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8.11.2008

A while back, I wrote about my top 5 songs of all time. After hearing about the death of Isaac Hayes this weekend, the thing that kept coming into my head was his cover of Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By." See, the art of the cover song is practically lost. These days, it seems like every time a singer gets a bit of popularity, he or she wants to re-sing something. But as we all know, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Because of these travesties (I'm looking at *you*, ScarJo, Usher, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, and ugh, BABYFACE!), covers have an understandably bad rep. But there are some good ones. Without further ado, here are my top five favorite cover songs, in no particular order. Walk On By - Isaac Hayes Originally by Dionne Warwick, composed by Burt Bacharach Hayes' voice, deep and rumbling, coupled with the strings and organ turned a sad little piano ballad into something dark and powerful. I'm a fan of Dionne Warwick, but this is one case where the original just can't hold a candle to the remake. Julia - Chocolate Genius Originally by The Beatles I heard this a few years ago, before I even heard The Beatle's version of it. Part of the reason I like it is the production value. It's simply higher quality. But I'm also digging Choc's voice in it. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye - David Gray Originally by Soft Cell This may actually be my favorite cover of all time. I have an affinity for super-long songs, and SHWG clocks in at 9 minutes. Gray's cover of the Soft Cell b-side transforms the sorta cheesy, New Wave, synth-pop track into a long and rambling guitar-driven plea for a failing relationship. When I compare the two, I have no clue how he did made this out of *that*, but I'm so, so glad he did. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Eva Cassidy Originally by Simon and Garfunkel I happened across Eva Cassidy's work sometime in my senior year of college. Cassidy, who died in her thirties of cancer, had a songbook which consisted mostly of covers and standards. Her voice is really pure and clear, and her version of Paul and Art's classic is soulful and sweet, but a bit heartbreaking. When I'm not feeling too hot, this song goes on repeat. Maps/Since U Been Gone - Ted Leo Medley of songs originally by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kelly Clarkson This came out right around the time Clarkson's SUBG hit its stride. In fact, at the time, people thought Leo was mocking the fact that Clarkson's hit had clearly borrowed from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs to achieve it's rockability. But Leo said he just really liked both songs. As a fan of both Maps and Since U Been Gone, this live cover made me smile. Honorable Mentions: There were a million and a half covers of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." My two favorites were by Nelly Furtado and The Kooks. Nelly's was very chill, while The Kooks had the sexy British accent thing going on. Lauryn Hill - I Can't Take My Eyes Off You Amy Winehouse - Valerie Jamie Cullum - High And Dry What are your favorite cover songs?

4 new thought(s):

the joy said...

My favorite song PERIOD is superstar. Luther vandross... I mean its just so sad and haunting. It was made famous by the carpenters and first performed by streisand. Written by Mr bacharach. I love that song.

owen said...

some guys did a slow cover of Kanye's song "Stronger" which is a cover of daft punk's song which is has samples of a couple songs.

I'd say
the verve - bittersweet symphony
mechanical bride - Umbrella
30 Seconds To Mars - Stronger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XC_Rj51DLI

Yellow Rebel said...

we need to go karoake-ing...

it will bring out new meaning to the word "cover"

jameil1922 said...

isaac is that hot fiyah!