It’s Monday, so here … we … go.
It’s another two-parter.
Please go back and do the previous ones, too.
What are your five favorite cover songs of all time?
1. Jonatha Brooke ends her Back in the Circus album with a beautiful, heartbreaking reworking of the Alan Parsons Project’s “Eye in the Sky”; the way she sings “the sun in your eyes made some of the lies worth believing” is one of her all-time top “whoa, my heart has done what her voice just did” moments. Whew.
2. “Cruel to Be Kind,” by Letters to Cleo. Everybody loves their cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” from the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, and it’s awesome, but their reworking of Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to Be Kind” is a better song for them as a band. Kay Hanley’s vocal rocks off the socks, and the guys come in for some killer backing vocals.
3. “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” by Living Colour. This rocked-up cover of the Clash classic was the B-side on the cassette single of the radio hit “Type” from their epic Time’s Up album; I listened to it until the tape wouldn’t play anymore and feared I’d lost it forever. Luckily they slapped it at the end of the 2002 remastered re-release of their landmark 1988 debut, Vivid. You can’t go wrong with Vernon Reid’s raging guitars, Will Calhoun’s thunderous drums, and Corey Glover’s vocals that go everywhere from confused to furious to hot-buttered soulful. Honorable mention to their scorching version of Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic” from the Stone Free tribute compilation.
4. Fiona Apple’s “Across the Universe” is dreamy, dreamy, dreamy.
5. Chantal Kreviazuk’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home” is a perfect wedding song if I ever heard one; I think she’s not a woman at all but actually a wild gust of raw, feminine energy that’s occasionally bottled up just long enough to be brought into a studio to lay down some tracks. Honorable mention to her brilliant version of “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.”
And when you’re finished with that …
What five songs would you love to hear covered by what five artists?
1. Glen Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprocket and his own excellent solo career) needs to do a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans.” Or any Neil Diamond cover. I’d actually like to hear him do one of Neil’s older scorchers, like “You Got to Me.”
2. Jonatha Brooke has a song called “How Deep Is Your Love?”, but it’s an original song and not the Bee Gees version. I’d still love to hear her do a huge, lushly produced cover of theirs.
3. Garrison Starr could rock the living hell out of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
4. I’d love to hear Fiona Apple do an entire album of old-timey standards, produced by Jon Brion and featuring the kids from Nickel Creek as guests.
5. New Edition. Under the Blue Moon, Vol. 2. That’s all I’m saying.