the archivist January 14, 2010

So I made you all a little mixtape. Mix file? That sounds lame. Anyway. Here are some good, bad, and interesting cover songs. Why cover songs? Well, I think it’s an interesting study of how performers relate to music. Can music succeed without its originator? How far can an audience tolerate change and reinvention of something they are familiar with, perhaps even love? Many of the tracks below are genre-bending, gender-bending, or just great collaborations compared to the original or most famous versions of the songs. Some work better than the original, some don’t. Some suggest new dimensions, while others follow old paths. Which is your favorite?

#. Song                                                                    Cover artist                                   Original/better known artist
1.  Burning Down the House                              Tom Jones & The Cardigans      Talking Heads
2.  Long and Winding Road                               Aretha Franklin                            The Beatles
3.  When You Were Mine                                   Cyndi Lauper                               Prince
4.  Islands in the Stream                                   Feist & The Constantines           Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
5.  I Love How You Love Me                               Neutral Milk Hotel                       The Paris Sisters (Phil Spector prod)
6.  In the Aeroplane Over the Sea                     Matt Pond PA                             Neutral Milk Hotel
7.  I Wanna Be Where You Are                           Erykah Badu & The Roots         Michael Jackson
8.  Bad Moon Rising                                           Rasputina                                   Credence Clearwater Revival
9. Toxic                                                               A Static Lullaby                          Britney Spears
10. My Girl                                                         John Hiatt & Loudon Wainwright  The Temptations
11. Everywhere                                                   Vampire Weekend                      Fleetwood Mac
12. Comfortably Numb                                      Dar Williams                               Pink Floyd
13. Nobody Does It Better                                Radiohead                                   Carly Simon & Marvin Hamlish
14. I Need Love                                                  Sexton Blake                              LL Cool J
15. One                                                               Aimee Mann                               Harry Nilsson
16. I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You    10,000 Maniacs                          Tom Waits
17. What a Wonderful World                             Nick Cave & Shane Macgowan  Louis Armstrong
18. Redemption Song                                        Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer   Bob Marley
19. My Boyfriend’s Back                                    The Raveonettes                        The Angels
20. Danny’s Song                                              Me First & The Gimme Gimmes Loggins & Messina
21. Mother                                                          Luther Wright & the Wrongs      Pink Floyd