Friday, January 14, 2022

Weekend Listomania: Special "Cover Me, Baby!” Edition

So anyway, good friend of PowerPop (and moi) Sal Nunziato ran something like this over at his invaluable Burning Wood blog the other day, and I thought I would steal the concept with some slight tweaking.

And here it is.

BEST OR WORST COVER VERSIONS OF POST-ELVIS POP/ROCK/COUNTRY SONGS YOU REALLY REALLY LOVE!!!

And my totally Top of My Head Top 10 is...

10. Loudon Wainwright III -- Daughter

I first heard this on the soundtrack to Knocked Up, a film I don't dislike as much as a lot of people. In any event, I was instantly taken with it, despite the fact I had no idea that it was written and first recorded by the estimable Peter Blegvad.

9. Any Trouble -- Dimming of the Day

An utterly gorgeous Richard Thompson song, and one of the rare covers of his stuff that -- IMHO -- surpasses the original.

8. The Floor Models -- 5D

Our Celtic remake of the great psychedelic Byrds original, and I'm not ashamed to claim that it just might be an improvement over the hit version.

7. The Beatles -- Words of Love

Buddy Holly's original 50s track is, of course, a meisterpiece, but The Beatles remake -- and I think a lot of it is down to George Martin's amazing production -- is clearly an improvement.

6. Linda Ronstadt -- Tumbling Dice

Oh yeah right, Linda. Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of burnt challah toast, but that's awful. Especially considering you're supposed to be a great interpretive artiste.

5. Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson -- When Will I Be Loved

Quite possibly the greatest female pop vocal duet of all time.

4. Mick Jagger and David Bowie -- Dancing in the Street

Quite possibly the worst male pop vocal duet of all time.

3. The Smithereens -- Girl Don't Tell Me

The Beach Boys classic of course, and the 'Reens do it better. Heard it live at a 'Reens gig in the late 70s, and have been forever jealous

2. Miley Cyrus -- Heart of Glass

I generally like Cyrus -- her cover of "Jolene" is absolutely transplendent I think -- but god, the above is just awful.

And the number one cover that improves upon a great song is without question...

1. Ronnie Spector -- Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Posted that yesterday on the sad occasion of her death, but I think it's even more relevant now.

Awrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

12 comments:

Sal Nunziato said...

Someone tuned me on to this Mamas & Papas cover last year and it immediately became a favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uI9XFMqVPg

edward said...

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend - T-Bone Burnett
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Jackson Cage - John Wesley Harding
Like A Prayer - John Wesley Harding
Oops, I Did It Again - Richard Thompson
Jump - Aztec Camera
Somewhere - Tom Waits
Needles and Pins - The Ramones
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Blue Ash Fan said...


Shake Some Action -- Tommy Keene
Bruce Springsteen -- Who'll Stop the Rain
Steve Earle -- Dead Flowers
Tommy Keene -- Kill Your Sons
Blue Ash -- Dusty Old Fairgrounds
Bill Lloyd -- Step Inside
Cyndi Lauper -- Money Changes Everything
The Yayhoos -- Roam
The Sidewinders -- Solitary Man

Butch said...

Heard it Through the Grapevine..CCR

daudder said...

Twist and Shout, The Beatles. without a doubt.

Keith Fellenstein said...

Emmylou Harris - Pancho and Lefty

pete said...

Around and Around - the Rolling Stones
Don't Do It - the Band
I Heard that Lonesome Whistle Blow - Little Feat
The Kids are Alright - me
One Way Out - the Allman Brothers Band
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

Alzo said...

I know you don't care for him, but Bryan Ferry's 'Let's Stay Together' and Canned Heat's 'Let's Stick Together' are excellent takes on Wilbert Harrison's self-plagiarizing original(s).

Alzo said...

OMG. That's 'Let's Stick Together' and 'Let's Work Together.'

ChrisE said...

A few of my choices for the "Best":

Red Rockers - Eve Of Destruction
Electric Flag - Killing Floor
The Who - Heat Wave
Linda Ronstadt - Heat Wave (sorry, Steve)
Flamin' Groovies - She Said Yeah
Beatles - Long Tall Sally
Robert Gordon & Link Wray - The Way I Walk
Levon Helm & The RCO All-Stars - Milkcow Blues Boogie
Marshall Crenshaw - Right Now (Gene Vincent obscurity)
Marshall Crenshaw - Valerie (Richard Thompson song)
Marshall Crenshaw - Soldier Of Love (Arthur Alexander/Beatles song)
Marshall Crenshaw - S.O.S. (Stop Her On Sight) - a "Live" bonus track on Rhino's expanded CD reissue of his first album, cover of Edwin Starr song

ChrisE said...

A couple more for "best":

Three Dog Night - Eli's Coming
Eagles - Ol' 55 (many fans of Tom Waits, who wrote the song, would disagree but, I'm sorry, I love their version)

Unknown said...

Eric Burdon & Animals - River Deep Mountain High