Saturday, September 08, 2007

Under the Cover of Greatness Redux

It's hard to do a good cover of a classic song. Some people want it to sound exactly like the original, while others what the artist to take their own spin on it, which usually ends up upsetting the other fans of the original. It's a risky move, and as I explained a few days ago, few people get it right. So here is my list of the top 5 cover songs:

1. My Chemical Romance & The Used - "Under Pressure"
Even though this is the song that started the falling out between these two emo heavy weights, they managed to bring the song and Queen to the kids who weren't even alive for Live Aid. The guitar work alone earns this song a spot on the list.

2. The Doors - "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)"
Great cover by a great band of an 80 year old song.

3. Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"
If aliens landed on planet Earth and asked what the meaning of beauty is I would play them Jeff Buckley's amazing cover of this Leonard Cohen classic. The guitar work is perfect, and Buckley had a voice that few others can match.

4. The Ramones - "I Don't Want To Grow Up"
The Ramones put a punk rock twist on this Tom Waits tune that I think is just as good as the original. I almost never like a cover better than the original, especially if it is a Tom Waits song, but this one comes damn close.

5. Pearl Jam - "American In Me"
Pearl Jam always does really good covers, but I think that their spin on this Avengers tune is by far the best. They keep the speed of the original but add a thick layer of guitar crunch to it that adds a little substance to it. Only available as a live track so far, but here's to hoping they release a studio version. The link above goes to the original version.

you have to fight to stay in control

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