January 18, 2008
Friday random ten: Three times a cover

It's time to lighten the mood around here a bit, I think. So let's go with a third week of cover-related Random Ten goodness - see here and here for the first two installments.

1. "Your Horoscope For Today" - Lager Rhythms/Weird Al Yankovic. Do you think anyone has ever tried to parody a Weird Al song? He does a lot of originals, like this one. How would you parody Weird Al? That's a question that might keep me awake tonight.

2. "You Are My Sunshine" - Norman Blake/Ray Charles. Remember how I said earlier that I believe one mark of a truly good song is if it can be interpreted in completely different ways by different artists? That's as true of old-fashioned folk music as it is of pop. Norman Blake's version is from the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. Ray Charles' version is pure Ray Charles. And they're both wonderful.

3. "Uncle John's Band" - Indigo Girls/Grateful Dead. I think I prefer just about every cover of a Grateful Dead song to the original I've ever heard - that's certainly true for what's on the "Deadicated" CD. Doesn't mean the originals aren't good, just that I think the covers are better.

4. "All Around My Hat" - Ceili's Muse/The Mollys. Another old folkie, and another big variation between the two versions. This time, it's lyrical and thematic as well as musical - the Mollys take the "waiting for my true love to return" idea, and add an ultimatum to it, which IMHO was sorely needed.

5. "Thin Line Between Love and Hate" - Annie Lennox/The Persuaders. Not really a whole lot of difference between these two.

6. "Rock This Town - Stray Cats/Brian Setzer Orchestra. Like Phil Collins covering Genesis' "Behind the Lines", Brian Setzer takes one of his old standards and runs with it. It's longer and jazzier, but not as starkly different from the original as Collins' effort was.

7. "Proud Mary" - Creedence Clearwater Revival/Ike & Tina Turner. Pro-CCR: Their version is in my singing range. Pro-Ike & Tina: The MOB arranged their version. Tough call, but I think the Turners win by a nose.

8. "Walkin' Blues" - Eric Clapton/Muddy Waters/Asylum Street Spankers. Some artists do covers. Some artists are covered. Muddy Waters is an example of the latter.

9. "Vincent" - Don McLean/Tufts Beelzebubs. And a capella groups are an example of the former. That's a feature, in case you were curious.

10. "Bad Moon Rising" - Creedence Clearwater Revival/Thea Gilmore. I wasn't going to include another CCR song in this set, but then I found this "Buffy"-themed video set to the Thea Gilmore version of the song, and I figured that meant I had to include it. Yeah, I know, I'm a huge geek.

I think I've just about exhausted this theme, at least as far as my own music collection goes. So tune in next week, when I come up with a variation on that theme.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 18, 2008 to Music

If you've got any Linda Ronstadt you ought to have a zillion cover opportunities, from Zevon to Kaz to Souther to Little Feat.

Posted by: Linkmeister on January 19, 2008 1:41 AM