How is it that another month has already passed by and I’m no thinner, richer, or more virile? Oh, right, because I never order products from late night television infomercials. Alas, then all I have left to console me is my
Top Ten Cover Songs
As always, these are in no particular order, because ranking things makes me rankle. It’s rank.
Yeah, I’ve had too much coffee. Shut it.
Cardigans — Iron Man
My husband bought this cd when it came out and I spent a few months feeling insecure that what he really wanted in a girlfriend was a blond, blue-eyed gamine elf from a sexier country. Then I realized that this was a truism and not worth seething over. I like this song, and I like this version. And I blacked out her eyes and gave her a mustache and beard on the cd jacket.
Was (Not Was) — Papa Was a Rolling Stone
When I was in grad school and just discovering the wonders of old funk and soul, I came across this cover and kept it playing in my car for weeks. Then I got all excited about all the cool new music I was listening to, and made a mix tape for my Dad, but ended up not sending it because it had this and another dad-bashing song on it. I’m such a wimp, but I didn’t want him to think I was sending him thinly-veiled insults.
Cake — I Will Survive
I don’t know what this says about me, but whenever the original comes on the radio, I spend the next few minutes wishing it was the Cake version. You just can’t beat a french horn solo.
Booker T and the MGs — Mrs. Robinson
This is a very smoking version, emphasis on the smoking hot organ. Whoa. Was that out loud?
Tricky — Black Steel
Not only is this a great version of a great song, but it also comes in handy when I go to the post office and get my tax return. “Got a letter from the government the other day… ” Suckers. (I know, I’m the sucker for giving the gov’t an interest-free loan every year and then feeling gratitude when they let me have some of it back. Eh, bien.)
Quincy Jones — Superstition
Another song that you just can’t go wrong with, arranged and performed by a master. Sometimes all you need is to hear this bassline, and you know everything is going to be OK. At least for the next five minutes.
The JBs — Use Me
Although the Bill Withers original is one of my all-time favorite, desert-island songs, and I often nearly cause a car crash every time I listen to it because I love clapping those sycopated claps two-thirds of the way through (“oh baby! *clap* Baby! *clap* Baby! baby!*clap* When ya love me I can’t get enough!”) and technically I should be using those hands to drive with… this song is a sufficient substitute. It’s all instrumental (this being the back up band for James Brown, a.k.a. the Horny Horns), except for some very excited female vocalists who jump in every now and sing “Use Me! Use me up now baby… Use me!”
The Roots and Bobby Womack — Summertime
I defy you to listen to this track only once through. All last summer (2003), when I was still working in a hot sweaty kitchen with mean people, I made sure this song would play in my tape deck (I’m so analogue) almost every day on my way home, and the bilious hate would slowly melt away until I could reach home, change into sweatpants, and pour myself a glass of wine. This song is a goddamn public service.
Jack Black — Let’s Get It On
One of the great things about Tenacious D is that all their songs sound like covers, but aren’t. This one (by Jack Black, not the D, of course), from the soundtrack of High Fidelity (like we all don’t already know that — we are a list-making gang of music freaks, after all, so I imagine it’s safe to say that High Fidelity is a shared experience here…) is still an impressive cover, of the variety of covers that pays homage to the original, rather than tries to make it something it isn’t. Me likey.
Zapp and Roger — Heard It Through the Grapevine
You know, Roger Troutman. Invented the vocorder. I seem to have a lot of songs here with the lyrics “Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby!” in them. Is that so wrong?
Sorry it took me until so late in the day for this one, but the damn phone kept ringing.
here are the links to the rest of the gang: