Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cover Craft

Shows like RockStar, American Idol and now, The Greatest American Band, have made an artform of sorts out of covering well-known songs, with mixed results. Sometimes I'm so attached to an original song that I cannot stand to hear it manipulated or changed in any way. Other times, I've been pleasantly surprised by someone's personal take. And in some cases, a mediocre song has taken on new life for me. I've found some great ones on various movie/TV soundtracks as well.

Here is a sampling of some of my favorite cover songs:

"Umbrella" by Mandy Moore. I like the Rihanna song, but love Mandy's version of it. (Check out YouTube for the video of her, and also for the Vanilla Sky video cover which is hilarious)

"The Man Who Sold the World" by Jordis Unga. WHO?? Yes, a contestant on the original RockStar: INXS, blew my mind with this David Bowie song. I have it in frequent rotation on my iPod. Loved her, yet she's virtually vanished.

"I Want It That Way" by The Candy Butchers. A live acoustic version (sounds like it was recorded in someone's wood-paneled basement) introduced to me by my blogfriend Micah, on a mixed CD he sent me a few years ago. The Backstreet Boys never sounded so good, even with the "goof" towards the end.

"Across the Universe" by Fiona Apple. From the "American Beauty" soundtrack, and just perfect.

"Two of Us" by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, from the "I Am Sam" soundtrack. The Wallflowers doing "I'm Looking Through You" is pretty great too.

"Cry Me a River" by Joe Cocker. No comment necessary.

"I Don't Want to Talk About It" by both the Indigo Girls and Everything But the Girl. Loved the Rod Stewart original, but these two are great as well.

"Sexual Healing" by Shaggy. A Reggae take on the Marvin Gaye classic.

I know there are a lot more.... but I'm heading to Manhattan to see my cousin Jim at mile 18 of the NYC Marathon! (You may recall that I entered the lottery to walk it, but my number was not pulled. Wah.)

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