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Posts Tagged ‘cover songs’

Saturday video break: I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

Reaching back to the 1920s and the legendary Duke Ellington: I love me some Glenn Miller, but of all the big band leaders of that era, I think Ellington had the best overall body of work. The movie The Cotton Club is a mess in many ways, but its Ellington-infused soundtrack can’t be beat. Naturally, […]

Saturday video break: How High The Moon

Didn’t get my act together in time to post a video last week – sorry about that. This Saturday we get a little jazzy with the great Charlie Parker: If you’re a sax player, then Charlie Parker is one of your gods. Wish I could have seen him perform live. As with many jazz songs, […]

Saturday video break: Honey, Honey

Behold the majesty of ABBA at its peak: If they aren’t the greatest English-language band that didn’t actually speak English, I don’t know who is. They also gave us the musical/movie “Mamma Mia”, from which we get this version: My daughters know all the lyrics to all these songs – they’ve seen the movie a […]

Saturday video break: Hold Back The Night

Here’s The Trammps with a little soul for your soul: The Trammps were probably best known for the 70s classic “Disco Inferno”, for which I can’t recommend The Bobs’ a capella cover enough, though sadly it doesn’t exist on YouTube. A cover of this song that does exist is by Graham Parker and The Rumor, […]

Saturday video break: Hesitation Blues

From their very first album, the Asylum Street Spankers doing this traditional classic: From the late great Dave Van Ronk: And finally, a version that’s both more modern and even more old school, from Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel: I don’t know what took Willie Nelson and Ray Benson so long to work […]

Saturday video break: Here Comes The Flood

Here comes a very young Peter Gabriel, doing a very acoustic piano version of “Here Comes The Flood”: That was from a 1979 Kate Bush Christmas special. Who knew Kate Bush had a Christmas special? Who knew that was a Christmas song? All I know is that I’m glad this was a thing that happened. […]

Saturday video break: Helter Skelter

The Beatles classic gets a funky a capella treatment from The Bobs: I missed an opportunity to see The Bobs at a small club here (the Mucky Duck) some years ago, and I’ve regretted it ever since. A group that I did get to see more recently, and I’m very glad I did, is U2. […]

Saturday video break: Heigh Ho

Two very different takes on a Disney classic. First up, Tom Waits: That’s from the great album Stay Awake. Sure puts another spin on the Dwarfs’ day, doesn’t it? I didn’t really like this version when I first heard it – I think that’s because Stay Awake is full of more alternative artists, and if […]

Saturday video break: Hearts of Stone

A deep cut from Bruce Springsteen: That’s on his four-CD “Tracks” collection of B-sides and other unreleased or miscellaneous tunes. The man was a nonstop songwriting machine. Most of what’s on “Tracks” is stuff you probably don’t know unless you’re a hardcore Bruce fan. Or alternately, a Southside Johnny and the Jukes fan, since recording […]

Saturday video break: Heart of Gold

Neil Young sings what was then his new song, once he finds the right harmonica. That was from 1971. I’m getting old, too. Now here’s Johnny Cash and his cover version: I so wish he were still around to do more of these. Rest in peace, Johnny.

Saturday video break: The Harder They Come

From the movie of the same name, here’s Jimmy Cliff: An underrated classic from the 70s if you ask me. Here’s cover version by another underrated artist, Joe Jackson: Love Joe Jackson. I guess I’m just a sucker for someone who can rock out on a piano.

Saturday video break: Hallelujah

I know, this song has been covered forty jillion times. But you know what I’d never heard before now? Leonard Cohen’s original version. Here it is: Different from what you’re used to, right? Here’s a live version that’s a bit more like what you’ve heard before. There was a great article on the interwebs a […]

Saturday video break: Groove Me

One of the great cover bands of our time, the Blues Brothers: It’s been over 33 years since John Belushi died. Every now and then I wonder what kind of career he would have had if he had managed to tame his demons enough to survive them. He was amazingly talented, but he’d entered that […]

Saturday video break: The Rainbow Connection

Going out of order, inspired by a Facebook post by my friend Andy, here’s a classic song with a particular resonance for this week: From the original “Muppet Movie” of 1979, which I need to find on DVD and make my kids watch. I do have this song in my library, though I don’t have […]

Saturday video break: The Great Gig In The Sky

That Pink Floyd song from Dark Side of the Moon whose name you can never remember: That wasn’t the first video I watched for this. I looked at this one first, by The Australia Pink Floyd Show. It was so faithful to the original it nearly fooled me: Wow. As I recall from the one […]

Saturday video break: Gotta Serve Somebody

One of the gospel songs of Bob Dylan: Couldn’t find a decent live version of that, sorry. Anyway, because this is a Dylan song there are covers aplenty. The one I have is by blues diva Etta James: I’m convinced. How about you?

