Here’s a few of my favorite cover tunes!
We’ll start with Eve Plum’s version of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer” (stick with it to the very end, that’s my favorite part):
I also like 10,000 Maniacs covers of “Sally Ann” (The Horse Flies) and “Everyday is Like Sunday” (Morrissey) and “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” (R.E.M.), but can only find “Rockville” on YouTube at the moment. Amazingly, all three covers are from the same Candy Everybody Wants EP:
Something funny: Most everyone knows that 10,000 Maniacs also covered the Patti Smith Group’s “Because the Night”. Many fans also know they covered David Bowie’s “Starman”, and the post-Merchant Maniacs an OK job covering Roxy Music’s “More Than This”. But the Maniacs are also responsible for one of the worst cover songs ever, of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. The recording I heard was live, and Natalie Merchant sang something like “When routine gets hard, and la-la-la is low… la-la-la-la-laaaaa and la-la-la don’t grow… and la-la- our ways… take a different approach”. Whoever sang backup then took over, and Merchant would only join in the chorus. It was pitiful!
I didn’t want to like it at first, but Anberlin’s cover of New Order’s “True Faith” has really grown on me:
I really like The Watson Twins’ cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and The Submarines’ cover of “Boys Don’t Cry”. The Submarines did the bouncy, happy song in the first iPhone commercials. Ironically, the song is extremely anti-consumerism, which makes Apple’s ad agency either stupid or ballsy.
Nada Surf does a cool version of OMD’s “If You Leave”…
…and it’s hard to believe that Bryan Ferry’s version of “I Put a Spell on You” was originally a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song (and I mean that in the best way):
And here’s two of my favorite “I bet you didn’t know they were covers in the first place” songs. Here’s Mazzy Star’s “Hair and Skin”, originally done by Green on Red:
And lastly, here’s Saint Etienne’s “He’s on the Phone”, originally known as “Weekend à Rome” by Étienne Daho. I’m not sure you can really count it as a “cover”, as the original song is in French, and sounds like a slow Cabaret Voltaire (or maybe Kraftwerk) song. Saint Etienne’s version is much faster and very danceable, and the lyrics are completely different… although they tell pretty much the same story as the original: