Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.
A little later than usual, due to vacation, but there was too much fun music to skip this post. Elsewhere enough has been written about She & Him’s Melt Away tribute to Brian Wilson, the new Minions soundtrack, Easy Eye Sound’s John Anderson compilation and the countless Running Up That Hill covers – we heard some other highlights.
Oh Oh I Love Her So || Cover: Jesse Malin || Original: Ramones
New York singer-songwriter Jesse Malin followed up last year’s album Sad And Beatiful World with the sensitive single Keep On Burning. On the flipside, the BPM goes up for a catchy, danceable version of Ramones’ Leave Home song (1977). Out on vinyl 7″ via Wicked Cool Records.
Raise Your Hand || Cover: The Magnificent || Original: Eddie Floyd
On their album Monolithic, supergroup The Magnificent celebrate a rhythm ‘n’ blues party. When you have Mighty Manfred (The Woggles), Nathan Long (MI6), Kent Holmes (The Brutalists), SL “Duck” Duff (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs), Erik Szabo (Park Bench Prophets), Todd Westover (The Bellrays), Joe Jennings (JJ & the Real Jerks, Legendary Swagger) and Geoff Yeaton (The Legendary Swagger, The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) on stage, you can’t really go wrong, but this turns out even better than expected. Their take on Raise Your Hand (1967), with which the LP closes, leaves you wanting for more. Out digitally and on CD through Rum Bar Records.
Keep On Dancing || Cover: Nick Jagger || Original: The Avantis
New York punk rocker Nick Jagger posted this cover of R&B classic Keep on Dancing (he points out that it has also been recorded by The Gentrys, Pink Lady and Bay City Rollers) – a deliciously raucous version to dance to.
Summertime Blues || Cover: Classic Pat || Original: Eddie Cochran
First released in 1958 (as a B-side), then covered many many times, but we’re still not done with Summertime Blues. You can leave it to the prolific American rocker Classic Pat (Patrick McVay of The Putz) to turn it into a entertaining party anthem. Out digitally via Laptop Punk Records, from the upcoming album Why Not? Volume 2: La Bamba.
Someday I Suppose || Cover: Drug Church || Original: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Pure Noise Records and Pabst Blue Ribbon have teamed up to release Dead Formats Volume 1 at the end of this month, a 15-track compilation featuring the Pure Noise roster sharing their takes on the punk, emo and ska songs that helped shape the scene in the 90’s and 2000’s. American hardcore/punk outfit Drug Church covered The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 1993 single Someday I Suppose. The album will be available fully digitally on August 29, also on vinyl LP.
Neat Neat Neat || Cover: Tony Hawk & Punk Rock Karaoke || Original: The Damned
“I got a record deal! Well, kinda.” American skateboard legend Tony Hawk recently announced that he had recorded two of his favorite songs – The Jam’s In The City and The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat – with help of supergroup Punk Rock Karaoke, featuring Greg Hetson (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks), Stan Lee (The Dickies), Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger) and Randy Bradbury (Pennywise). Out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Cleopatra/Kung Fu Records. Unexpected, but not bad at all!
For The Record || Cover: Bodega || Original: Stretch Arm Strong
More fine fine music from New York: post-punk outfit Bodega put out Xtra Equipment, a collection of tunes from the same studio sessions that spawned the Broken Equipment LP that came out earlier this year. Besides a cover of Fugazi’s Provisional, you’ll also hear a recording of Stretch Arm Strong’s For the Record (“A loving homage to one of the most important band’s in my life”, according to singer-guitarist Ben Hozie) – very energetic but not as fast as the hardcore original. Out digitally via What’s Your Rupture?.
Outta Mind (Outta Sight) || Cover: The Tisburys || Original: Wilco
The Uncut compilation Wilcovered (2019) already featured some good Wilco covers, but I think you could easily put together a volume 2 and 3. This live recording by American indie rock/power pop band The Tisburys, taken from the One Year Of Heavenly Creature Records compilation, would be a good candidate.
Smoko || Cover: Wet Leg || Original: The Chats
As you’ll know by now, Like A Version is a weekly segment on Australian radio station triple j, in which a band performs one of their own tracks and a cover of a song they love. UK indie sensation Wet Leg opted for cult hit Smoko – obviously less urgent than the Australian shed rock band’s original, but no less cool.
Money For Nothing || Cover: Todd Sharpville || Original: Dire Straits
On his new album Medication Time, British blues musician Todd Sharpville explores his depression and his slow return to normality. Thematically, this cover is an outsider, though a successful, surprising one. Out digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Dixiefrog.
Check out our Dusted playlist on Spotify for more cool cover songs.