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Under The Covers – Electric Mohawk http://electricmohawk.com Sat, 04 Jun 2016 00:30:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://electricmohawk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/cropped-electric_mohawk_icon1-32x32.png Under The Covers – Electric Mohawk http://electricmohawk.com 32 32 24514523 Under the Covers Vol. 9 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-9/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-9/#respond Tue, 06 Mar 2012 23:35:10 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=1934 It’s been awhile, but Under the Covers is back with some fresh new covers from a wide range of musicians and genres! We plan on keeping the series up and running this time around, especially after all of the searching we’ve done to bring you some fresh new covers to check out! Mr. Kane – […]

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Under the Covers, Vol. 9

It’s been awhile, but Under the Covers is back with some fresh new covers from a wide range of musicians and genres! We plan on keeping the series up and running this time around, especially after all of the searching we’ve done to bring you some fresh new covers to check out!

Mr. Kane – “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” (Greg Kihn Band)

The Greg Kihn Band is an American rock band formed in the 1970s by lead singer Greg Kihn and bassist Steve Wright.  Hitting their prime in the 1980s, they’re most recognizable songs are “Jeopardy” and “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)”.    Today, the latter song goes up against a more pop induced and rough around the edges cover by Kane “Mr. Kane” Churko, who has worked with artists including Hinder, Ozzy Osbourne, Bob Dylan and Shania Twain.

Original Version

Cover by Mr. Kane

Which is better?

Mr. Kane’s take on this song is definitely that of a more contemporized and pop-induced influence. I like the vocals, the slightly faster tempo, and most of the instrumentals. The only thing I don’t like is the effect Mr. Kane used on his keyboard. Otherwise, the cover is worth a listen or two, but still doesn’t match up to Greg Kihn’s.

War From A Harlot’s Mouth – “Hexagram” (Deftones)

The Deftones have been around for over 20 years now, and have graced us with songs like “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”, “Change (In The House Of Flies)”, “Minerva”, and most recently “Diamond Eyes”.  War From A Harlot’s Mouth included a cover of Deftones’ “Hexagram” on their 2010 album, MMX.

Original Version

Cover by War From a Harlot’s Mouth

Which is better?

Everything about this cover is terrible, well not everything, but pretty damn close. The vocals are muffled, and even if they weren’t, they still wouldn’t sound great.  In fact, the entire production value of this song is simply no bueno.  Does this mean that War From A Harlot’s Mouth is a bad band? Absolutely not.  The rest of the album is great if you’re into hardcore a la Germany.  Deftones win this round by a landslide.

Pete Yorn – “China Girl” (Iggy Pop/David Bowie)

It’s time for a musical history lesson, folks.  Many of you reading this are very familiar with David Bowie’s “China Girl”, but not as many of you realize that before David Bowie re-recorded and released the song as a single from his album, Let’s Dance, it appeared in a more raw and unadulterated rocky form on Iggy Pop’s The Idiot.  The track was written by both Bowie and Pop during their years in Berlin.  Many live covers of this song exist by a wide range of artists, including System of a Down, but today, we look at Pete Yorn’s version from the bonus CD included with his album, musicforthemorningafter.

Original Version(s)

Iggy Pop

David Bowie

Cover by Pete Yorn

Which is better?

I realize and understand that Pete Yorn is up against not only one, but two great musicians in this round.  Surprisingly, Pete Yorn’s version was a very impressive take on the song and appears to be rooted more in the Iggy Pop style of the song.  If you haven’t done so yet, definitely check out the Pete Yorn version above (Bowie and Pop still win by default, though)!

Duran Duran – “Femme Fatale” (The Velvet Underground and Nico)

The Velvet Underground is a band that everyone has heard of, or at least needs to. Duran Duran covers their classic “Femme Fatale” on their second self-titled album, also known as The Wedding Album.

Original Version

Cover by Duran Duran

Which is better?

As much of a Duran Duran fan as I am, I was very disappointed in their cover of this song. It just seemed very hollow to me. Definitely not one of Duran Duran’s best songs, and was probably used as album filler. There’s a really good cover by the band OURS, though, worth checking out.

