A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Cover Story

Okay, well, Janet has once again trod upon my musical toes and set my interest aflame wth the topic for Tell It To Me Tuesday--- it's about my favorite remakes of songs. Ironically, I spent two hours last weekend making a few mixes of my favorite covers. So here they are-- I'm numbering them not based on the ranking of my favor, but just so you can see what a music geek freak musical gourmand I am.

First, albums of cover tunes:
1. Hymns of the 49th Parallel, by k.d. lang
2. Cover Girl, by Shawn Colvin
3. Medusa, by Annie Lennox
4. Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell
5. Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, by various artists
6. If I Were A Carpenter, by various artists
7. Encomium, A Tribute to Led Zeppelin, by various artists
8. Simpatico, Suzy Bogguss with Chet Atkins
9. Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon, by various artists
10. Stardust, by Willie Nelson

And now, the Singles

1. "...Baby One More Time"-- Fountains of Wayne
2. "Don't Be Cruel"-- Cheap Trick
3. "Working in a Coal Mine"-- DEVO
4. "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody"-- David Lee Roth
5. "Miss Otis Regrets"-- Bette Midler
6. "Istanbul, Not Constantinople"-- They Might Be Giants
7. "I Don't Know Why"-- Alison Krauss+Union Station
8. "Holding Out for a Hero"-- Jennifer Saunders
9. "Stardust"-- Willie Nelson
10. "Can't Get it Out of My Head"-- Fountains of Wayne
11. "Different Drum"-- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
12. "River"-- Sarah McLachlan
13. "Drive South"-- Suzy Bogguss
14. "Don't Think Twice"-- Susan Tedeschi
15. "Sweet Jane"-- Cowboy Junkies
16. "Purple People Eater"-- Austin Lounge Lizards
17. "Mister Sandman"-- Emmylous Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt
18. "Respect"-- Aretha Franklin
19. "Skylark"-- k.d. lang
20. "Love Me Tender"-- Norah Jones and Adam Levy
21. "Across the Universe"-- Rufus Wainwright
22. "Sister Moon"-- Sting
23. "The Scientist"-- Aimee Mann
24. "Women Be Wise"-- Bonnie Raitt
25. "Woodstock"-- Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
26. "My Funny Valentine"-- Ella Fitzgerald
27. "Mr. Tambourine Man"-- the Byrds
28. "All Along the Watchtower"-- Jimi Hendrix
29. "Hound Dog"-- Elvis Presley
30. "Black Magic Woman"-- Santana
31. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"-- Dream Academy
32. "Hazy Shade of Winter"-- The Bangles
33. "Hey Hey What Can I Do"-- Hootie and the Blowfish
34. "I Shot the Sheriff"-- Eric Clapton
35. "Oh, Pretty Woman"-- Van Halen
36. "Tainted Love"-- Soft Cell
37. "Solitary Man"-- HIM
38. "Hallelujah"-- Jeff Buckley
39. "Makin' Whoopee!"-- Harry Nilsson
40. "Grow Old Along With Me"-- Mary Chapin Carpenter
41. "Over the Rainbow"--Jane Monheit
42. "Songbird"--Eva Cassidy
43. "Passionate Kisses"-- Mary Chapin Carpenter
44. "One"-- Aimee Mann
45. "Little Wing"-- Stevie Ray Vaughan
46. "Fountain of Sorrow"-- Joan Baez
47. "Heartache"--Suzy Bogguss
48. "Under the Boardwalk"-- Ricki Lee Jones
49. "Act Naturally"-- The Beatles
50. "Wild Horses"--The Sundays

People Who Write Great Songs That Are Almost Always Better When Other People Sing Them:
Lucinda Williams
John Hiatt
Bob Dylan (Oh, be honest)
Neil Young

And, if you really like cover tunes:
Try Coverville, a podcast by Brian Ibbot!

What do you think? Thanks for your comments!


At 11/15/06, 3:39 PM, Blogger Natsthename said...

What a fantastic list! I cannot agree MORE about Hiatt. I love him dearly, but when other people cover his fine songs, they almost always hit a home run with it. He just hits a double!

I'm copying your list to make an iTunes playlist. It's excellent!

At 11/15/06, 4:38 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Why thank yuh-- thakyuhverymuch.

I love Hiatt-- but you said it perfectly. His voice is an acquired taste. And Lucinda Williams? Yikes-- rip the mike away from her, please!

