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Tricks Memory Plays

June 26th, 2007 · 28 Comments

For some reason, I had remembered the Bangles cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” as being much better than it is. I now feel as though someone ought to do a cover as good as I’d imagined it being. In related news, I finally paid enough attention to Wire’s lyrics to realize that R.E.M.’s “Strange” was a cover.

Since this post is otherwise unjustifiable, leave your favorite covers in the comments. (“All Along the Watchtower” is cheating.)

Tags: Art & Culture



28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Johnny Cash covers “Hurt” by Trent Reznor


    Great moment in music video, IMO.

  • 2 steveintheknow // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Pixies – Head On (Jeebus and Mary Chain)

    Although the original is just as good, this was the cover that got me into the JMC, so yeah, there ya go.

  • 3 LP // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:36 am

    My favorites:

    Joan Jett covering “Crimson & Clover” (orig. Tommy James & the Shondells)

    Social Distortion covering “Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash)

  • 4 LP // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Oh! Steve’s post reminded me: David Bowie covering Pixies’ “Cactus.”

  • 5 Jim Henley // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Steve Earle and Buddy Miller doing the Stones’ “Sweet Virginia” live on the El Corazon tour.

    But really, “Hurt.”

  • 6 Patrick // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Nina Simone – My Baby Just Cares for Me

  • 7 FS // Jun 26, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    I liked the Bangles’ cover of Hazy Shade of Winter. At least more than the original.

    Living Colour had a good cover of Talking Heads’ “Memories Can’t Wait.”

  • 8 That Fuzzy Bastard // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    The Bagles cover isn’t terrible (the guitar still sounds great), but the drums were definitely better back when we were all used to that terrible 80s rhythm section production.

    As for great covers—the list is so long! A shortlist would have to include:

    Nirvana: The Man Who Sold the World
    Violent Femmes: Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me
    Minutemen: Dr Wu
    The Gourds: Gin and Juice
    Ani DiFranco: When Doves Cry (am I allowed to mention Ani DiFranco on a libertarian blog?)
    Sonic Youth: I Wanna Be Your Dog
    Supple: Staying Alive

    I’m also a fan of New Boots and Panties, the Ian Dury covers album—some excellent covers of some marvelous songs.

  • 9 teething ring // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Two great covers by 90s bands I otherwise don’t have any use for:

    Buffalo Tom, “All Tomorrow’s Parties”

    Garbage, “Thirteen”

    One amazing cover by an overrated-but-still-nifty 80s band:

    Hüsker Dü, “Eight Miles High”

  • 10 PW // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” stands out as an interesting cover. Aretha’s “Respect” is a good example of besting the original. Also, for some reason, Also, California Guitar Trio’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” deserves mention.

    Metallica’s cover of “Breadfan” by Budgie is wonderful. Actually, Metallica used to do great covers, until everything went to shit and they started covering Bob Seger and Skynard.

    Voivod’s “Astronomy Domine” and Bowie’s “See Emily Play” are great Pink Floyd/Syd Barret covers.

    Finally, Alice Cooper (the original AC Band, that is, ’69-’74, which is should be judged separately from Alice’s solo career) made some bizarre cover choices. The band only covered two songs to my knowledge. Both were composed and originally performed by Rolf Harris, an Australian TV personality and novelty musician: Hello Hurray, and Sunarise. And, both are outstanding, especially the former.

    That’s enough, I suppose.

  • 11 marc w. // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    No one’s taken Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” yet? huh.

    Oh, and Iron and Wine’s version of “From such Great Heights.”

    Kind of a niche thing, but I loved Sicko’s version of “Panama.”

  • 12 Cain // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    To dovetail nicely with the Bangles, I’m gonna go with The Donnas doing Kiss’ “Strutter”.

  • 13 sangfroid826 // Jun 26, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    My taste in music is execrable, behold:

    5. Bitches Ain’t Shit – Ben Folds
    4. Enter Sandman – Pat Boone
    3. Hit Me Baby One More Time – Travis
    2. Word Up – Korn
    1. If I Had a Hammer – Leonard Nimoy

    Re: DiFranco. She may be socially liberal in her support of Kucinich & Nader, but economically, I can think of no greater confidence in free markets than for a musician to start her own label at 18 yrs of age. Very libertarian, no?