To Live and Die in LA – “King’s Crossing” (Elliott Smith)

“King’s Crossing” is a song from Elliott Smith’s final and post-humously released album, From A Basement On The Hill. To Live and Die in LA covered the song on the Smith tribute album, To: Elliott From: Portland.

Original Version

Cover by To Live and Die in LA

Which is better?

To Live and Die in LA actually does the song justice with their own spin on the song.  The chorus is quite powerful, much like the original. Instrumentally, I don’t find it as strong as the original, but this cover was definitely in my rotation for a long while.

That it’s for this week, folks. Thanks for stopping by!

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Under the Covers, Vol. 8 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-8/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-8/#respond Tue, 22 Nov 2011 03:36:27 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=671 Last week we were graced with a special version of Under the Covers from filmmaker and director, Erik Cieslewicz, who put together a compilation of covers by Tetrastar. This week, we resume the traditional path with some unearthed covers of some great songs. Seether – “Careless Whisper” (George Michael) “Careless Whisper” is a 1984 single […]

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George Michael - Careless Whisper

Last week we were graced with a special version of Under the Covers from filmmaker and director, Erik Cieslewicz, who put together a compilation of covers by Tetrastar. This week, we resume the traditional path with some unearthed covers of some great songs.

Seether – “Careless Whisper” (George Michael)

“Careless Whisper” is a 1984 single by George Michael, though it is still sometimes credited to George Michael and Wham!, as George Michael was still a member of the band at the time. Seether covered the song in 2009 as part of a re-release for 2007’s Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces.

Original Version

Cover by Seether

Which is better?

“Alternative” rockers Seether have gone down the tubes over the years. Their cover of this song demonstrates this. No one can beat that compelling sax that appears in the original song, unless of course a band covering it used a sax, too. Sorry, but George Michael wins this one easily.

Warpaint – “Ashes to Ashes” (David Bowie)

David Bowie released this song as the first single from his 1980 album, Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). I’ve even featured “Ashes to Ashes” as a song of the day on here. Great song, so Warpaint better have a lot to offer in their

Original Version

Cover by Warpaint

Which is better?

I was VERY impressed with the Warpaint version of this song, both instrumentally and vocally.  I’m still gonna have to go with the David Bowie version of this one because it has more spunk and energy, but the Warpaint version is worth adding to a playlist or two.

Arcade Fire – “Maps” (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

“Maps” is a song released from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ 2003 debut album Fever to Tell. Yup, I’ve included “Maps” on Electric Mohawk before, too. I’m not exactly sure when the Arcade Fire released their cover, but I was able to earth up a studio version. I’m not sure which single or other release the song appears on. Maybe there really isn’t a release and I found a live version from a radio or music show, which I typically tend to avoid with this series, but it’s all right to bend the rules a little sometimes. 😉

Original Version

Cover by Arcade Fire

Which is better?

Definitely a very interesting and seemingly more romantically fragile version of this song. I like it, a lot. Do I like it as much as the original? That’s hard to say. It’s definitely arranged in a different style altogether. Ahh, who am I kidding? Let’s just go with the original. I wonder if Arcade Fire even plays this live at any of their concerts… because they should. They really should.

My Darkest Days – “Come Undone” (Duran Duran)

“Come Undone” is the 24th single released by Duran Duran from their 7th studio album, Duran Duran (aka The Wedding Album, as it is Duran Duran’s second self-titled album). My Darkest Days’ take on it comes from their 2010 self-titled release.

Original Version

Cover by My Darkest Days

Which is better?

For some reason, I really like this song. Not sure why. It’s definitely one of Duran Duran’s darker songs. My Darkest Days does a damn good job covering this song. So good, that I’ll give them this one. Good job.

The Offspring – “Totalimmortal” (AFI)

“Totalimmortal” was originally recorded by AFI and released on their 1999 All Hallows EP. The Offspring version appears on the soundtrack for Me, Myself, and Irene.

Original Version

Cover by The Offspring

Which is better?

This cover just seemed out of place to me. For some reason, I don’t see The Offspring as a cover band, especially covering AFI. I could, however, see them covering much older AFI if they were to bust out some covers. AFI’s version wins this round.

This week, I was not only too lazy to make a pic in Photoshop, but I figured that a little extra George Michael wouldn’t hurt anyone. Enjoy folks, and see you again next week!

