So last week we took a look at the worst cover songs ever. What’d we learn? Well, if you’re in a pop-punk band it’s likely you should not be allowed to record music. Of any kind. Cover or not. Seriously, you guys need to drink some more vodka and go up to that pink girly mosh pit in the sky. Stop whining. We also learned that even if you’ve been on a SyFy television smash hit that does not entitle you to put on a flared collar and start performing spoken word.SHATNER.
We put a lot of emphasis on the negative, maybe it’s time for a bit of the positive. You’ve all been good boys and girls, happily reading playlist after playlist. So here’s a playlist of the best cover songs. Ever.
“Tell It To My Heart,” by Girl Crisis: An amazingly beautiful rendition of the Taylor Dayne classic. Girl Crisis is made up of a number of female front women performing awesome music in Hipstamatic framing. Check out their YouTube channel for covers of “Come As You Are,” “White Rabbit” and more.
“I’m on Fire,” by Chromatics: Springsteen will always be the boss. Fact. But sometimes he has a tendency to sort of… err… mumble? “Ey lil irl iser addy ome?” And while on some songs that’s right on point (whadup “Hungry Heart”?), for a slower song like “I’m on Fire,” the slow, clear treatment is the way to go. Chromatics took this song and made it sound like church.
“Rocketman,” by My Morning Jacket: We had this song on the shittiest cover list as well. The difference? In the shitty one Shatner is singing it. My Morning Jacket on the other hand, chooses to pull back from Elton John’s classic. The way it’s produced makes it sound as though it’s performed live in a student mess hall with wonderful acoustics. They keep it somber, so that when the calm climax hits, it pulls our heartstrings and leaves a lump in our collective throats. I said it. Whatever.
“Pony,” by Ambassadors: Ginuwine made this a cult hit back in ‘96, and since then, no one’s really touched it. I mean, the dude talks about getting banged like a pony. That’s awesome. But last year, Brooklyn-based band Ambassadors released a number of cover songs, “Pony” being one of them. They jazzed the song up a bit and made it their own personal sexy rock song. When I hear it, my panties drop.
“Just a Friend 2002” by Mario: Betcha forgot about this lil’ ditty from 2002. You probably forgot about the original from Biz Markie in 1989. The difference? Mario is not seemingly mentally challenged, and can actually tweet a tune or two.
“Teenage Dream,” by The Warblers: Yeah it’s that super cheesy all guy a cappella group from Glee. Yeah. I watch Glee. You wanna make something of it? This song is a monumental stand out. If there’s one thing in the world I hate, it’s Katy Perry, but I’ll be damned if I don’t join in on the choreographed dancing when The Warblers croon this tune.
“Sugar, We’re Going Down,” by Goat: So remember how punk bands shouldn’t cover other bands? Well it turns out, other bands can cover punk bands and it doesn’t sound too shabby. Goat gives a mellow kind of Brazilian feel to the Fall Out Boy…”song.”
“Heart It Races,” by Dr. Dog: This was released on an EP of bands covering and remixing the Architecture in Helsinki song, and this was the only one that truly stood out. The brilliant thing about this cover is that it’s better than the original. Many covers are good in a different way, or build off the original song. This one trumps them all.
“Sweet Dreams,” by The Big Pink: I hated the original version of this song. It made me feel weird, and not in the way your middle school teacher makes you feel weird. Beyonce kinda fucked this one up. Enter The Big Pink to synth the shit out of it and make it a true slow jam.
“Hurt,” by Johnny Cash: Many people will have an open jaw on this one, thinking exactly what I thought when I first heard the song… That’s not a cover. That’s a Cash original. Ladies and gents, it was originally a Nine Inch Nails track, a very good one as a matter of fact, but the man in black swooped in and whooped it into a tear-jerking ho down.
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