Christian van hemert

Guide #47: The best covers, chosen by readers | Music

Ffrom stone-cold classics to total butcheries, there are few musical subjects more likely to stir up passions than the humble cover. Last week, I asked for your favorite covers, and the response was frankly absurd: by far the most popular caption since we started asking for your cultural recommendations just under a year ago.

This week, we therefore devote most of the newsletter to your suggestions. There’s a great mix here, from covers that have become more famous than the original to unsung gems. And of course, there are controversial opinions to sink into! Thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions – if we had included them all, this newsletter would have been the longest in recorded history.

Kate Bush: The Rocket Man. Better than the original, despite the ukulele. – Alan Redman

Joe Cocker- With a little help from my friendsand She came in through the bathroom window. The Beatles had been so sweetly Martinized that these renditions brought me back to the realization that they were the greatest pop songwriters of all time. – Robert Sarson [Ed note: a popular choice – quite a few of you suggested both of these].

Feel good performed by Muse. Matt’s vocals, the megaphone, the drums… they rocked a version of a jazz masterpiece and nailed it! – Angela Wade

I loved All the whole earth by Wreckless Eric, from the minute Stiff Records released it and saw Eric play it on the legendary Stiff Live Stiffs tour. I was a 15-year-old idiot living in Bootle with no girlfriend and I didn’t know if I would ever have one, and Wreckless Eric’s heartbreaking anthem seemed to capture that desperation perfectly. Many, many years later, Ian Broudie (who knows how to make a good track himself) and the Lightning Seeds showed remarkable taste when they covered the song. The recorded version is great but watching them cover it live is wonderful. – Kevin McManus

I heard it through the vine by the slots. A real reinterpretation, rather than a simple imitation! – Joanna Sapsford

Mike Westbrook Orchestra’s cover of Rossini’s galloping piece (Lone Ranger theme) William Tell Overture, including the live version recorded in Zurich. – Tim Auburn

John Martyn’s version of strange fruit is as sparse and scary as Billie Holiday’s version. He doesn’t sing all the words of the original poem but it would probably be unbearable if he did. If that doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, there’s no hope for the human race! – Steve Clark

Talking heads’ take me to the river is far superior to that of Al Green. – Liam Healey

We have all the time in the world (originally Louis Armstrong) by David Gedge. Impressive. The Plinky piano and lyrics match Gedge’s worldview. In another life, he could have written it. I’m sure he didn’t exactly suffer from Lazenby’s Bond heartache, but if he did, he’d be hard pressed to beat that, despite nearly 40 years of practice. – Mark Clement Jones [Ed note: Gedge and The Wedding Present are dab hands at covers – I also love their version of Take That’s Back For Good!]

I always find that the best covers are the ones you wouldn’t expect to work. Thus, honorable mentions go to: Arctic Monkeys – red right hand (originally Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds); The lively youth – Super star (originally The Carpenters); Light Speed ​​Champion – Xanadu (Nice Olivia Newton-John connection there). – Julie Cowan

Must be Cud, make hot chocolate I believe in miracles. just beats dev with Satisfaction. – Rob Bearder

walk on bythe Bacharach/David classic made famous by Dionne Warwick, was surprisingly covered by the Stranglers and immediately became one of their most iconic recordings. Every band member was introduced and Hugh Cornwall’s aggressive vocals added an extra dimension to the lyrics. A six-minute classic. Burt Bacharach hated this!!! – JF Noakes

Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails Hurt. He completely transformed it, so much so that it became his song, a lament about aging and loss. And the video is extremely moving. – Steve Waller

Baltimore by the Tamlins has an understated lead vocal and an incredible Sly & Robbie beat that is still being released today. – Steve Yates

And, of course, where would we be without a cover of the most covered song, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Here are two recommendations among many others!

My favorite cover of a song is the kd lang version of Alleluia. Especially if heard live, it will tear your heart out. – Pat Winstanley

It must be by Jeff Buckley Alleluia. Do not accept any other cover versions for this song! Personally, I prefer the passion of this version to the rather dismal original. – Lesley Goldie

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