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Under the Covers: Tetrastar http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-tetrastar/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-tetrastar/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2011 01:36:48 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=1787 Let me open this special version of Under the Covers by saying if you don’t like Jaylyn Coffin’s bubblegum pop, high pitched vocals, you will not prefer any Tetrastar song to the original.  An unsigned electonica group, Tetrastar is defined by Coffin’s unlikely vocal style that is rarely heard in any electronic based genre.  But […]

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Tetrastar - Songs We Didn't Write

Let me open this special version of Under the Covers by saying if you don’t like Jaylyn Coffin’s bubblegum pop, high pitched vocals, you will not prefer any Tetrastar song to the original.  An unsigned electonica group, Tetrastar is defined by Coffin’s unlikely vocal style that is rarely heard in any electronic based genre.  But this is what makes them appealing to someone like me, who is not a fan of electronic music.

While their originals seem to lack the je ne sais quoi that makes a pop song stick with you, their covers are something special.  I’m a fan of a group doing covers that they make their own, and with Coffin’s unique vocal style and sequencer Oliver Hindle’s precise, 16 bit, song building, makes any cover of theirs very much of a new style.  Let’s dig in to a few.

“Handlebars” (Flobots)

The Flobots’ first taste of commercial success from a few years back.

Original version:

Cover by Tetrastar:

Which Version is Better?

This song has silly, fun lyrics, but the Flobots perform it like they’re at a funeral march. Making this track into a frantic, sugar-sweet party song is exactly the type of kick in the ass that makes it really listenable. And that’s the mark of a great cover track: taking a song that isn’t all that great and making it a staple of my music library.

“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” (Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em)

Rapper Soulja Boy’s first single, made some top 100 lists and a Grammy nom.

Original version:

Cover by Tetrastar:

Which Version is Better?

Talk about a transformation of a tune. Tetrastar cranks up the tempo, removes the steel drums and puts in tinny electronic bleeps and basically dumps energy drink all over this rap track. Can you improve on a song with this much critical and commercial success? I think Tetrastar does, while I am admittedly not a rap fan, I’m also not an electronica fan. But Tetrastar’s cover is frantic and pulse pumping, and Coffin’s sugar frosted voice is highly preferable to Soulja Boy’s droning.

“Such Great Heights” (Postal Service)

The most well known track from this side project electronica group due to its use in advertisements and Iron and Wine’s cover of it in the film Garden State.

Original version:

Cover by Tetrastar:

Which Version is Better?

This is what I would view as a needless cover. Tetrastar is, in many ways, just The Postal Service with a female vocalist instead of a male one. And that’s exactly what this cover sounds like. Hindle seems to lose a lot of his creativity and instead goes for copying the original track exactly. With how many creative covers of this track that have come out, Tetrastar set themselves up for failure by choosing this one. Just stick to the Postal Service version.

“Float On” (Modest Mouse)

Modest Mouse’s signature song, Float on is another Grammy nominee and is hugely well known.

Original version:

Cover by Tetrastar:

Which Version is Better?

Both versions of this song are delightfully whimsical and have a fantastic level of charm to them. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way. But since I have to answer that question up there in big type: let’s break it down in the two ways that are really different: electronic beeps versus guitars and Issac Brock’s yelping versus Coffin’s pixie stick in vocal form. I’m more a guitar guy than electronic dude, but Coffin’s voice hits a sweet spot for me, where as the yelping indie vocalist thing that Modest Mouse and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah brought to us is not my cup of tea. I’m giving the edge to Tetrastar.

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Under the Covers, Vol. 7 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-7/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-7/#respond Wed, 09 Nov 2011 02:40:12 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=669 Last week’s edition of Under the Covers was put together by our writer, Rob, who always puts a different and excellent spin on what we do here at Electric Mohawk.  This week, I’m back home from a coding adventure in Iowa and have some new covers ready for the chopping block. Weezer – “Unbreak My […]

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Under the Covers Vol. 7

Last week’s edition of Under the Covers was put together by our writer, Rob, who always puts a different and excellent spin on what we do here at Electric Mohawk.  This week, I’m back home from a coding adventure in Iowa and have some new covers ready for the chopping block.