At 11/15/06, 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite an awesome list. I'm trying to limit mine to 10-15 just so I can go on a bit about why I chose them, but I agree with a significant number of yours. The ones I know at least!:)

At 11/15/06, 5:26 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

I never thought of CSN&Y's version Woodstock as a cover, but I suppose it is. Good catch!

My absolute favorite cover of Makin' Whoopee is the Dr. John and Rickie Lee Jones version. This is the good doctor in a different atmosphere. Great stuff.

Nice list.

At 11/15/06, 5:50 PM, Anonymous Maine-ahh said...

Good stuff, Ms. C!! You've given me plenty of homework to do.

How can an album list not contain "Deadicated", the Grateful Dead tribute album?? Lyle Lovett's cover of "Friend of the Devil" alone is worth the price of the CD.

Love your list of singer-songwriters who should quit the former before the latter. I love singer-songwriters, and am partial to hearing them sing their own stuff. However, there are people who shouldn't stand in front of a mic **cough cough Julie Gold cough cough**. I buy Lucinda in that number, but draw the line on the other side of Hiatt. He has a very soulful voice when he's at his best. Don't judge him by "Thing Called Love". Give a listen to "Lipstick Sunset" and see if your cold cold heart doesn't warm a little. Having said that, I can't wait to check out Suzy's version of "Drive South".

Bob, I agree 100% on Rickee Lee and Dr. John's "MW". My wife don't tolerate RLJ (or Tuck & Patti, or Tracy Chapman), but I figure the world's big enough for the bunch of them.

At 11/15/06, 6:07 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Yeah, I ued to try to limit myself to 10-15 for you, but I have given up. Besides, there's too many great covers out there!

And you know you'll end up with more, anyway!

At 11/15/06, 8:59 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh now, I LOVE Ricki Lee!

And, the Joni Mitchell-worshipping flowerchild (I was 5!) in me reminds you that she wrote "Woodstock."

And I like Hiatt's voice-- but his songs really come alive when a really great voice gets a hold of them. Wait'll you hear Suzy's version! But I'll give Lipstick Sunset a try-- thanks for the tip!

and, maine-ahh, I have to say that I'm not all that enamored of the Dead. Now the Band? THAT'S another story! "Ophelia" is one of this English major's favorite songs-- but it's not a cover...

I also left off Mary Chapin Carpenter's cover of "Passionate Kisses." It's just great!

At 11/15/06, 9:20 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Okay, I had to add ten more... this is a sad little obssession I have!

At 11/16/06, 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like John Hiatt very much, all by himself--and Lucinda Williams too, if she's who I'm thinking of.

Hasn't she got a really strikingly sultry voice? Maybe I'm confused. Wouldn't be the first time.

At 11/16/06, 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's... a lot of songs. I am sure I know that many but I am not sure I know that many remakes, lol. Some very cool stuff, though.

At 11/16/06, 4:42 PM, Anonymous maine-ahh said...

I liked your next 10 even better than the first. I prefer Chet Baker's "Valentine" to Ella's, but Ella's done so many wonderful covers, you really could pick any of 'em.

BTW, I prefer Hiatt's live verson of "Lipstick". Keep up the good work, Ms. C!

At 11/16/06, 7:08 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

NYC-- I wouldn't call it sultry. More like "wrecked." And Hiatt's voice is okay-- but the beauty of his melodies and lyrics comes out when better voices give it a go.

jedimerc- those are just my favorites. When you play in a band, you get to where you really like covers.

Okay maine-ahh, you've got me to where I have to givre "Lipstick" a listen.

Thanks so much for your insights, everyone!

At 11/16/06, 8:21 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

The Cowboy Junkies' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is amazing- haunting and beautiful. Also, Rickie Lee Jones' "Don't Walk Away Renee"- I love her. Sting's "Little Wing" is nice, too, and he sings it in 3 languages.
Great, great list.

At 11/16/06, 11:48 PM, Blogger Mamacita said...

Why in the world don't you participate in MixMania? You're perfect!!

At 11/17/06, 7:01 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Ummm. What is this "MixMania" of which thou speakest?

Oh miGodyes-- "Walk Away Renee" was on
Girl at Her Volcano which is one of the reasons why I still keep a turntable, since I have it on an EP.


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