Last week, I had an idea to switch things up a bit on my afternoon show at Circl8 Radio.
I decided to dedicate a few days to cover versions, to give my listeners a break from seven-minute prog-jazz improvs and suchlike.
Kenny and Roach have done cover shows in the past, so thought I’d throw my tuppence into the pot.
I’ve always had a soft spot for a well-done cover, and over the years of being an absolute audio fanatic, I’ve amassed quite a collection of them, without even realizing it.
Some of these are mind-blowingly good, on par with the original tracks….. Others, well, let’s just say they fall into the category of ‘very interesting.’ You know, those versions that take a unique twist on the original material.
And then, some occupy a peculiar grey area – they suck so badly that they end up becoming masterpieces or even comedy gold!
It can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but that’s what makes exploring covers so much fun, or really, really bad.
So today, I want to share with you six that made their way into the rotation last week.
Take a listen and see what you think……
*An inclusion is neither an endorsement of the original song nor either of the artists involved from yours truly. It’s about the cover.
*I’ve dodged the obvious ones, so your Siouxsie and the Banshees, your Johnny Cashes, or anything remotely ‘John Lewis at Christmas’, etc have been omitted.
There are plenty of other sites, bigger and better than us that have done this.
Sturgill Simpson – In Bloom (Nirvana)
Sturgill Simpson has become synonymous with 21st-century outlaw country, establishing himself as a self-styled maverick unbound by the rules of modern or classic country music.
His debut album in 2013, ‘High Top Mountain’ exuded the bold and audacious swagger reminiscent of Waylon Jennings.
However, as he released its sequel, ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ the following year, it became evident that Simpson’s artistic boundaries transcended traditional country and Americana.
‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth’ was his third studio album which ‘In Bloom’ featured on, awarding the singer a Grammy for ‘Best Country Album’ in 2016.
Black Hole Sun – Post Modern Jukebox ft. Haley Reinhart (Soundgarden)
Haley Reinhart is an American singer, songwriter, and actress hailing from Wheeling, Illinois.
Her initial claim to fame came when she secured the third spot in the tenth season of American Idol.
Subsequently, in July 2011, Reinhart inked a recording contract with Interscope Records releasing three successful albums in quick succession.
Disturbed is an American rock band that came together in 1996 with the recruitment of Dan Donegan, Steve “Fuzz” Kmak, Mike Wengren, and later, singer David Draiman.
Over the years, the band has managed to sell over 11 million albums worldwide and achieved three consecutive number-one albums.
They have received several award nominations, making them relatively successful in the rock music scene in recent years.
This track was featured on the 2015 release ‘Immortalized’.
Tracy Chapman – Stand by Me (Ben E King)
Tracy Chapman, a talented storyteller, experienced an unexpected rise from the Boston folk scene to mainstream popularity in the late 1980s.
Her emergence played a crucial role in bringing singer/songwriters back into the spotlight.
With an earthy grace, she presented simple melodies and poignant, socially conscious lyrics that resonated with fans worldwide, propelling her eponymous 1988 debut to Grammy-winning, multi-platinum success.
This track formed part of her ‘Greatest Hits’ release in 2015.
Kevin Johansen – Modern Love (David Bowie)
Kevin Johansen, a musician, and singer-songwriter with an interesting background, has gained attention for his innovative musical approach.
What distinguishes Johansen is his talent for seamlessly blending different rhythms and languages in his work. His music takes listeners on a multicultural journey, blurring the lines between genres and languages.
This cover originally appeared on his 2012 album ‘Bi’.
Thanks very much for reading.
Don’t forget you can catch me at 5 pm (UK) in the week on this website or any of the major radio apps.
Have a good week!
(Image Credit: Abderrahmane Mefta)