Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Cover Up

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Cover Up

A while back I was having lunch, and the conversation turned to cover versions of songs. As many such conversations go, it didn't take long until we started talking about the Beatles. Depending on how much of a purist you are, there may or may not be any Beatles covers that you like. How do you feel about Richie Havens's "Here Comes the Sun," for instance? We split on whether there were any good covers whatsoever on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtrack (I'm not a purist, and there are actually a number of Beatles covers I like, but--even though I haven't seen the film since I sat through it in horror decades ago in the theater upon its release--I voiced a resounding NO!), and then we didn't really talk in too much detail about other examples. Unfortunately, we didn't have this to talk about. I do like the Siouxsie and the Banshees' version of this song (but then again, I like the vast majority of the Banshees catalog), but I've got to admit, there's something about this one that's awfully darn appealing. Not appealing enough to get my vote, but, y'know. What other covers by presidential candidates should we look for? It's my blog, so I get the easy one, but what's next after Obama's "Take the Skinheads Bowling"?


At 12:42 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Hilary and Obama could sing a duet of the Neil Sedaka/Elton John tune "Bad Blood." If Hilary loses more ground, she might consider doing "So Far Away." The tougher question is what song McCain might sing. I suppose he might consider covering "We Didn't Start the Fire" but there's gotta be something better than that out there; I just can't think of it.

At 12:49 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and with regard to the movie SPLHCB, the better debate might be to decide which was the WORST song in the movie. My nominee would be Steve Martin's abominable rendition of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Full disclosure: I paid to see it in the theater TWICE, and there were a few songs I kind of liked, but I think my fascination with the movie was more in the way of lingering to gawk at a train wreck.

At 9:48 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Jason said...

Somebody has put together a Hillary Clinton cover of Sarah Silverman's "I'm F*cking Matt Damon" entitled "I'm F*cking Obama." It really has to be seen to be believed, and not even then.

The video you linked to is my new favorite video ever.

At 11:27 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

The worst song on the soundtrack of SGT. PEPPER? That's a toughie. So much to choose from. Alice Cooper's disgusting rendering (and I mean that literally) of "Because"? Sandy Farina's druggy (if downers count) "Strawberry Fields Forever"? Martin's "Maxwell"? The mind reels.

At 12:05 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Doug said...

charlesofcamden: But McCain was one of those who did start the fire.

Jason: I saw a link to the Hillary video at work, but I thought better of viewing it there. I'll take a look at it when I'm home.

And I'm finding I'm getting more and more enamored with the Gravel video, myself.

Stu: I can never forget an interview I read with George Burns at the time of the movie in which he points out that his song, "Fixing a Hole," is about marijuana, and everybody knows it, and he's not ashamed to be associated with it. Thanks, George.

A memorable image from the film is of Peter Frampton singing "The Long and Winding Road" while walking on a . . . well, you can already see where this is going.

At 12:34 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to the McCain song: Of course he was one of the ones who started the fire. But in that case, I was trying to think of what song HE might pick to cover. I could easily hear him singing the lyric " we didn't light it but we tried to fight it..."

At 1:02 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Doug said...

Oh, I get it. More "straight talk."

At 6:38 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, this is my 4th posting to this, but something happened a few minutes ago -- I was getting my dinner at the Au Bon Pain on West Madison in the Loop. From their PA system came the unmistakable voice of Frank Sinatra offering his rendition of "Yesterday." It was an utter failure; a poor choice on Frankie's part, but it did serve to illuminate the song in a new way for me. Hearing Frank try to do a moving, contemplative take on the song made me realize that, in spite of the classical-sounding string section on the Beatles original, there is an underlying folk-style pacing to it that very much helps the song work, IMHO.


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