Five Favourite... Cover Songs



This week it's my choice of subject for the Five Favourite Friday post, and I've gone with 'Cover Songs'. I love music and have a wide and varied collection on my computer, covering all sorts of genres from acapella to heavy metal. I went through a phase a few years jago of tracking down punk covers of songs which meant I not only discovered new bands, like Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, but also some of the songs covered were new to me.
For this list, I've tried to not include more than one song from a particular genre. Anyway on to my Five Favourite Cover Songs.
1) Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World (originally by Judy Garland / Louis Armstrong)
I was shown the video to this song by my partner and I was instantly hooked into the song. Iz provides one of my favourite songs to just chill out to, covering classics by Judy Garland and Lois Armstrong. There is a beautiful scene in the video where you see hundreds of surfers taking part in Iz's funeral, paddling out to sea.

2) Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind (originally by Elvis Presley)
One of the Pet Shop Boys most iconic songs is a cover of a Elvis Presley classic. There's a 'matter of fact'-ness to Neil Tennant's delivery of the song, but there's still a passion in his voice. As the song starts, you instantly recognise the song. It also helps that I love the video, in particular the delivery of lines from the song by the passenger in the taxi.

3) Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinéad O'Connor (originally by The Family/Prince)
A very simple but powerful song about how a lover feels after being left by the subject of their affection. Another great video showing Sinéad singing down the camera and an iconic shot of a single tear falling.

4) Feeling Good -  Muse (originally by Nina Simone)
Another cover that takes the original in a new direction, Muse give a haunting creepiness to Nina Simone's Feeling Good.  In particular I enjoy the distorted voice as the song progresses past the half way point.

5) Express Yourself  - NWA (originally by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
Not exactly a full on cover, but I love the NWA take on this song. There's an attack and aggression to the song which appeals to me, also there's a nice juxtaposition to some of the other songs that make up this list. I've also got memories of playing on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 game on my PS2 and this was the only song I would allow on the playlist.

My honourable mentions this week could easily have made it on to this weeks list, but just missed out:
Johnny Cash - Hurt (originally by Nine Inch Nails) - This song pulls at my heart strings, I'm not really sure why, but I think it's because I associate the song with Johnny's passing and it just adds to the aura surrounding the song
The White Stripes - Jolene (originally by Dolly Parton) - I'm a huge fan of The White Stripes, I think they generate quite a primitive sound, not in a negative way however. In the live version, heavy drumming and guitars, coupled with Jack White's voice provide a impassioned cover of Dolly Parton's classic. I think this version makes you feel the pain that Jolene is causing to the individual laying their soul bare.
You Got The Love - Florence + The Machine (originally by Candi Staton) - Another great cover, but it sounds too much like the original to warrant being included on my list.
Are there any songs that you think I should have included on my list?  If you fancy seeing what my partner has included in her list, you can check them out on her new website - www.justaroundtheriverbend.co.uk.  My partner will be making the next selection, I cant wait to see what she's going to choose!
 

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