Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix CD this week is Covers

Today’s mix is a collection of covers. Now, when I listen to a cover, I have just one rule: Do something new with the song. Don’t just do it again the same way the original artist did it. If you’re not going to reinterpret the song, save it for your live shows. I might enjoy it then.

I have many dozens of covers on my iPod. This week, I went through the first half of the alphabet (by song title) and picked out some of my favorites. This means that in the coming weeks you can expect to hear a Covers Volume II mix with titles from N – Z.

The bad news is that apparently many of these are more obscure than I thought. I had a lot of trouble finding these tracks and very few of them are available for download from Amazon, Artist Direct, or iTunes. I put them here to make you aware of them. I have linked to full songs or snippets from a variety of sources. I’m sure the resourceful listener who likes a song will be able to find a copy of it somewhere.

  1. Can’t Find My Way Home – Alana Davis (Blind Faith)
    Dozens of artists have covered this great tune. I really like Alana Davis’ version. The instrumentation isn’t wildly different, but her smoky voice and beautiful harmonies give this a fresh feel.
  2. Bertha – Los Lobos (Grateful Dead)
    These guys have been doing this song for years. In fact, I saw them perform it a week ago in Beaver Creek, CO. They have a good feel for the song and it works well with their style.
  3. Baker Street – Foo Fighters (Gerry Rafferty)
    At some point, the Foo’s version of this song became available on The Colour and the Shape. I don’t know when that was, since it’s not on the version I bought. Anyway, new shoes for an old song with screaming guitar taking the place of the wailing sax.
  4. Big Log – Viktor Krauss (Robert Plant)
    This is what I’m talking about when I say reinterpret the song. What a brilliant job they did. This one features Allison Krauss on vocals a few years before she and Robert Plant collaborated on Raising Sand.
  5. Border Song – Eric Clapton (Elton John)
    This is on the Two Rooms Tribute to Elton John. Eric swings this one more than Elton did.
  6. Dear Prudence – Jerry Garcia Band (The Beatles)
    I couldn’t find a link to the studio version of this that I have from All Good Things. This is a live version, which is also beautiful.
  7. Deuce – Lenny Kravitz (Kiss)
    I like Lenny’s take on this, from the Kiss tribute album, Kiss My Ass. There’s more going on with the guitars and the harmonica adds a lot.
  8. Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – Ben Harper (The Temptations)
    This isn’t exactly a cover, since the Funk Brothers are the band again, but Ben Harper’s great vocal work is even more soulful that the original.
  9. Five O’Clock World – The Proclaimers (The Vogues)
    I’ve always liked this 60s hit, and I’ve always like the Proclaimers, so I was delighted when they decided to cover this.
  10. Getting Better – Gomez (The Beatles)
    A lot of people cover The Beatles badly. These guys really did a nice job with this one. It’s pretty close to the original in some ways, but the thing I like best about it is when they land on the groove at the end, they don’t just end the song as The Beatles did. They noodle around with it for a few minutes.
  11. Knowing Me Knowing You – The Lemonheads (Abba)
    The funny thing is, I never liked the original by Abba. It wasn’t until I heard Evan Dando singing it that I realized it’s a pretty good song.
  12. Last Train to Clarksville – Cassandra Wilson (The Monkees)
    Brilliant. She completely transforms the song into a slick jazz number.
  13. Lay Lady Lay – Magnet feat. Gemma Hayes (Bob Dylan)
    I’ve heard this pretty song about 1000 times. I’m always happy to hear this fresh take when it comes up on my iPod.
  14. Love My Way – Grant Lee Buffalo (Psychedelic Furs)
    Another case where I like the cover more than the original. Grant Lee Phillips’ mournful voice and melancholy interpretation make this song sound deeper than the Furs did.
  15. After Midnight – J. J. Cale (Eric Clapton)
    So, is it a cover if you wrote the song, gave it to someone else who made it famous, and then recorded it yourself 20 years later?

Here’s some cover art, for anyone wanting to burn an actual disc.

covers1

I hope you enjoy the mix. Have a great weekend.

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April 3, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Jam Bands, Mix CD, Motown, Popular, Rock

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