What makes a good cover? Who should do covers? The best covered songs are ones that the cover artist makes their own. Some artists should cover certain songs because they have a similar style to the original (think Ben Folds covering Tiny Dancer), and some should cover certain songs because they have totally different styles (think Aretha Franklin singing NessunDorma).
A conversation at work led me to really ponder this. What are my favorite songs? Who are my favorite artists? What songs should be covered by whom?
So here is my list...songs and artists that should be paired together. This is just my personal opinion and if you totally disagree, too bad. But let me know why because I'm interested in your opinion.
Also, I provided links to the originals and to some other songs from the artists, but I did it all through the site Imeem. You might have to sign up for a free account to listen but it takes less than a minute to do so and it is well worth it...Imeem rules!
My friend Clarissa and I were having a discussion about the Scissor Sisters and Clarissa said that she thought that Jake Shears' voice reminds her of Barry Gibb's voice. That led us to decide that Scissor Sisters needs to cover Stayin' Alive. I might be basing this solely on their song I Don't Feel Like Dancing and the fact that I'm a little bit in love with Jake, but I think there is some serious potential for a great cover.
From the very first moment my dad played me Alabama Song on the way back from a camping trip (he prefaced it with "I probably shouldn't be letting you listen to this"), I have been in love with it. Same goes for the first time I heard the My Chemical Romance song Momma. The styles are similar, and since it's pretty unrealistic to think that the remaining Doors members are going to get together to cover Momma, I picked MCR to cover Alabama Song. They'd be able to make a grittier/darker version (for some reason A Clockwork Orange comes to mind).
I have a soft place in my heart for this Thin Lizzy song and I listen to it at least 3 times a week. I thought long and hard on this one and at first I was trying to think of artists who had completely different styles from the original. Then I thought of Belle & Sebastian. The more I thought about it the better I thought it sounded...until I found out that they already covered it. I found the cover and let me tell you, it is NOT good. So I had to start from square one and that's when I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness started playing on my ipod. And that's when I decided they'd make a great cover of The Boys Are Back in Town. :)
Let me start by saying that The Bravery's The Sun and The Moon Complete album is awesome. I love the both the originals and the remixes. It was because of this album that I wanted to have them do a cover. I also knew that I wanted to have some Joy Division or New Order song covered, but it wasn't until I was listening Vanishing Point again that I paired the two together. Maybe they could cover it in a similar style to their song Above and Below (The Sun).
Even though I'm not a "real" Morrissey fan, like some other people, I feel like I can still appreciate his music. Tom Gattifrom The Times said "His songs, too, were dramatic: bleak, funny vignettes about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home." Now, I'm not saying Arcade Fire is all that, but sometimes a cover is good because it captures the essence of the original. I believe that Arcade Fire songs like Intervention and My Body is a Cage show that Arcade Fire has potential to capture that Morrissey essence.
On the original American Idol: Idol Gives Back, Annie Lennox sang a beautiful version of Bridge Over Troubled Water that was so moving. She also sang Into The West for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and that song never fails to make me teary. Now I wouldn't consider Lay Lady Lay to be a particularly emotionally moving song, but I think Annie would be able to pull off a moving cover of it.
The Killers have already covered Joy Division's Shadowplay and Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet, neither cover veering too far from the original, yet bringing The Killers own special touch. They just need to bring that special touch to Total Eclipse of the Heart and Pretty in Pink.