So I've been thinking about cover songs a lot lately. Why you ask? Seems like everyone is doing them these days (more than usual). A friend of mine absolutely LOVES cover songs, more so than the originals in many cases. Odd right? Apparently many people share this sentiment, especially younger people. Now that I think about it, when I was a kid I had no idea most of the songs Tiffany sang were covers. How was I supposed to know it was a Beatles song? They weren't on MTV! And the only thing I knew about Paul McCartney was that he did that one song with Michael Jackson where they had blackface. I also read a recent poll that declared Celine Dion's cover of "You Shook Me All Night Long" the worst cover of ALL time. I might be able to come up with worse....maybe
Anyhow, here's a compilation of some of MY favorite covers.
Hole-Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)
I know you're thinking this is a bold statement and it is, but hear me out. There's a generation of women who all at one point wanted to be Stevie Nicks; Courtney Love is one of these women. Except she's a little more obsessive about it almost as much as she wanted to be Nancy Spungen. Say what you will about Courtney (we can all agree she's a complete lunatic), but there's something about her that just enthralls people. She's an enigma that might never be explained. Is she a really good musician? Did Kurt/Billy really write those songs? How is she still alive? The world may never know, but I do like this song.
The Clash- I Fought The Law (Sonny Curtis)
What can I say about The Clash that hasn't already been said? Yeah, the Sex Pistols created punk (at least the attitude), but The Clash created the soundtrack. They always paid tribute to other genres of music that influenced their style, for example reggae. However, covering an old 50s tune by Buddy Holly's back-up band was something most people would have never thought of. The lyrics are so universal and makes you think about the problems in the world existing a lot longer than we ever thought.
The Pixies- Head On (Jesus & Mary Chain)
For the most part, I knew who The Pixies were when I was very young. They had already became relatively know in the early 90s. In middle school, I used to stay up on Sunday nights to listen to the local alternative program on the radio. I often recorded it on a cassette tape. One night I heard The Pixies play Head On and the DJ mentioned JAMC. So I did a little digging and discovered one of my all time favorite bands.
Social Distortion- Under My Thumb (Rolling Stones)
In high school, most of my influences were punk bands. I had no idea who was influencing them, nor did I really care. To me The Rolling Stones were a bunch of old dudes. I had this image of Mick Jagger in the worst Miami Vice suit dancing around with David Bowie in that god awful video that shall remain nameless. Once I really listened to the lyrics of this song, I realized how compelling and bold it was. I eventually went back into The Stones' catalog and discovered some of the sexiest songs I have ever heard in my life.
New Order- Ceremony (Joy Division)
Yes, I know it's essentially the same band. Are you really the same band after your lead singer suddenly hangs himself? I feel like this was the song that New Order really had a chance to put the past behind them and move into a new direction. They're famous for not doing interviews and have never talked openly about Ian Curtis' suicide. I don't think they really need to, just listen to Ceremony.
Johnny Cash- Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)
This is a pretty intense song, only heightened by the haunting video. It's even harder to watch now that Johnny & June Cash are both dead. Makes you wonder what Johnny would be covering now if he were still around.
I know Kenny would insist on including Placebo's cover of Boys Don't Cry (The Cure) in this list and I would, but it's technically not released on anything. We'll just continue to swoon over two of our favorite guys singing one great song together in this video.
What are your favorite cover songs?