Cover songs

I just downloaded the new Tortoise and Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham) album of cover songs from iTunes. It’s pretty cool, especially considering I’ve long wanted Tortoise to experiment with a cool vocalist (any vocalist, really). The songs on the album accomplish what all good covers should–completely reinvent the original. Whether it’s “Daniel” (Elton John), “Thunder Road” (Springsteen), or “That’s Pep!” (Devo), each song is a dramatic, sometimes revelatory, reworking.

I really am a sucker for covers. Some favorites off the top of my head:

Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” (Simon and Garfunkel)
Johnny Cash “The Mercy Seat” (Nick Cave)
The Clash “I Fought the Law” (The Crickets)
English Beat “Tears of A Clown” (The Miracles)
Husker Du “Love Is All Around” (”Mary Tyler Moore” theme/Sonny Curtis)
Chris Isaak “Solitary Man” (Neil Diamond)
Mad Caddies “S.O.S.” (ABBA)
Nazareth “This Flight Tonight” (Joni Mitchell)
Nirvana “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” (Leadbelly)
Pegboy “Revolver” (Mission of Burma)
Revolting Cocks “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” (Rod Stewart)
William Shatner “Common People” (Pulp)
Sisters of Mercy “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones)
Patti Smith “Gloria” (Them)
Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (Gloria Jones)
Siouxsie and the Banshees “The Passenger” (Iggy Pop)
Sonic Youth “Superstar” (Carpenters)
Tricky “Black Steel” (Public Enemy)
Sid Vicious “My Way” (Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)

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