Cover songs are super fun. I am not a huge fan of 80s cover bands at bars (I swear there is a requirement two play Jessie’s Girl after Summer of ’69), but when a established musician does it cover, it can show two things.
1. It shows what type of music the artist your seeing is into.
2. It can show they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Here are five awesome cover songs you should hear right now.
Booker T. Jones- Crazy (2011)
Even though Booker T. Jones made his bones in the 60s with Booker T. and the MGs (check out Green Onions), it doesn’t mean he is stuck there forever. Taking the classic Gnarls Barkley hit “Crazy,” Jones is able to use his instrumental chops to craft a new jammier version of the song.
The Mae Shi- See You Again (2009)
Electronic indie rockers The Mae Shi take over Miley Cyrus’ hit single and put a rock edge on it. Even though I don’t know any other songs by them, this is super fun.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band- Billie Jean (2004)
Robert Randolph, Morristown NJ, native plays steel guitar and cover probably about 5 songs per show. Here he takes on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” He also plays “Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” the theme song from Beverly Hills Cop and Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
Deer Tick- Flagpole Sitta (2013)
The AV Club (part of The Onion) does a web-series called “Undercover,” where they choose 25 songs and invite 25 bands to cover them. After a band chooses a song, it cannot be played again. In this episode Rhode Island alt-country group, Deer Tick, covers the 90s classic “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger. To watch other performances click here.
Lady GaGa, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Shirley Bassey, Elton John and Debbie Harry- Don’t Stop Believing (2010)
I usually hate this song, but this is pretty cool. At the annual Rainforest Gala dinner a couple a years ago, some musical heavyweights joined forces to perform the Journey ballad. Shirley Bassey is the woman who sang “Goldfinger,” so she’s a legend in her own right.