When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

03 July 2006

Cover me

Don Surber has a great post about his favorite cover versions of popular songs.

Don's tastes are both eclectic and impeccable--he lists artists ranging from Jay-Z to Ricky Nelson--and his commentary, insightful, viz:
3. "You Don't Know Me" by Ray Charles. Another selection from his 1962 "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" album, it is a cover of a 1955 Eddy Arnold song. He took a song about unrequited love and turned it into an allegory about how white America overlooked black America.
Oh, man. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, though it horrified many of his fans at the time, is one of the best albums Ray Charles ever recorded; sheer incandescent brilliance.

Back when I was doing a regular podcast, the single most popular episode I ever recorded was all about unusual cover versions of famous songs.
  • Pat Boone covering "Enter Sandman" (originally performed by Metallica)
  • Wang Chung covering "Hot In Herre" (originally performed by Nelly)
  • The Scala Youth Choir (from a little town in Belgium) covering "I Touch Myself" (originally performed by Divinyls) and "Perfect Day" (originally performed by Lou Reed)
  • Cake covering "I Will Survive" (originally performed by Gloria Gaynor)
  • R&B star Johnnie Taylor performing "Sixteen Tons" (which is a cover of a cover; originally performed by Merle Travis; famous version by Tennessee Ernie Ford)
  • Ozzy Osbourne performing "Stayin' Alive" (originally performed by the Bee Gees)
  • Indie songstress Nina Gordon performing "Straight Outta Compton" (originally performed by N.W.A.)
  • James Brown wailing "Your Cheatin' Heart" (originally performed by Hank Williams, Sr.)

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