There’s nothing quite like the shock of having a song on your regular rotation and then realizing that it’s a cover or the pleasure of finding a cover you like of a song you love. Not too long ago I made a blog post on my favorite covers of songs. Since then, I’ve discovered even more covers that I adore, and wanted to share the wealth with the blog once again.
“Rocky Raccoon” covered by Ramsey Lewis (originally by The Beatles)
This cover was released on “Mother Nature’s Son,” a cover album by Lewis composed of ten songs from The Beatles’ “white album.” Oddly enough, the quirky country tune “Rocky Raccoon” is one of my favorite songs by The Beatles. When I first heard this cover I was taken aback, as I listened it became abundantly clear that Lewis breathed new life into this song. Though the cover is completely instrumental, the melody still shines through, and the track is enjoyable all the way down to its core.
“夢中人” covered by Faye Wong (originally known as “Dreams” by The Cranberries)
“Dreams” by The Cranberries is one of the most (pardon the redundancy) dreamy songs of all time. Wong’s cover makes the song even more entrancing as she leans heavily into her Cocteau Twins influences. Wong makes music in both Cantonese and Mandarin, and this song was a part of a Cantonese album titled “胡思亂想” or “Random Thoughts.”
“Crimson + Clover” covered by Pom Pom Squad (originally by Tommy James & The Shondells)
This familiar tune is a very popular one to cover, but I think that Pom Pom Squad does an excellent job of making it their own. This cover serves as the halfway mark on their album “Death of a Cheerleader.” Pom Pom Squad, an indie rock band spices up the track with a grunge sound, but still keeps the same essence and build as the original track.
“Dancing in the Dark” covered by Lucy Dacus (originally by Bruce Springsteen)
“Dancing in the Dark,” one of Springsteen’s most popular songs ever is the penultimate track on his 1984 album “Born In The U.S.A.” Dacus’ vocals add a softer edge to the tried and true rock song. Her cover shaves 40 seconds off the original, but she keeps the heart of the track alive. Faye Webster also has a cover of this song, but hers is acoustic and more down to earth.
“So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” covered by Squirrel Flower (originally by Caroline Polacheck)
Squirrel Flower offers a slower (she adds 25 seconds onto the length of the original) and more intimate perspective to the pop anthem originally by Polacheck. The two tracks feel very different because of their different production styles, but Polacheck and Squirrel Flower have remarkably similar vocals.
As I mentioned in “The Art of the Musical Cover” all of these songs and more of my favorites can be found in my “covers and their counterparts” playlist on Spotify.