In last week’s Houston Chronicle, in their Thursday Entertainment section, there was an article about the author’s ten favorite cover songs. I was going to link to that as the basis of my Friday Random Ten, but for some bizarre reason it’s not on their website, and the guy never responded to my email inquiring about it. Feh. It’s still a good idea, so here are my top ten cover songs from my collection:
1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Johnny Cash. The story had Cash’s version of “Hurt” from the same album, which I also love, but this one speaks to me a little more. When The Man In Black sings “And pain is all around/Like a bridge over troubled water/I will lay me down”, boy howdy you believe him.
2. I Will Survive – CAKE. I can’t adequately express how much I love this song. This is a canonical example of a group taking something and making it their own.
3. Brain Damage – Austin Lounge Lizards. The first Lounge Lizards song I ever heard. I was hooked from the beginning.
4. If I Had A Boat – Eddie From Ohio. Can’t find a video for it, unfortunately. It’s from their “Portable EFO Show” CD.
5. Shine On Harvest Moon – Asylum Street Spankers. The Spankers did a ton of covers, many featured on their “Mercurial” CD. It’s tough to pick just one, but I’d say this classic is my favorite.
6. I Wanna Be Like You – Los Lobos. Sooner or later, everybody does a Disney song cover. Los Lobos apparently did a whole album’s worth. The version in that video is a bit different than what’s on the “Stay Awake” album, which is my favorite song from that record.
7. Uncle John’s Band – Indigo Girls. From the “Deadicated” CD. Any time you take a song I don’t care about singing along to and turn it into a song I simply must sing along to, it’s a winner.
8. September – Pomplamoose. A lot of these songs are different in style or execution or some other obvious way from the original. This one may be the most faithful to it. It just works for me. The dancing grandma in the video kicks it up a notch.
9. Hesitation Blues – Willie and The Wheel. Willie Nelson. Asleep At The Wheel. A few of their favorite old-time western swing songs. Need I say more?
10. Jenny Jenkins – Lisa Loeb. A large proportion of the TV we watch around here is kid-oriented. This video, from “Jack’s Big Music Show”, was one of the better things we’ve seen. The version of the song available through iTunes has two more verses.
Songs I might have included if I still possessed them:
Birdland, by Maynard Ferguson
Silhouettes, by The Nylons
Psycho Killer, by The Bobs
There’s probably more, but that will do. What are your favorite cover songs?
Entire song list report: Started with “Mamma’s Favorite”, by Guy Forsyth. Finished with “Merchant’s Lunch”, by the Austin Lounge Lizards, song #3309, for 91 tunes this week.
Ripping vinyl report: “Perfect Strangers”, the other Deep Purple album that I own. I need to do an inventory and see how many albums I have left to go.