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Friday Playlist: Covering The Classics

September 20, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Playlist where members of the Times-Tribune staff submit their music picks base on a theme. We’ve been wanting to do a cover song theme for a while now, but we wanted to leave the pic open for future themes. So we decided to focus of covers of famous, well known songs. So this week’s theme is Covering the Classics. Enjoy:

Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary Pat McKenna

Hard to imagine two more different takes on the same song, and they’re both great. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little wing Chad Sebring

Just watch the live performance of SRV play this tune. The energy, soul, care and freedom in which it’s played is mind-blowing. The Raincoats - Lola Ted Baird

This has been popping up in my random Spotify playlist a lot the past few weeks and I’m delighted every time it comes on. Surely some will disagree, but The Raincoats’ raw sound is music at it’s best. There’s no question they had a huge influence on the music scene out of the Pacific Northwest in the 1990′s which I’m a big fan of.... I love the Kinks and this version is a refreshing take on a classic. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Voodoo Child Jim Lockwood

SRV unleashes his unsurpassed fire and fury in this cover of the Hendrix classic that is both spot-on true to the original and yet totally SRV. The Inmates - Dirty Water Ed Pikulski

Just a fun song that plenty of bands like to cover. Soccer Mommy - I’m on Fire Jon O’Connell

This one’s been covered six ways to Sunday, but the latest release from my current musical muse, Soccer Mommy, I think, would make the Boss proud. Sophie Allison makes “I’m on Fire” her own, and it’s ethereal, haunting, gut-wrenching.

 

John Mellencamp - Wild Night Cecilia Baress

This is the song that introduced me to what a “cover song” was. My dad was playing the John Mellencamp version, and he said it was the only instance of a cover song being better than the original (I’m pretty sure he still thinks this today). Also, how awesome is Meshell Ndegeocello? Parra for Cuva feat. Anna Naklab - Wicked Game Joe Healey

I first heard the Chris Isaak version of “Wicked Game” in the David Lynch film “Wild At Heart,” in a scene where Sailor and Lula were driving in a top-down convertible down a dark highway on a summer night. Sailor came clean about his past, and the scene – and the song – stuck with me and really stirred my emotions. Years later, the Parra for Cuva version featuring Anna Naklab on vocals stirred up the same emotions as the original: love and loss and regret. Both are haunting and beautiful tracks. The Smithereens - I Want to Hold Your Hand John Cole

The Smithereens were naturals at covering The Beatles, given their fondness for hooks, harmonies and catchy pop melody. Their cover is more an homage than a re-imagining, which is fine! Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom John Cole

Sturg’s re-do translates Cobain’s original grunge classic into a ruminative ballad. Most listeners won’t recognize the tune until the beginning of the chorus. Devo - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction John Cole

It wasn’t not often that a band’s performance left me speechless, but Devo’s remake of this Stones’ classic did just that. Outrageous, hilarious, and tight, it was sheer genius. Ry Cooder - Little Sister Jim Haggerty

Elvis’s version of this Doc Pomus rock ‘n’ roll classic topped out at No. 2 on the 1960 pop charts. Cooder’s 1979 version completely transformed it to a funk tune. Hindu Love Gods - Raspberry Beret Jim Haggerty

Prince’s brilliant 1985 hit was a slick, polished sensation. Warren Zevon and the members of REM turned it into a garage rock romp in 1990. Ry Cooder - Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer Joe Butkiewicz

The phrase “on a wing and a prayer” entered the lexicon in World War II.  (http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2010/02/comin-in-on-wing-and-prayer.html) Songwriters, inspired by Allied air crews limping back to England in damaged bombers, wrote the lyrics for a song that became a No 1 pop hit for the Song Spinners, then Anne Shelton, then in Russia. I’m partial to the Ry Cooder version. The Muppets - Mah Nà Mah Nà Joe Butkiewicz

The Muppets version was cited at a recent Times-Tribune news planner. The song was composed  by Piero Umiliani for a mondo movie about risque behavior in Sweden. It was subsequently used for the Red Skelton Shot, recorded by Giorgio Morodor and then featured with The Muppets. The Cardigans - Iron Man Patrice Wilding

I was obsessed with the Swedish space pop sound of The Cardigans when I was a teenager; I wanted to be just like lead singer Nina Persson. I loved this sexy lounge act spin on a hard-metal favorite made famous by Black Sabbath. Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World Patrice Wilding

One of the rare cases in which a classic band covers another classic artist and leaves you torn over which version you love better. It also shows the reverence Cobain and company have for Bowie, a major influence on their music and attitudes. Lady Gaga - What’s Up Gia Mazur

While I grew up a decade after it came out, 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up” was game-changer for me. As a singer since I could talk, it was the first song I could sing along to and explore my entire vocal range. Linda Perry’s voice runs the gamut with a breathy head voice, rich and deep low notes, full chest belts and guttural, scratchy riffs. I was fascinated by it and learned how to mimic and create each sound, which I use in the music I perform today. Lady Gaga is my icon, my be-all and end-all and I adore her. She’s brilliant and strange, and lends so much of her talent and essence into this cover. She gives all of herself to her performances. Hearing my all-time favorite artist perform a song I feel so close to is more inspiring than I can put into words.

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