Sunday, 7 September 2014

10 Alternative Musicians Who Covered Pop Hits (And Nailed Them In the Process.)

10. Crispin Glover - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'.

Ever listened to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin''" and thought, "man, I like this song, but I sure wish someone recorded a cover that made it sound creepy as hell"? Well then, you're in luck, because actor Crispin Glover blessed the world with his own unique version of the song on his 1989 album The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution. The Solution = Let It Be. He sings the song like a man who keeps a gynaecologist's chair in the middle of his apartment, which should be no surprise to those of you out there who know that Crispin Glover does keep a gynaecologist's chair in his apartment.

9. Teenage Fanclub - Like a Virgin.

Like a lot of musicians of their era, Teenage Fanclub made a living from inserting pop hooks into scuzzy, guitar driven rock, so perhaps it's not surprising that their cover of Madonna's hit comes with feedback galore, and a driving drum beat.

8. Guided By Voices - Baba O'Reilly.

This wouldn't be a list on The Underlook without a reference to Guided By Voices, would it? As has been repeatedly confirmed I dedicate myself to the music of Robert Pollard and co. with the same passion that most people dedicate to their families and/or careers. But, how could you not like a band that tackles such a classic song with such relentless energy? Sure, they have trouble replicating the song's tricky opening, but from that point on they jump headlong into the track with their customary intensity and noise-rock genius. God bless 'em.

7. John McCauley - Dead Flowers.

John McCauley is the brains behind Deer Tick, a band who have produced five full lengths album of alt. country fuzz and scuzz brilliance. Here he takes on Dead Flowers, bringing a raw, throbbing edge to the Rolling Stones classic.

6. Philadelphia Grand Jury - 99 Problems.

Jay-Z never knew what hit him.

5. Vitamin String Quartet - Get Lucky.

If you're yet to discover Vitamin String Quartet and their beautiful instrumental arrangements of pop/rock/indie hits, then you're missing out. With what could only be described as genuine admiration, they take the songs you know and love and transform them into rich, layered classical anthems. Their cover of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" is only the tip of the iceberg - every single record they've put out begs for a listen.

4. The Mountain Goats - The Sign.

Who knew that The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle was an Ace of Base fan? The only thing sweeter than this cover's wide eyed enthusiasm is the voice at the beginning of the track that gently utters: "I never get tired of this song." Amen.

3. Red Kross - Dancing Queen.

Red Kross' first gig was an opening slot for Black Flag - from such auspicious beginnings, it must have been hard for the band to decide where to go next. Thank God then that somewhere along the way they decided that covering ABBA was the next logical step.

2. Frank Black - Hang On To Your Ego.

Seeing as this is the man who cut increasingly large numbers of Kim Deal penned songs from each Pixies album to make room for his own efforts, the title of this Beach Boys track must have really spoken to Frank Black. That said, he nails this one, bringing an odd electro charm to his version.

1. Mark Kozelek - What's Next to the Moon?

Mark Kozelek doesn't just cover AC/DC on his tribute album, What's Next to the Moon - he transforms them. Stripping the songs to their bare bones, he reveals the surprisingly powerful lyric content of each Bon Scott penned anthem, creating music that twists and rattles like a cut snake. In fact, Kozelek's covers are so powerful that one music critic mistook "What's Next to the Moon" for a cover of a Leonard Cohen track, which might well be the only time Scott and Cohen have ever been confused.

No comments:

Post a Comment