Weezer – “Unbreak My Heart” (Toni Braxton)

“Unbreak My Heart” is a single released in 1996 by Toni Braxton from her second album, Secrets. Weezer’s version appears their 2010 release Death to False Metal.

Original Version

Cover by Weezer

Which is better?

Secretly, deep down, I used to really like the original version of this song. So much emotion and feeling! I gotta give this one to the Weez, though. The song, lyrically, actually fits Weezer, especially older Weezer. Like their cover of the Pixies “Velouria”, Weezer went in a creative direction of their own for instrumentals that breaks the mold of the original. Well done.

Kyle, if you’re reading this, thanks for introducing me to this fine cover!

Massive Attack – “Man Next Door” (John Holt and the Paragons)

“Man Next Door”, also known as “I’ve Got to Get Away” or “Quiet Place”, was written and performed in 1967 by John Holt and the Paragons. Multiple covers of this song have sprung up, but today, we look at the cover by Massive Attack featuring Horace Andy on vocals.  The cover appears on Massive Attack’s third studio album, Mezzanine.

Original Version

Cover by Massive Attack

Which is better?

I dig the original version of this song, though short, but Massive Attack’s approach is darker, moodier, and completely transform the original into something better. Massive Attack gets my vote.

Hot Chip – “She Wolf” (Shakira)

“She Wolf” is the title track and first single from Shakira’s third english-singing album. Hot Chip has a cover of the song floating around on the internet (YouTube).

Original Version

Cover by Hot Chip

Which is better?

When I first saw this show up in a YouTube search… I couldn’t take it seriously, and curiosity ensued. Once the song kicked in, my thoughts were “what the fuck?”, but in a good way. I’m not the biggest Shakira fan, so that add some bias to my choice, but the Hot Chip version has a great retro 80s feel to it and is quite catchy! Woof!

One could argue that Shakira’s version has the same 80s vibe. This may be true, but her goat yodeling kills the mood. She’s one of the few where I prefer autotuned vocals better, sort of.

AFI – “Halloween” (The Misfits)

“Halloween” was released in 1981 by the Misfits as their fifth single. The original single includes “Halloween” as the a-side and “Halloween II” as the b-side. AFI’s version appears on their 1999 release, All Hallow’s EP.

Original Version

Cover by AFI

Which is better?

Like any Misfits cover from the Danzig era catalogue, the covers seem to be more polished and cleaner than the originals. For some reason, I was never sold on shitty lo-fi sounding Misfits.  AFI, though, has always pleased me with their covers, as they’ve drawn lots of inspiration from the artists they do cover on occasion.

I decided to cut this version of UTC one song short this week. I’ll make it up next week with six songs instead of the usual five. Tune in next week, kiddos!

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Under The Covers, Vol. 6 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-6/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-6/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:10:59 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=1281 This week’s list of covers includes a lot of oldies but goodies from Jimi Hendrix, Black Crowes, Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick and Johnny Cash. Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends” (The Beatles) This song was originally released in 1967 as part of  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Joe Cocker covered it […]

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Under the Covers, Vol. 6

This week’s list of covers includes a lot of oldies but goodies from Jimi Hendrix, Black Crowes, Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick and Johnny Cash.

Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends” (The Beatles)

This song was originally released in 1967 as part of  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Joe Cocker covered it in 1968, and it remains one of the most covered songs in rock and pop. It has been covered over 50 times.

Original Version

Cover by Joe Cocker

Which is better?

Joe Cocker’s version wins here. There is more emotion in it. The Beatles version is upbeat, and it is groovy, but I love Cocker’s bluesy rendition. Slowing the song down helps. It feels like it was written to be performed like Cocker does it. Maybe it is because I grew up with Cocker’s version as the theme song to The Wonder Years.

Black Crowes – “Hard to Handle” (Otis Redding)

The original version of this track was released following Otis Redding’s death in 1967 on the album The Immortal Otis Redding. A lot of artists have covered trhis song, but The Black Crowes’ version is probably the most well known. It was part of their debut album Shake Your Money Maker in 1990.

Original Version

Cover by Black Crowes

Which is better?

This is a tough one for me. Redding’s version gets into a better groove, but Black Crowes rock it out. I love the horns in the original, along with the vocals. I have to go with Otis on this one.

