Nothing Compares

by Colin Peters (Journalism), published June 29th 2011

The purple Prince wants cover songs to be outlawed.  However, let’s not forget this is the same guy who declared the Internet was “completely over” last summer.  I partially understand why Prince is opposed to cover songs, but that’s not to say I completely agree with him.  I enjoy a good cover from time to time.  To celebrate Prince’s craziness, I have assembled some cover songs that I am quite fond of.  Please enjoy.

‘€œNo One’s Gonna Love You’€

Despite the title’s suggestion, this song is actually quite sweet.  Originally by Band of Horses, it was masterfully covered by Cee Lo Green.  It was then remixed by Paul Epworth into what I think is an excellent example of how a cover song can be refreshing and re-inventive.  The accompanying music video is extremely well done, too.  See the Paul Epworth mix of Cee Lo’s cover.

‘€œCrazy’€

Cee Lo strikes again!  Gnarls Barkley’s hit single ‘€œCrazy‘€ was one of 2006′€²s biggest hits.  Incredibly catchy and filled with Cee Lo soul, it’s easy to like and fun to sing along with.  Enter Ray Lamontagne to change the pace and feel of the song.  His raspy voice and stripped instrumentation give the song a more haunting and less fun feeling.  ‘€œCrazy‘€ by Ray Lamontagne.

‘€œWe Didn’t Start the Fire’€

This isn’t a straight cover but an updated version of Billy Joel’s ‘€œWe Didn’t Start the Fire.’€œ  British musician King Charles covered and updated the song to relate to a newer generation.  Best line: ‘€œRolling Stones still play / We all know Tom Cruise is’€¦’€ Enjoy:  ‘€œWe Didn’t Start the Fire‘€ by King Charles.

‘€œBorn This Way’€

I hate to do it, I really do.  I’m hesitant to show any love for Gaga, but I can’t resist.  I give you Ulrik Munther covering “Born This Way.”  It’s a pretty good cover.  Here’s another take by Aston with a classical arrangement of the song.  So what’s the verdict?  Lady Gaga is a talented songwriter, I’ll admit it.  But she’s crazy.

‘€œAgainst All Odds’€

Phil Collins oh yeah!  Classic song.  Another great example of an already stellar song that is reinvented.  The Postal Service switched it up a bit, made it a little edgier and definitely more electronic.  ‘€œAgainst All Odds‘€ by the Postal Service, which leads us to’€¦

‘€œSuch Great Heights’€

Arguably the Postal Service’s most well known song, ‘€œSuch Great Heights‘€ has been used in commercials, promotions and movies.  Chances are, even if you’re not too familiar, you’ve probably heard it at some point.  This song seems to be hard to cover due to the electronics, but Iron & Wine knocked it out the park when they covered it.  Sam Beam’s take on the song completely changes the direction of the song.  Good stuff.  Bonus:  Iron & Wine’s cover of ‘€œLove Vigilantes,’€ originally by New Order.

‘€œCreep’€

Radiohead’s hit ‘€œCreep‘€ is delightfully covered by Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls on her aptly titled album ‘€œAmanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele.’€  Hear it / see it here. (Then go on to watch hours of awesome black cab performances)

2 Responses to “Nothing Compares”

  1. “The Chauffeur” by Deftones. Will forever be one of my favorite covers.

  2. “The Chauffeur” by Deftones. Will forever be one of my favorite covers.