Wednesday, 17 October 2012

For your listening pleasure: My favourite cover songs

David Byrne, © Marcia Resnick

For no reason other than that I was listening to music in my car and realised some of my absolute favourite songs are covers - some classics in their own right, others a little bit more unexpected - I decided to compile a little playlist for you.

20 cover tunes, beloved by me, that either offer something distinct from the original recordings, or (in some cases) are just plain better. You can get the whole playlist from Spotify here should you feel so inclined.

1. Diamond Dogs, Beck (originally by David Bowie)

2. I'm on Fire, Bat for Lashes (originally by Bruce Springsteen)

3. Handle With Care, Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins (originally by the Traveling Wilburys)

4.When Doves Cry, Patti Smith (originally by Prince)

5. Diamonds are Forever, The Arctic Monkeys (originally by Shirley Bassey)

6. Blitzkrieg Bop, Yo La Tengo (originally by the Ramones)

7. Eleanor Rigby, Ray Charles (originally by The Beatles)

8. Sea of Love, Tom Waits (originally by Phil Phillips)

9. She's Not There, Neko Case and Nick Cave (originally by The Zombies)

10. Immigrant Song, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Karen O (originally by Led Zeppelin)

11. Hounds of Love, The Futureheads (originally by Kate Bush)

12. Rocket Man, My Morning Jacket (originally by Elton John)

13. Hurt, Johnny Cash (originally by Nine Inch Nails)

14. The Killing Moon, Pavement (originally by Echo and the Bunnymen)

15. Boys are Back in Town, Belle and Sebastian (originally by Thin Lizzy)

16. Waterloo Sunset, David Bowie (originally by The Kinks)

17. No Surprises, Regina Spektor (originally by Radiohead)

18. If You Leave, Nada Surf (originally by Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark)

19. What a Wonderful World, Nick Cave and Shane McGowan (originally by Louis Armstrong)

20. I Wanna Dance With Somebody, David Byrne (originally by Whitney Houston)

Three things to note: Firstly, I could very easily have compiled an entire playlist made up of David Bowie covers. Maybe that should be tomorrow's task...

Secondly, Nick Cave has covered basically every good song ever written (as proven here), from Dylan to the Beatles to Pulp. Just one more reason why he is my hero.

Thirdly, I discovered a few absolutely amazing songs that are sadly not available on Spotify, or anywhere, really, except via terrible quality YouTube clips. Still worth taking a gander at, I feel.

The Flaming Lips' take on Under Pressure:

And Sufjan Stevens singing a bit of R.E.M:



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