Cheap Trick  – “Ain’t That a Shame” (Fats Domino)

This song was originally released in 1955 as a single. It reached #10 on the Billboard Pop Charts, and sold over a million copies. It was also featured on the American Graffiti soundtrack. Cheap Trick covered the song on a 1979 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan.

Original Version

Cover by Cheap Trick

Which is better?

Fats Domino’s version is classic 50s rock. I love the steady piano chords and driving beat. It seems simpler in a way. The cheap Trick version has some interesting guitar distortion at times, but not enough. Fats wins here.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “All Along the Watchtower” (Bob Dylan)

Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” first appeared on John Wesley Harding in 1967. Since, it has been a favorite for rock groups to cover. Notables include: U2, The Dave Matthews Band, The Grateful Dead and Pearl Jam. The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded their version in 1968.

Original Version

Cover by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Which is better?

The Jimi Hendrix Experience version is probably my favorite version, and I’ve heard a lot of artists cover this song. So it would be a natural extension to say I like that version over the original. Jimi Hendrix’s guitar licks just make it for me. Kind of trippy at parts, outright blues at other times, a bit funky at still other times.

Johnny Cash – “Hurt” (Nine Inch Nails)

Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails originally recorded this track for the 1994 album Downward Spiral. Cash covered the song in 2002, as part of his last album of recorded material American IV: The Man Comes Around.

Original Version

Cover by Johnny Cash

Which is better?

The Nine Inch Nails version evokes more emotion. I love the Johnny Cash version, but NIN just has the true emotion of the song captured so perfectly. I don’t care who covers it, no cover of this song will ever be as good as the original.

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Under the Covers: Placebo http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-placebo/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-placebo/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:17:26 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=1467 Cover songs are something that nearly every band does, especially when they are just starting out. Some bands, over time, release covers as b-sides or one here and there on a full-length album.  Today’s Under the Covers looks at Placebo’s Covers compilation released three different times. The first time it was released as a bonus disc […]

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Placebo - Covers

Cover songs are something that nearly every band does, especially when they are just starting out. Some bands, over time, release covers as b-sides or one here and there on a full-length album.  Today’s Under the Covers looks at Placebo’s Covers compilation released three different times. The first time it was released as a bonus disc for the 2003 album Sleeping with Ghosts. The second time was a digital release in 2007 (the picture above is from that release), and once more again in 2010 by EMI, where the cover had a Sleeping With Ghosts themed design.

“Running Up That Hill” (Kate Bush)

“Running Up That Hill” is the first single released from Kate Bush’s fifth studio album, Hounds of Love.  Released in 1985, it was Bush’s most successful single in the 80s.

Placebo recorded their version of the song exclusively for this covers collection in 2003.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

I’ve heard the Kate Bush version of this song before I heard the cover, and it still just doesn’t jive with me. I’m not sure why. The Placebo version, though, seems to modernize the song, and tap into the mood better, at least for me.

“Where is My Mind?” (The Pixies)

“Where is My Mind?” is the seventh track on the 1988 album Surfer Rosa, and was featured in the ending scene of the movie Fight Club. It is one of their most recognized songs.

Placebo recorded their version of the song as a b-side for the single “This Picture”, and was performed live with the band and Pixies lead singer Black Francis on Placebo’s Soulmates Never Die live DVD.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

I thought that Placebo did a great job covering this song, but whenever I hear the song, even by Placebo, I think immediately of the Pixies. This song is The Pixies and what their music stands for. Surf rock never sounded so sexy.

“Bigmouth Strikes Again” (The Smiths)

“Bigmouth Strikes Again” is the second single from the Smiths’ third album, The Queen is Dead.  Placebo released their version on their 1997 single “Nancy Boy”.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

As much as I enjoy and respect The Smiths, Placebo’s updated lyrics and refined take make the song sound better, though their lyrical changes are now outdated with the rise of digital music and the iPod. Placebo totally rocks this song.

“Johnny and Mary” (Robert Palmer)

“Johnny and Mary” is a song by Robert Palmer, released in 1980 as the first single from Palmer’s sixth album, Clue. This song is the best known song for the album, and a version of it was used to promote Renault automobiles in the 80s and 90s.

