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10 Cover Tracks You Need to Hear

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When it comes to artists remaking old tunes; it's a hit and miss affair. Some can be great and some basically murder the original in cold-blood (Little Mix, please, there was no need to cover Cannonball). 

 I’ve built up a collection of beautiful covers of great songs on my iTunes. If it’s done right, then maybe it’s true; you can never have too much of a good thing. Or at least, you can have two versions of one good song.

1. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?- Amy Winehouse (Original song by The Shirelles) 
Amy Winehouse
I’m proud to have been brought up on Sixties music by my parents, and so I’ve known all the words to this track since I was small. But who can fault Amy? Her haunting  tones and rich arrangement reawaken the lyrics. The result tips its hat to the great original, but is able to stand alone.

Mesmerising.

 2. Everyday – Fiona Apple (Original song by Buddy Holly)

You can’t help but be drawn in by the first bars of 'Everyday'. Fiona Apple’s take on the track replaced any sorrow left behind by Holly’s tragic early death with a mellow and summery feel.

The only reminders left of Buddy are positive; the upbeat rhythm, the joyful lyrics, and the gift of eternal youth.

 3. Holding Out For a Hero - Ella Mae Bowen (Original song by Bonnie Tyler)

This cover held promise; a modern, stripped version of the original with no cheese attached. I remained unsure of it, having heard others that felt similar in tone (see no.9).

Too much of a ballad? Trying too hard? You’ll have to listen for yourself to judge it. But it grew on me, and I think its heart is in the right place.

 4. She’s Always a Woman - Fyfe Dangerfield (Original song by Billy Joel)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this was part of the game changer in UK advertising.  First brought to light by a John Lewis advert that stole our hearts, this song captured the nation and the charts for weeks. 

Maybe I’m just more emotional than I used to be, but I’m sure I have seen an increase in adverts that pull at the heartstrings since this one. Sweet and understated with an elegant piano. Lovely.

 5. I’m Into Something Good - The Bird and The Bee (Original song by Herman’s Hermits)

What a lovely way to start your day. I could see this as the title track to the next big indie flick, the next (500) Days of Summer perhaps.  It’s simple and it brings a smile to my face. Full of youth and innocent anticipation, it is everything a lazy summer day should be, and more.

 6. I Can’t Make You Love Me - Adele (Original song by Bonnie Raitt)

If anyone is going to do a great cover, it’s this lady. I considered recommending the Bon Iver acoustic version of this song (worth a listen) but Adele’s live performance of this track seemed to come from such a genuine place, it would have been an injustice to pass it by.  Every emotion in her bones is at the tip of her tongue and yet she is effortless.

 7.  Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - Slow Moving Millie (Original song by The Smiths)

This cover is another brought to the forefront by a John Lewis advert. But this one was met with some controversy. I enjoyed both the version of the song and the advert (okay… I cried a bit, but come on- that little boy!) However, I understood the anger of legions of Smiths fans. Firstly because the message of the advert was exactly the opposite of what the Smiths stood for. Secondly, this is the kind of song that evokes fiercely loyal feelings. However, my only criticism would be that maybe it overplays the sombre tone.

 8. Can’t Help Falling in Love - Ingrid Michaelson  (Original song by Elvis Presley)

I have always liked Elvis’ tune; I remember picking it to sing for karaoke aged nine… my friends didn’t have a clue. This version is honest and innocent.

If I was picking a track for a film montage of two kids who grow up to be best friends and then eventually get married, this would be it. I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to create this film, but I like to be ready with a song to accompany it anyway. Just in case.

 9. Wherever You Will Go - Charlene Soraia (Original song by The Calling)

Soraia managed to strip this cheesy pop song right down until it was naked and vulnerable. Its bareness is what makes it beautiful.  I’ve recently downloaded a couple of Soraia’s songs to see if her original music is as memorable as this cover. With her being accepted into the BRIT school alongside Adele and Kate Nash; I doubt I’ll be disappointed.

 10. A Case of You - James Blake (Original song by Joni Mitchell) James Blake

I have left my personal favourite to last. What do I love about this song? It is so difficult to describe. It is raw, it is painful and it seeps into your soul. This cover can reduce you to tears.  

Once you have heard it, it will stay with you.  Perhaps I’m also fond of the idea that not everyone knows it. It is not in the top 10 beside Flo Rida and Pitbull. It’s above it. I could drink a case of this song, darling, and I would still be on my feet.

 

 

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