covers of songs you love that caught you off guard

edith headedith head 5,106 Posts
edited October 2007 in Strut Central
meaning unobvious covers. i love neil young's "i've been waiting for you" but there are lots of songs that are more likely to be covered from his discography than that one. overall, i prefer later smoldering neil but this has a special place in the sentimental. it's a modest and simple neil y song compared to later stuff, so it was unlikely that someone in popular music would think to cover it cause it's not really neil sounding if you're looking at the big neil picture. that's what i thought at least. one time i watched that episode of late night with conan where they re-ran one episode but everything was redone in stop motion claymation and david bowie was the musical guest. now i haven't been interested in anything present day bowie has done, but the song he performed on conan was a cover of this early neil young sleeper. i was so stunned, like "wait, can it be?" you have no idea how much i love this song. this was my go to closing track during college years when i made mixtapes for troubled dudes i had a crushed hard on. "i've been looking for a woman to save my life..." i thought it was poignant perfection for a few severely flawed young & dumb romances. anyway, back to bowie on conan, it took a few chords and lines for me to completely register and once it did, i yelled out to my roommate so loud "OH MY GOD AMANDA GET IN HERE!" cause i had to tell someone how weird this was and who knew better how much i jocked that song and how i used it than someone i lived with. i'm pretty sure i put it on a mix for her too. but beyond that weirdness, it was a claymation bowie singing one of my favorite neil songs nonetheless- i was in heaven. claymation bowie performing one of my favorite understated neil songs on conan... this was my kinda thing.i also bugged out when i bought a pixies velouria single at the kusf recordshow many years ago and the b-side track was kim deal singing this song. neil'spixies versionhave you've ever been surprised by hearing unexpected cover of a song you love? and/or what sleeper song would you freak out/love if you heard it covered?
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  • Hotsauce84Hotsauce84 8,450 Posts
    i had a crushed hard on

  • edith headedith head 5,106 Posts
    i had a crushed hard on

    lordy, i meant *I* crushed hard on

  • parsecparsec 5,087 Posts
    M.Ward - "let's dance" David Bowie cover. (more for the M Ward factor than Bowie admitingly) sp?

    in other news, caught Bowie sonning Ricky Gervais on Extras last night (late pass) holy shit that was funny

  • I heard a great reggae cover of William Bell's 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover' not long ago that blew me away, so much so I've forgotten who did it

    If it comes back to me just where I have it I'll be back with audio

  • pjl2000xlpjl2000xl 1,795 Posts
    i really like the dear prudence cover by ramesy lewis. I was playing that earlier today.

  • "I'm Your Puppet" - Jimmy London

    "I'm Gonna Love You Just Little Bit More" - Jimmy Smith

  • SoulOnIceSoulOnIce 13,027 Posts
    I heard a great reggae cover of William Bell's 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover' not long ago that blew me away, so much so I've forgotten who did it

    If it comes back to me just where I have it I'll be back with audio

    It's probably George Faith, "To Be a Lover."

    It's on a Lee Perry-produced album, and was
    actually something of a hit worldwide.

  • pjl2000xlpjl2000xl 1,795 Posts
    m*rks thread reminded me of:
    ye me le by the gimmicks.

  • SoulOnIceSoulOnIce 13,027 Posts
    i really like the dear prudence cover by ramesy lewis. I was playing that earlier today.

    That album is a good example, since he does some deeper
    album cuts, stuff not always covered. The fact that "Julia"
    ends up being the most heavy song always blew my mind.

    Tribute albums, while generally uninspired, can sometimes
    turn up some great pairings - a band you like doing some
    obscure track that you thought nobody else cared about.
    Sonic Youth doing "Computer Love" on the Neil Young benefit
    for the Bridge disc was a great one for me. Even if it was
    a bit obvious, it was just perfect to hear Trans material
    done with guitars.

  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    On the Neil Young tip=St. Etienne-Only Love Will Break Your Heart.

  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    Oooh I got another one, this thread rules, I could sit
    around and come up with these all day, I love covers....

    Bobby Bare Jr's version of "What Difference Does It Make" by The Smiths.

  • Psychic TV-Good Vibrations (Amazingly straight forward cover that sounds very similiar to the Beach Boys version....until Genesis P. Orridge starts reciting a spooky Goth Poem about black snakes crawling toward him and other strange things.)

    David Byrne doing Whitney Houston- I Wanna Dance with Somebody. (He does this song with such sincerity and heart that it just makes me smile. I've seen him perform it live twice.)


    I saw Phish cover 99 Problems with Jay-Z in Brooklyn. That was just head scratchingly strange. I thought I was hallucinating. Last thing I expected to see after being dragged to a hippy jam band show was.....Jay-Z.


