Missed Music

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

The Friday mix: Covers volume II

As promised, I have gotten back to running through the second half of my collection for my favorite covers. This is the N – Z edition. As always, I’m looking for someone covering a song to reinterpret it, not just do it again. These  completely retread the songs or have familiar voices doing unaccustomed things.

Wherever possible, I have tried to link to the full song on YouTube. I figure if you like it, you can find it easily enough to buy it. Or whatever. Where I couldn’t find the whole song, I linked to the sample on Amazon. You can trust me, though. I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t good.

  1. War Pigs – Cake (Black Sabbath)
    Holy crap what a great job they do with this. Even if you aren’t a huge Cake fan, you’ll probably like their take on this tune.
  2. Pablo Picasso – David Bowie (Modern Lovers)
    Bowie makes this quirky song rock harder than the original. I love it. “Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole. Not in New York.”
  3. Voodoo Child – Angelique Kinjo (Jimi Hendrix)
    Angelique’s poppy West African take on this tune makes it sound very different, maybe even a little funkier.
  4. She Said, She Said – The Black Keys (The Beatles)
    I have seen the Keys do this song live and they have so much made it their own you would think they wrote it.
  5. Wind Cries Mary – Jamie Cullum (Jimi Hendrix)
    I’m a sucker for a Jazz cover of a Rock tune and Jamie’s piano is so broad and happy he actually turns this melancholy song into something uplifting.
  6. Walk Like an Egyptian – The Puppini Sisters (Liam Sternberg for The Bangles)
    This is a goofy, fun song and the Sisters don’t lose sight of that. The first time I heard this,  their Andrews Sisters-esque sound was so alien for this song I could’t name it until the chorus.
  7. Son of a Preacher Man – Joan Osborne (Ronnie Wilkins & John Hurley)
    Sadly for us all, I’ve never heard a studio recording of her that comes close to capturing her energy and passion live. This live recording is stellar. Go see her if you ever have a chance.
  8. Sweet Thing – The Waterboys (Van Morrison)
    I already pushed this song when I wrote about Fisherman’s Blues, but it remains my favorite cover of a Van Morrison song.
  9. Us and Them – Easy Star All-Stars (Pink Floyd)
    I actually haven’t heard their newest release that covers St. Pepper in its entirety in the Reggae style. They have also covered OK Computer by Radiohead, but this is my favorite song from my favorite album by these guys.
  10. Revolution – The Pretenders (The Pretenders)
    OK, so it’s not exactly a cover. This is a Pretenders song from Last of the Independents in 1994. 5 years later, however, they did it live on Isle of View. It’s completely regrooved, beautiful, and actually pretty inspiring.
  11. Ruby Baby – Bjork (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller)
    I love Bjork’s voice and I especially like to hear it in this Jazz setting, rather than surrounded by electronic weirdness (which I also like, but this is new).
  12. St. Louis Blues – Herbie Hancock featuring Stevie Wonder (W. C. Handy)
    Stevie won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance for this in 1998 and Herbie Hancock’s band has an unbelievable feel for this song. They couldn’t miss with Stevie adding harmonica, too.
  13. Teardrop – Newton Faulkner (Massive Attack)
    The song falls gently where he strips it down and soars where he adds harmony vocals.
  14. The Tale of Mr. Morton – Skee-Lo (School House Rocks)
    This is my one of my favorite tracks on the School House Rock Rocks! tribute album (along with “3 is a Magic Number” by Blind Melon). This could hardly be more different from the original, but the reinterpretation is so good it shows you what great songwriting it was.
  15. Who Is He And What Is He To You? – Me’Shell Ndegéocello (Bill Withers)
    They do a fantastic job updating this R&B classic and the fact that it’s Me’Shell’s sexy female alto singing it makes is hotter.

Enjoy with your favorite cocktail, but make it with an off-brand liquor for a twist. It might even be better than the original. Have a good weekend.

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May 15, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Hip Hop, Jazz, Mix CD, R&B, Rock

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