I’m a fan of music as you may have noticed from some of the posts on the blog. My musical tastes span almost everything from the new folk revival of the 60’s, to ambient dance, all the way through heavy metal, hard rock and the odd bit of pompous prog rock.
What I do like in addition to this is a good cover version. To me a good cover version is more of a reinterpretation rather than a slavish note for note reproduction. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite cover versions:
This is a cover of an early period Fleetwood Mac song that reworks the 60’s sparse blues track into a wailing guitar anthem. It’s a few years old now and sound a bit over produced compared to a lot of current music but is worth a listen even if you don’t know the original. Sadly I can’t find it on Youtube so you’ll have to settle for the Last.FM link in the title.
William Shatner- Common People
The Shat splits people musically. 98% of people think he’s crap, 2% of us like him. This is a version where Shat basically raps the verses while Joe Jackson of Is She Really Going Out With Him? fame screams the chorus. The music is heavier and rockier than the Pulp original and to be honest I prefer it.
Wyclef Jean- Wish you were here
To say I’m a big Pink Floyd fan would be a bit of an understatement. To say I’m not a huge Wyclef fan wouldn’t be a big understatement but this just works. It has a warmer vibe than the original and offers something genuinely listenable to even a die hard Floyd fan, which for me is one of the keys for a good cover song.
Alicia Witt- You can call me Al
I’m a huge (Paul) Simon (& Garfunkel) fan, although I’m not so keen on a lot of his early solo stuff, he really hit his stride with Gracelands, which was one of the first CD’s I bought. Alicia Witt’s cover of You can call me Al completely changes the song. The original has all the trademark Paul Simon laconic melodies and obviously a truly memorable video with Chevy Chase. Witt’s version turns it into some mad maelstrom of slightly unhinged darkness, taking it somewhere completely different but no less enjoyable.
So there you go, four cover versions that you’ve probably not heard of. Give them a listen, even if you’ve never heard the original, you might be pleasantly surprised.