cover, as is the case of “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” I don’t like Ben Folds–sorry, every person who ever graduated from Niskayuna High School (I don’t really like you guys, either.)
Anyways, these are some of my favorites. A lot of them have bizarro fan-made Youtube videos attached so, hooray.
His cover of “Heartbeats” is also great, but I prefer his slightly creepy version of this Massive Attack song. I also have no idea what the fuck is up with this video, but it’s kind of sweet.
As I like to say, Blur is why Oasis sucks. But, this cover almost makes me want to go back and maybe listen to “Definitely, Maybe.” Maybe. Anyways, when he finishes Elliott says he expected boos, but how can you not like this cover? There’s no reason to get pissed off. (Ryan Adams also puts Oasis to shame with his “Wonderwall” cover.)
The Flaming Lips–I Just Can’t Get You Out of My Head
Wayne Coyne and crew pull off a few great covers; I also love their version of Beck’s “Golden Age.” But this one wins for sheer comedy. Nice costumes, guys.
Tim Kinsella–A Picture Postcard
We’ve talked about how I feel about the Kinsellas. This cover adds a certain pathos that I find Promise Ring’s original lacks. Hell, I’ll never get on that bus now. Thanks, Tim.
The White Stripes–Jolene
I appreciate that Jack White sticks with the original lyrics instead of trying to regender it. (Jo-ey, Jo-eyyy?) Anyways, Dolly Parton was pretty bitchin’ way back when, so I don’t know who this Jolene thinks she is.
Ben Folds–Bitches Ain’ Shit
I’ve mentioned I don’t like Ben Folds, right? However, this cover is pretty amazing; Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg should be proud. In high school, my friend printed out the lyrics to this song and then her grandma found them. Hahahaha.
The Fugees–Killing Me Softly
I had a few more, but I fear this is getting long. I also have to take a shower. So, I end here with the cover to end all covers. Sing me out, Wyclef.
P.S. Holy shit guys, I just saw on the weather that it’s going to be 80 on Monday. 80. I don’t know whether I want to cry tears of joy (shorts! sandals! skirts! sunburn!) or fear for my life (heat stroke inside the Bear Park!)