January 11, 2008
Friday random ten: Cover-two

Continuing with last week's theme, here's ten more songs for which I have multiple versions in iTunes.

1. "A Fool In Love" - Ike & Tina Turner/Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton, Angela Strehli. I know I've said there's only one Tina Turner, but sometimes three divas are better than one. I like the Texas blueswomen's collaborative effort here, which as they say in the liner lines was the first time singing backup for any of them. By the way, the song's lyrics, about being so madly in love with your man that you want to do anything for him even though he maybe doesn't treat you as well as he could, is an interesting window into the Turners' relationship.

2. "Groove Me" - Blues Brothers/King Floyd. A bit outside the box for the Blues Brothers. It's still good, but I prefer the original.

3. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Amy Grant/Frank Sinatra/The Pretenders. That's quite the stylistic span, isn't it? Christmas music can do that.

4. "I'm Beginning To See The Light" - Count Basie & Joe Williams/Duke Ellington/Bobby Darin/Tufts Beelzebubs. You want to know what the definition of a "standard" is? Anything that gets covered by the likes of Basie & Williams, Ellington, Bobby Darin, and university a capella groups.

5. "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye/Creedence Clearwater Revival. Hey, kids, you're not going to believe this, but back in the old days, when radio DJs were responsible for selecting and actually playing tunes on the station's record player (go ask your parents what that is), the CCR version of this song and its eleven-minutes-plus length was a popular choice when they needed a potty break, as it gave them enough time to get back and get a new song ready to go. Boy, the things we all had to endure back then.

6. "I Will Survive" - CAKE/Gloria Gaynor. The disco classic and girl-power karaoke favorite meets...well, I'm not sure exactly how to describe CAKE's version. But I like it. See for yourself.

7. "If I Had A Boat" - Eddie From Ohio/Lyle Lovett. Words can't express how much I love this song. As EFO's Robbie Schaefer says after he does their cover of it, it's one of those songs you wish you'd written. Here, have another video.

8. "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" - Lager Rhythms/They Might Be Giants. Every time I hear someone say "Istanbul", I have to quash the urge to say "Not Constantinople". Please tell me I'm not the only person who does this.

9. "Kodachrome" - Paul Simon/Tufts Beelzebubs. Seeing all these a capella versions on today's list reminds me that I need to go buy some CDs by The Bobs. I just don't have enough a capella music in my collection.

10. "Linus and Lucy" - Asylum Street Spankers/Vince Guaraldi. Also known as the Snoopy Dance Song, it sounds very different when done without a piano. But that's one of the joys of covers, isn't it? Getting to hear an old favorite in a new and unexpected way. I think it's axiomatic that the best songs out there are the ones that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I can't say I've found a counterexample yet.

I hope you've enjoyed this little exercise, because I haven't exhausted it yet. I'll be back next week with more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 11, 2008 to Music

Awesomely eclectic as always Kuff - if you and the family feel like movin' - check out Little Richard doing an awesome cover of "Brown Sugar" on a collection of Stones tributes called "Cover You: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones". Other highlights include a haunting rendition of "Gimme Shelter" by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, and a Live version of "Dead Flowers" by Texas's own Steve Earle. Check it out if you can.

Posted by: TAN on January 11, 2008 8:11 PM

Here's some to try out:

"Running Up That Hill" - Kate Bush/Placebo

"Pretty in Pink" - Psychedelic Furs/Social Distortion

Posted by: KB on January 15, 2008 1:23 AM