Yesterday Johnny delivered something we had been planning to do for awhile: A covers mixtape. It’s a daunting task, picking 10 tracks or so out of the hundreds of great covers there are out there, and I’m sure there will be many many more to come. But there were some crucial ones that I felt absolutely should not be back-burnered. So here’s a follow-up, eleven of my personal favorites.
Buick Makane / Big Dumb Sex
Cover: Guns N’ Roses
Original: T-Rex / Soundgarden
So there’s been a lot of talk about Guns N’ Roses around here lately, and a lot of trash talk directed towards their last ‘real’ album, the covers disc The Spaghetti Incident. Granted, the selection of songs was kinda weird, but sometimes weird can be fucking awesome, such as this strange multiracial siamese twin.
Cover: Mötley Crüe
Original: The Beatles
Sacrilege right? Drunken half-witted Sunset Boulevard gutter trash covering the finest, most respected pop group in the history of the universe. Whatever. If you can still stand to listen to the original after hearing this version, pack up your shit, step away from the rock and roll, and go home to mommy and daddy.
Cover: Biffy Clyro
This is some scottish rock group that seems to be fairly famous everywhere but here in the US. I don’t know a whole lot about them, but this track showed up on some Kerrang! compilation, and I couldn’t help but fall in love.
Cover: Local H
Original: Britney Spears
Of all the tongue in cheek ironic covers of megahit pop songs by megaunknown indie bands, this is one of the best. I believe it was posted on the band’s website as a Christmas gift to fans a few years back.
Cover: System Of A Down
I’m not a big fan of System Of A Down, but there are at least two songs that they’ve done amazing covers of: This one, and Snowblind by Black Sabbath.
Cover: Mark Ronson w/ Amy Winehouse
Original: The Zutons
Mark Ronson’s latest album, Version, is basically a best-of covers compilation in and of itself. There are tons of great ones on there, all creative and radically different from the originals. This is one of my favorites, and it helped turn me onto The Zutons; particularly their second album, Tired Of Hanging Around, where the original can be found.
Original: Public Enemy
Tricky is a fucking musical genius, and this revision of Public Enemy’s Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos is a fine example. The original recording is close to my heart, as it’s from the first album that I actually managed to piss off my relatively liberal parents with, but I can’t deny the superior musicianship in Tricky’s version.
Cover: Sum 41
Despite the fact that Sum 41 sucks, in 2005 they attempted to cover a classic song by one of the hardest bands to cover, and shockingly, they somehow knocked it out of the fucking park. There is no way this recording came to be without some sort of contract with Satan himself, but that’s fine by me: I’ve got an interesting new take on a classic track, and the comfort in knowing that at least one shitty band will burn in hell for all eternity.
Cover: The Deftones
Original: Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Deftones have done a lot of great covers. I had to choose between this, their versions of Sade’s No Ordinary Love, The Smiths’ Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, Duran Duran’s The Chaffeur (which was basically just more obvious a cover than The Passenger from White Pony), and The Cars’ Drive. This one fit into the mix best.
Cover: Faith No More
Original: The Commodores
One of my favorite covers of all time: Faith No More’s cover of Easy, from 1993’s Songs To Make Love To EP. If Johnny had fit this onto his covers mix yesterday, I might have considered it complete enough to not immediately warrant a reactionary follow-up. He did get Ministry’s Friend Of The Devil though… That’s another crucial one.
Long Train Runnin’
Original: The Doobie Brothers
Yes, that Hanson. No, seriously. Trust me. I know, last time you checked, Hanson were three 12 year old girls and they had only one song, MMM-Bop, and it sucked balls. Well, they grew up, and they’re fucking talented. They sound like The Black Crowes now, with black Michael Jackson singing, and this cover of Long Train Runnin’ from their appearance on the Howard Stern Show gave me chills when I tuned in- not knowing who it was until afterwards.