    Saw a Bluegrass/ Jug Band do a great cover of Guns and Roses- Mr. Brownstone, before launching into Mr. Crowley. It made me happy. It was real good.

  • pjl2000xlpjl2000xl 1,795 Posts


    I saw Phish cover 99 Problems with Jay-Z in Brooklyn. That was just head scratchingly strange. I thought I was hallucinating. Last thing I expected to see after being dragged to a hippy jam band show was.....Jay-Z.
    that inspired this:
    http://www.spinjunkies.com/index2.htm
    check the mp3s, encore vs friend of the devil is dope.

    grateful dead vs jigga mashups = crazy deeelicious







  • I heard a great reggae cover of William Bell's 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover' not long ago that blew me away, so much so I've forgotten who did it

    If it comes back to me just where I have it I'll be back with audio

    It's probably George Faith, "To Be a Lover."

    It's on a Lee Perry-produced album, and was
    actually something of a hit worldwide.


    Nice work SOI - with a quick 11 minute response time you edged out Pickwick

    From Arkology vol 3: George Faith "To Be a Lover (Have some Mercy)"
    ZSHARE

    Don't have the William Bell ripped

  • there are hundreds maybe thousands of jamaican covers of soul tunes but this one really knocked me for six, speaking of george faith



    george faith 'if loving you is wrong', bunny lee on the mix.

  • coffinjoecoffinjoe 1,743 Posts
    there are hundreds maybe thousands of jamaican covers of soul tunes

    yes, & Ken Parker & Delroy Wilson do it right
    (Slim Smith & Cornell Campbell also come up big, Ken Boothe is more of an acquired taste)

    what getz me are all the reggae covers of Everly Brothers tunes & CSNY related songs
    i think that the CSNY love is due to all the Isley covers of their stuff
    but Boothe's "Down By The River" & the umpteen versions of "For What It's Worth"
    (always called "Stop" in JA ?) along with "Birds", "Love The One Your With", etc is mind blowing

    ras karbi covers bruce cockburn "longing for your touch"
    &
    raunchy & bev's neil daimond tune "solitary man"

    also many Dylan covers (not the fake ass rolling bob modern thing)
    +
    many country tunes (check for Prince Count Miller's "Mule Train")

    my white whale is a sons of pioneers cover rock steady style blank that i
    use to own but was broken, not sure who (pioneers/techniques/paragons?)
    with lyrics about east of the rio grande & wearing a yellow ribbon

    still haunts me

  • PrimeCutsLtdPrimeCutsLtd jersey fresh 2,632 Posts
    i love Johnny Cash's version of rusty cage! His version of 13 is better than danzig's original.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts
    Wow - great topic... If I understand Aud's question right...it's more than just "your favorite cover" but rather, "great covers that you were surprised to know someone bothered to cover," right?

    Hmm...

    On the reggae/soul tip: Hearing Ken Boothe's cover of "Is It Because I'm Black?" always threw me just because I don't think I had ever heard that song covered, at all, in any genre, by anyone else and the fact that Boothe really captures part of the heart of that song was remarkable.

    I'm always struck when I find a foreign (i.e. non-North American) cover of any Nite-Liters song since I had no idea they had such a popular reach overseas. Sheeyit - there's what? 3 different groups in Peru who covered them, plus the Filipino joint too? Out of that whole batch, the Enrique Lynch medley flip with "K-Jee" is probably my most favorite.

    This whole album could win in the category but Betty Lavette's more recent "My Own Hell To Raise" is like 11 songs worth of, "wow, she covered that?" but I suppose that was part of the LP's conceit. I liked hearing her take on Aimee Mann's "How Am I Different" in particular.

    And the Coasters taking on "Love Potion #9" is straight up awesome and not something that I would ever, on paper, think was dope (unlike, say, covering "Mustang Sally").

  • Wow - great topic... If I understand Aud's question right...it's more than just "your favorite cover" but rather, "great covers that you were surprised to know someone bothered to cover," right?

    Hmm...

    On the reggae/soul tip: Hearing Ken Boothe's cover of "Is It Because I'm Black?" always threw me just because I don't think I had ever heard that song covered, at all, in any genre, by anyone else and the fact that Boothe really captures part of the heart of that song was remarkable.

    This really *isn't* that surprising though considering there are at least a half dozen reggae covers of this tune out there (including the bootleg instrumental JA 45). As far as that Ken Boothe album (the one that features IIBIB) I am, like Tim, surprised at the "Down By The River" version. Actually one of my favorite tunes on the record.

    I was initially very surprised at the reggae covers of Brubeck's "Take Five" (or rather, tunes voiced over that rhythm) but since I've been rooting around Jamaican collections I've realized that I just did not fully grasp their affinity for jazz.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts
    Wow - great topic... If I understand Aud's question right...it's more than just "your favorite cover" but rather, "great covers that you were surprised to know someone bothered to cover," right?

    Hmm...

    On the reggae/soul tip: Hearing Ken Boothe's cover of "Is It Because I'm Black?" always threw me just because I don't think I had ever heard that song covered, at all, in any genre, by anyone else and the fact that Boothe really captures part of the heart of that song was remarkable.

    This really *isn't* that surprising though considering there are at least a half dozen reggae covers of this tune out there (including the bootleg instrumental JA 45). As far as that Ken Boothe album (the one that features IIBIB) I am, like Tim, surprised at the "Down By The River" version. Actually one of my favorite tunes on the record.

    I was initially very surprised at the reggae covers of Brubeck's "Take Five" (or rather, tunes voiced over that rhythm) but since I've been rooting around Jamaican collections I've realized that I just did not fully grasp their affinity for jazz.

    Cosign on the "Take Five" covers. Always struck by those as well.

    I haven't heard other versions of the Syl Johnson song by reggae artists (but that's not surprising) so Boothe's stood out for that reason. Whereas, I had already heard covers of "Down by the River" from unexpected sources - Dutch Rhythm Steel - so getting to Boothe's cover was less, "whoa, did he just do that?" That said: Boothe's version is GREAT.

  • coffinjoecoffinjoe 1,743 Posts
    why do they call "take 5" "the russians are coming" in JA ?

    spanky, check for Delroy Wilson's versions of "Is It Because I'm Black", beats out Mr Boothes to my ears

    i once had 100+ JA inst/spoken word bootleg "IIBIB/Soul Heaven" at hand

    the bosses wanted to toss them, i kept a fistfull

    hind sights

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,032 Posts
    i once had 100+ JA inst/spoken word bootleg "IIBIB/Soul Heaven" at hand

    the bosses wanted to toss them, i kept a fistfull

    hind sights

    Why must I cry?

  • BamboucheBambouche 1,484 Posts
    have you've ever been surprised by hearing unexpected cover of a song you love? and/or what sleeper song would you freak out/love if you heard it covered?


    I couldn't sleep last night and was thinking about this same thing.

    Specifically, Zeitkratzer (German avant chamber group) performing Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Have you listened to Metal Machine Music? It's like 4 sides of total noise. To adapt it for an orchestra performance must be daunting enough, but to actually perform it--in front of people? It seems like it wouldn't yield much fruit, publicly, but I imagine it's quite a personal accomplishment, to have scored over an hour of total noise.

    Out of curiousity, I aligned Lou Reed's "Part 1" next to the same by Zeitkratzer and listened to Reed in my left ear and Zeitkratzer in my right, to see how close they were. Pretty impressive, I must say.



    Most covers have a certain novelty that leaves me flat. Like, you can hear the band, "Dude, wouldn't it be funny if we did a rock song really slow?" Exceptions, for me, include:

    Rapeman - "Just Got Paid"
    Fiona Apple - "Across the Universe" (only because there's not one Beatles cover I like besides this one)
    Zu - "Theme De Yoyo" (that whole album, really, is pretty fantastic)
    Sister Nancy - "Coward of the County" (wtf is going on here?!)
    Live Skull - "Pusherman" (because it makes you want to do drugs)
    Happy Go Licky - "White Lines (Don't Do It)"

  • Nels Cline's cover of Trane's Interstellar Space LP is pretty darn impressive
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=TcjAy3VtMVU
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AszbNtYlrBU

  • [quote
    Live Skull - Pusherman (because it makes you want to do drugs)

    to be honest the only thing Live Skull ever wanted to make me do was turn off the stereo...

  • ElectrodeElectrode Los Angeles 2,889 Posts
    I too am not one who usually goes for Beatles covers but there's something special about Grady Tate's "And I Love Her". The orchestra and Purdie's drumming are very dynamic. Eddie Haddad's "People Get Ready" (45 only on MGM) is heavy, too. Speaking of reggae covers, there are a lot of instrumentals inspired by the James Bond theme

  • bassiebassie 11,710 Posts
    Susan Cadogan's much more submissive version of "Hurts So Good" was a nice surprise and I might even prefer it to Millie Jackson's by a thread for production value alone.

    Perhaps I'm missing some link, but I think Three Degrees doing James Gang's "Collage" is an interesting choice and it worked out beautifully.

    Nina Simone can do any song and make it her own - "The Pusherman" is a great example of that - incroyable!


  • and curtis mayfields wonderful cover of 'we've only just begun' turned the tune into a black power message it was never meant to be

  • DrWuDrWu 4,021 Posts
    The first time I heard Toots doing 'Country Roads' I was smiling. One at how good his version was and two because who the fuck covers John Denver?

  • akoako 3,409 Posts
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