One thing I genuinely enjoy about cover songs is when bands really make an effort to make it their own. Whether it’s changing up the vibe or arrangements, the new interpretation often times can take the song to new heights. A great example of this is The Smashing Pumpkins version of Joy Division’s “Transmission.” The Pumpkins take on it is spacey, borderline psychedelic and even transcendent at times. It’s different enough yet still pays homage in a very distinct way.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Transmission (from Adore Deluxe Set):
The Smashing Pumpkins- Transmission Live 98:
The Smashing Pumpkins w/Davey Havok and Peter Hook- Transmission Live 2018:
While on my way to work this morning and enjoying the shuffle of my iPod, I came across a song I haven’t heard in a minute. At first I didn’t recognize it because it had been so long since I listened to it but, after a few seconds, it all came back to me. Now, I will share it with you all. Here’s Mad Season’s cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier.” I also find this song very interesting for the times we live in now.
I’m not really a fan of “pop” music but, I can recognize a good song when I hear it. The song “Wrecking Ball” is one of those songs that are so well written and put together. Every now and then when I hear it, I can’t help but stop and listen. While on a recent deep dive into The Smashing Pumpkins and all things related to William Patrick Corgan, I came across a few live performances of him covering “Wrecking Ball” and I couldn’t help but listen to them all. His voice and arrangements really fit perfectly with this song. When you listen, you could almost get the sense that this is something he could have written in the early to mid 2000’s, around the time of Zwan. So, here it is for you to enjoy.
He Is Legend is one of the most underrated bands around today. Their new album, White Bat, is one of the best albums of 2019, and I’ll get to that in a later post. While on a big kick of listening to them, I came across this gem of a cover they did of Third Eye Blind’s song “Wounded.” This is an interesting take on the song and they did something cool with it.
He Is Legend- Wounded:
This post is quite awesome as it features two of the best UK bands of all time as well as two huge favorites of mine. Back in 1999, Placebo released a cover they did of the great Depeche Mode song “I Feel You.” Originally the song was released as a fan club-only cassette in 1999, as well as a bonus track on the American edition of Placebo’s album, Black Market Music. Later on in 2003 as part of a bonus disc for Sleeping With Ghosts, it was released again. Depeche Mode is not an easy band to cover and do it well but, Placebo did it justice and the way Brian Molko sings, he really made it his own. I thoroughly enjoy both versions and each has their own vibe. I think you’ll enjoy this.
Mastodon recently released a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” They did this as a tribute to their late manager Nick John, who passed away due to pancreatic cancer. Mastodon was asked by Nick’s wife to play the song at his funeral. Gojira’s Joe Duplantier (who Nick John also managed), was at the funeral and recorded the band performing the song on his phone. The band afterwards, went and recorded a full studio version of the song. When the song was released, side A featured the studio version while side B featured the phone recording. Mastodon did a phenomenal job of taking this gem of a classic on. They didn’t stray too far from the original but they definitely knocked it out of the park. Brann Dailor is seriously one of the best singers in rock music. That guys got one hell of a voice.
A couple weeks back during John 5’s tour stop in Los Angeles at the Whisky A Go Go, John brought out Slipknot/Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor, former Van Halen bassist (and the band’s secret weapon) Michael Anthony, and former Cinderella drummer now film/tv composer Fred Coury to play a couple Van Halen songs. They ripped through “Running With The Devil” as well as Van Halen’s version of The Kinks classic “You Really Got Me” and in prime fashion too.
John 5 w/ Corey Taylor, Michael Anthony & Fred Coury- Running With The Devil:
John 5 w/ Corey Taylor, Michael Anthony & Fred Coury- You Really Got Me:
Meg Myers is one hell of a talent. She’s got a very cool and unique voice and vibe. I’ve written about her a few times and really enjoy what she brings to the music world of today. Recently, Meg released a cover of the Kate Bush classic “Running Up That Hill.” Her version is unique to her and does what you should do with a cover, make it your own. This isn’t the first cover of this song that I’ve come to enjoy. Placebo did a cover of this song many years ago that has always been stuck out to me and many others as well. On this version, Meg gives it a bit more energy and an optimistic vibe. Enjoy!
Ever since I made my Ultimate Set List for Depeche Mode, I’ve been in that frame of mind. Which got me thinking about all the Depeche Mode covers out there. One of the ones I remembered being interesting and not bad was Rammstein’s cover of “Stripped.” There is some interesting history about this cover as well. Released as a single in 1998, this cover also appears on their album Sehnsucht, the one that has “Du Hast.” It was also the bands first song sung entirely in English. Their version cuts the line “Let me see you stripped down to the bone” to “Let me see you stripped”, which was due to singer Till Lindermann’s difficulty singing the “down to the bone” line. Though that part was restored in a remix done by former Nine Inch Nails member Charlie Clouser. Rammstein are supposed to release a new album in 2019 and tour it so, hopefully when they do, they decide to do this live.
So I just found out about this rad cover Will Haven did of Pink Floyd’s classic “Brain Damage/Eclipse.” This is a b-side from their new album, Muerte, which came out earlier this year. What a cool cover!