  • 14 David // Jun 26, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Gnarls Barkley’s remake of the Violent Femmes’ song “Gone Daddy Gone”:


    The original:


  • 15 Glen Whitman // Jun 26, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back,” of course.

    Dirty Vegas’s “Simple Things Part 2” transitions about 2/3 of the way through into an awesome cover of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.” Pretty cool.

    Any cover by the Beautiful South is likely to be good; I recommend “Prettiest Eyes,” “Everybody’s Talkin’,” and “Dream a Little Dream.” But these are fairly straightforward, non-transformative covers.

    Check out Willie Nelson’s versions of “Georgia On My Mind” and “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).”

  • 16 elyzabethe // Jun 26, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    the jam cover of gin & juice oft-misattributed to phish (i don’t know who it actually is)

  • 17 Brian // Jun 26, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    On an eighth grade field trip, I suffered head trauma. I still remember the look on the doctor’s face when he had to tell me, “While we expect an otherwise complete recovery, I’m afraid you will never stop loving corny punk covers.

    Everything by Me First & The Gimme Gimmes.

  • 18 ck // Jun 26, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t know about favorites but I definitely like Dynamite Hack’s “Boyz-N-the-Hood” and Fountains of Wayne’s “Baby One More Time”

    For adaptations, check out Run-DMC (really just Run) doing “Let’s Stay Together” or “Take the Money and Run” both off of the final album Crown Royal.

  • 19 steveintheknow // Jun 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Oh yeah…

    Cat Power: “satisfaction”, and “I Found Reason”.

  • 20 Timon // Jun 26, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    There is a cover of “The Windblower’s Daughter” by Brazilians Ana Carolina & Seu Jorge (Jorge also did the David-Bowie-in-Portuguese covers for “The Life Aquatic”, and might be his own runner-up) that is just amazing, it’s available here:


  • 21 Andrew // Jun 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    The Raincoats’ cover of Lola; Mission of Burma’s cover of 1970.

  • 22 varnish // Jun 26, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Another vote for Joan Jett’s Crimson and Clover — also, her cover of Do You Wanna Touch Me? (original by Gary Glitter)/

    The Sisters of Mercy: Gimme Shelter/

    Age of Chance: Kiss (original by Prince)/

    REM: Superman (don’t recall who did the original)/

    Dead or Alive: That’s The Way (I Like It) — original by KC & The Sunshine Band/

    Yeah, I’m old. I can’t think of anything more recent.

  • 23 Don K // Jun 27, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Johnny Cash: Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode)

  • 24 Wrongshore // Jun 27, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    PJ Harvey, “Highway 61 Revisited”
    Nelly Furtado, “Crazy”
    Aretha Franklin, “Love The One You’re With”
    Ted Leo, “Since U Been Gone/Maps”

    Nina Simone covers deserve special recognition. I think that in her way, she was trying to sustain the aesthetic of the “songbook” — bringing the best of the psychedelic singer-songwriter era into the canon that against her efforts (or in the absence of anyone else’s) came to seem like a relic. A failed experiment, but a neat one.

  • 25 Ann // Jun 27, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    The Slits – Heard it Through the Grapevine
    Will Oldham – Can’t Take That Away
    Patti Smith – When Doves Cry
    David Kitt – Teenage Riot
    And I second Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.”

    Also, The Covers Project is truly amazing.

  • 26 Nick // Jun 28, 2007 at 9:55 am

    John Doe – Vigilante Man

  • 27 Josh // Jun 28, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    the jam cover of gin & juice oft-misattributed to phish (i don’t know who it actually is)

    The Gourds.

  • 28 Matt // Jun 29, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Shirley Bassey – Light My Fire
    Katrina & The Waves – River Deep-Mountain High
    Bill Cosby – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Dionysos – I Did Acid With Caroline

    Also, the Bangles cover of Hazy Shade works a lot better when coupled with the opening scenes of Less Than Zero.

    As for finding new covers, you can’t really go wrong with Copy,Right?