Okay. So. At one point—blathering on about Gaga, I believe—I mentioned briefly my intense affinity for covers. Now, having recently received Guilt By Association from my stepsister, I feel the need to revisit the subject—& to share, with whomever will listen, some really fucking excellent songs. 55 of them, to be exact—because apparently my secret X-men superpower is to accidentally choose nicely-rounded amounts. (Truthfully, I think I went a little overboard: So. Much. Linking. My. Dear. Jesus.)
[ NOTE: The format goes, "Song Title—Artist Doing the Covering (Artist Being Covered)." ]
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[ EDIT: Oops—it's actually the band that Butler formed when the Furs were on hiatus. Apologies. ]
Covers can be tricky sometimes. I say this because nothing (repeat: nothing) could replace the floating, goosebumped feeling I got when I first heard the real “How Soon Is Now?”—& get, in lite version, each time since. That said, I’m a sucker for Richard Butler’s nasal rasp-drawl, & an honest-to-goodness rock surge with the first chorus does sound damn good. So I suppose it’s like children—love them equally, but differently.
In fact, maybe one of the best things about covers is this dual understanding—being able to at once appreciate the two parallel tracks of original & interpretation. For example, this song is just so deliciously different from the Stooges version, while simultaneously earning its own merit with those odd industrial clangs under wispy French vocals.
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There are, of course, many genres of covers. One of the most common in today's irony-ridden pop climate is the Guilty Pleasure cover (or, in more negatively-tinged cases, the Isn't It Funny How I Dug This Piece Of Obscurity Out of the 80s' Asscrack & Am Now Playing It Acoustically cover). Of course, these sorts of covers work best (or, at all) when both artist & listener share a genuine—if shame-ridden—like for the song. I mean, really: let's not pretend I don't know every damn word to Say My Name. Here are some more to tickle your fancy:
[ This one is VERY guilty—& also very good. ]
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Then come my personal favorites (when done well, that is): the Is That Even the Same Song? covers, versions that really rework the original, altering its gist significantly (e.g., changing the genre, the tempo, the gender of the singer). Average rock songs become either slow-acoustic or the heaviest of metal; techno turns to violins, guitar-wanking to disco beats—&, when you're lucky, it all works out beautifully.
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Most covers, of course, don't quite fit into either of the above categories: a respectable song that the artist actually likes, interpreted in a way that doesn't necessarily shift the song on its axis. & yet—& yet—they are still Just Plain Good:
You Don't Own Me—Klaus Nomi (Lesley Gore). [ EDIT: Sorry, Bunny. ]
Apologies for the songs that only link to a clip. (There should only be two or three; I was very thorough...) & as for the customary closing mp3: I politely refuse.
BUT: if you have any covers that you think I ought to hear, I'd love to. Though this clearly isn't my full stash, I know there are still many out there I have yet to experience—so, comment away!