Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Even Better Than The Real Thing

Covers are an interesting beast of music...sometimes, they are so amazing and so unexpected they knock your socks off.  Aaaand sometimes...they just plain suck.

Every notice how there doesn't seem to be a middle ground with covers?  The other thing with covers is the sheer abundance of them.  But seeing as there are so many great ones, I thought it would be cool to take a look at a few.

Behold!! Covers That Are Awesome, Covers That I Had No Idea Were Even Covers, and Say What?

File Under: Covers That Are Awesome

Perhaps part of the allure is that the Counting Crows version is just so damn hard to find. It's not on any of their albums, in fact, it mainly appears randomly on the Clueless soundtrack. Love the original, but a slower tempo and Adam Duritz's voice makes for more melancholy on the remake. And here at imnotsleeping, we like melancholy. Side note: also remade by Sugar Ray.

    Poignant. Heart wrenching. Soulful sadness. If you've never seen the video, it's a must watch. Grab a tissue..

    I may catch some flack for this one, but I really do think The Sundays' cover is amazing. It's so haunting and different from the original that I had to give it props.

    • With a Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker (original: The Beatles)

    Now THIS is a cover.  Joe Cocker makes you feel like you literally cannot get by without a little help from your friends.  The original sounds like pure pop compared to this souled- up version.  Just look at the freeze frame of Joe Cocker in this video- the man is sweating and singing his heart out.  Or maybe I just like it 'cause I grew up on the Wonder Years.

    • Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley (original: Leonard Cohen)
    THE COVER OF ALL COVERS! No explanation needed. Most people don't even realize this is a cover. I actually think this may be one of the most covered songs out there (as evidenced HERE!)

    Another great version is the one by Rufus Wainright:

    And the original:

    File Under.....Covers That I Had No Idea Were Even Covers
    • All Along the Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix (original: Bob Dylan)
    Hey, I'm just a fan, I'm no expert, but I had zero idea that this was NOT the original.

    Wait, you mean the As Seen on TV talking bass fish didn't sing it first? Nope, and in fact, neither did the Talking Heads.

    • I Hung My Head- Johnny Cash (original: Sting)

    Both great, however I prefer the Johnny Cash version.  He makes it a deceptively beautiful and upbeat song that actually makes you feel uplifted by the tone, yet it is about murder.

    • Hard to Handle- Black Crowes (original: Otis Reading)

    Also found this little gem:

    File Under.....Say What?
    Nothing tickles my musical fancy more than an unexpected combination. Like these covers.
    Yes, you absolutely read that right. I about fell out of my chair the first time I heard this cover. This is a pleasantly unexpected cover. In fact, this one wins the "Say What?" Award.

    Side note, having seen John Mayer in concert, I can vouch for his cover ability. I can't find a recording, but if a guy can handle "Little Red Corvette" on acoustic, trust me on this Kid A thing...just...trust me...

    • The Scientist- Aimee Mann (original: Coldplay)

    Just because....who knew? Me neither. 

    • King of Pain- Alanis Morissette (original: The Police)

     The original voice of female angst singing a song called "King of Pain". This is what covers are all about!

    So, that's a short start to a long list of amazing covers out there. What's your favorite cover song?


    1. I'm also a fan of a GOOD cover. A friend once said to me, "You like covers don't you?" After he heard my awesome cover playlist, well at least I think it's awesome. :P
      Joe Cocker's version is by far my ultimate favorite cover.
      Great choices here! :)

    2. It's hard to top that Joe Cocker cover!