Saturday video break: Got My Mojo Working

Here’s one of the great voices of American blues, Muddy Waters: As our subtitled narrator notes, Muddy Waters was a huge influence of many other blues artists, as well as on rock musicians. ZZ Top is a prime example of the latter – they tip their hats to the man in their early classic “Jesus […]

Saturday video break: God Only Knows

An all-time classic from an iconic band: Remember when James Watt, Ronald Reagan’s idiot Secretary of the Interior, denied the Beach Boys a permit to play a Fourth of July concert on the Washington Mall? He’d never even heard of them. Sometimes it’s useful to remember that today’s craziness didn’t come out of nowhere. For […]

Saturday video break: God Bless The Child

Possibly Billie Holliday’s best-known song: Yeah, that song has no relevance to today’s society at all. Billie Holliday would have been 100 years old in April. Coverville had a nice tribute to her last week. “God Bless the Child” was also a hit for Blood, Sweat & Tears: So the Bible says, and I’ve got […]

Saturday video break: Girls Just Want To Have Fun

In a world where music videos had plot lines, there was Cyndi Lauper’s 80s classic: Lauper went on to do several remakes and remixes of this song, which stands up pretty well 30 years later. While this is absolutely Lauper’s song, it was written by Robert Hazard five years before Lauper recorded it. She changed […]

Saturday video break: Gloria

Settle in, kids, this is going to be a long one. We start with the original version of this classic, performed by Them, a “Northern Irih rock band featuring Van Morrison”, who are not to be confused with Them!, a 1954 sci-fi classic featuring giant ants. Anyway, here’s Gloria by Them: I should interject at […]

Saturday video break: Girl From Ipanema

Easily the most famous bossa nova song ever, and possibly the most recognizable saxophone melody, here’s Stan Getz with Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto doing their signature hit, “Girl From Ipanema”: I remember reading a “Peanuts” cartoon from a paperback collection when I was a kid in which Linus said he was the only student […]

Saturday video break: Georgia On My Mind

Legendary big band drummer Gene Krupa leads his troupe and an unnamed female vocalist in this classic: Of course, the version we all know is by Ray Charles: Some years ago I was visiting a school friend in Atlanta, and she took me to Stone Mountain to see the laser show. This number got a […]

Saturday video break: Friend Of The Devil

A vintage clip of a classic Grateful Dead song: That video is about three times as long as the studio version of the song, but hey, the Dead were a jam band. Anything less wouldn’t feel right. It’s also interesting that they slowed the tempo down for that performance. That’s the same approach Lyle Lovett […]

Saturday video break: For You

Some old school Springsteen, done acoustically by a more current version of The Boss: That’s from his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey!. Did you know that three songs (that I know of and heard at least once on the radio) from that album were covered by Manfred Mann? You know about “Blinded […]

Saturday video break: Flashdance

Tear up your sweatshirt and put on your leggings, it’s time to go back to the 80s with Irene Cara: You know my motto: There’s no cheesy 80s hit song that Big Daddy can’t take to completely unexpected places: Someone really ought to put in an application for them to get a MacArthur genius grant.

Saturday video break: First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

You all know the Roberta Flack version: If you’re old enough to remember that song, you’re probably old enough to remember a TV ad or two selling a compilation of mellow hit songs that included this. (You may also remember it from the Clint Eastwood movie “Play Misty For Me”.) Aim that ad at a […]

Saturday video break: Fire and Rain

It’s a James Taylor classic: But have you ever said to yourself “You know, I’d like to hear that song with a bluesier voice and a horn section backing it”? Well, then Blood, Sweat & Tears is here for you: BS&T did a fair number of covers, the best known probably being the blues classic […]

Saturday video break: Eye Of The Tiger

It’s Survivor. Feel the awesomeness. You can’t top that – you can’t even come close to equaling it. There’s a reason Dave Bickler, the lead singer, went on to do those Real Men of Genius ads. The best you can do is something completely different. That means Big Daddy. I only wish Big Daddy made […]

Saturday video break: Existential Blues

I’m sure I have a few Dr. Demento fans in my reading audience. As such, I’m sure you’re familiar with Tom “T-Bone” Stankus and his stream of consciousness masterpiece: There are some better videos that show Stankus singing, with some bonus monologue thrown in, but they both have embedding disabled. These videos are here and […]

Saturday video break: Exactly Like You

Nobody does western swing these days like the Hot Club of Cowtown: I’ve been a fan of theirs for awhile, though I haven’t seen them in Houston recently. For a clear demonstration of their instrumental chops, see this blazing rendition of “Digga Digga Do”, check out their other videos, and visit their webpage. Come play […]

Saturday video break: Everybody Hurts

An REM classic, as done by the Meat Puppets: And by Amanda Palmer and Cormac Bride: I have some more versions of this, all in a similar style. They’re from a tribute to REM called “Drive XV”, which is still available as a free download from Stereogum. To save time, if you want to see […]

Saturday video break: End of the World

We’re all familiar with Skeeter Davis’ 1965 hit, right? OK, that may not be the song we think of when we hear the words “It’s the end of the world”. Let’s try the Pet Shop Boys, shall we? Still not the song you’re looking for? (Certainly not the official video, but I couldn’t find one.) […]

Saturday video break: The Elements

This is a bit of a rerun from last year, but it fits into this theme even though it’s technically not a cover but more of a remake and an update. Surely you know Tom Lehrer’s song “The Elements”: But seeing that video, you can also see that there have in fact been many more […]