Placebo’s cover was released as a b-side for the single “Taste in Men”, from the album Black Market Music.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

The Placebo version of this song is solid. I actually wish they would have released this one as a single on its own, like they did with “Running Up That Hill”. Robert Palmer’s version is pretty awesome, too. If I really had to choose, I’d choose the Robert Palmer version, because of it’s impact in the New Wave scene.

“20th Century Boy” (T. Rex)

“20th Century Boy” was released in 1973 as a single by the band T. Rex.  Placebo released their cover on the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and as a b-side on the single “You Don’t Care About Us”.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

I’m very indifferent about this song in general. I’m not sure why, but I never really got into it.  Both versions sound nearly the same, but I’d probably go with the original.

“The Ballad of Melody Nelson” (Serge Gainsbourg)

“The Ballad of Melody Nelson” is a song originally written and performed by Serge Gainsbourg. Placebo’s version is featured on the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited. All of the songs were translated from French to English for this tribute album.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

While the original is seductive, Placebo added a little more life in their version, and not because it’s in English. The band completely transformed the song into something more hip and poppy. I vote for the Placebo version this time.

“Holocaust” (Big Star)

This song was originally featured in the second volume of Under the Covers.

“I Feel You” (Depeche Mode)

“I Feel You” is the first single released by Depeche Mode from their 1993 album, Songs of Faith and Devotion. It is one of the most prominent singles from the album and is still performed live by them today.

Placebo covered their version of the song and it first appeared on a fan club only cassette as well as the American version of Black Market Music.

Original Version (sort of)

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

Unfortunately, Warner Music kind of sucks, so I was only able to provide a really awesome live version of the song. I really like what Placebo did with their talk on the song, but the problem I have with their version is that the ending drones on far too long… about a minute or two too long. Plus, it’s pretty hard to top Depeche Mode. No joke.

“Daddy Cool” (Boney M)

“Daddy Cool” was a disco hit in 1976 by the group Boney M.  Placebo’s version first appeared as a b-side on “The Bitter End” single.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

As fun as the Boney M. version is, I find the Placebo version more catchy and upbeat, but darker than the original. I do believe it’s very fitting for the song, though, and I choose Placebo’s version over the original.

“Jackie” (Sinead O’Connor)

“Jackie” is the opening track to Sinead O’Connor’s 1987 debut album, The Lion and the Cobra. Placebo’s version initially appeared as a bonus track on the DVD single for “This Picture”.

Original Version

Cover by Placebo

Which is better?

This is another track on the covers disc that doesn’t really appeal to me. I’m not a Sinead O’Connor fan, but it’s not a bad song. If I had to choose, I’d pick Placebo’s version of the song because the vocals sound more pleasing to me in their version.

This wraps up the long-winded Placebo edition of Under the Covers. See you all next week!

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Under the Covers, Vol. 5 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-5/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-5/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2011 02:39:04 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=665 Last week, Under the Covers took the week off. This week, it’s back in full swing with some pretty snazzy covers, some of them even worth checking out. Deftones – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd) “Simple Man” is the fourth track from the first album by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was written by Ronnie Van Zant and […]

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Under the Covers, Vol. 5

Last week, Under the Covers took the week off. This week, it’s back in full swing with some pretty snazzy covers, some of them even worth checking out.

Deftones – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

“Simple Man” is the fourth track from the first album by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was written by Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington while they were sharing stories about their mothers.  The song was covered by the Deftones and featured on their B-Sides and Rarities album.

Original Version

Cover by the Deftones

Which is better?

The Deftones nailed this song instrumentally. Enough said. Vocally, I’d say this is one of Chino’s better tracks.  While the original is a shining example of the now corporate, commercialized and diluted Southern Rock*, I still have to give this one to the Deftones for their accuracy and presentation.

*Mainstream radio, not the genre as a whole.

Snow Patrol – “New Sensation” (INXS)

“New Sensation” was the third single released in 1988 by INXS off their sixth studio album, Kick. The song was a commercial and worldwide success.  Snow Patrol would later go on to cover the song and release it on the 22nd Edition of the Late Night Tales series.

Original Version

Cover by Snow Patrol

Which is better?

I’ll be honest with all of you, I rarely listen to INXS. I think the majority of their music I have listened to comes from the late 80s and just before grunge. I call this musical limbo.  The turn off of INXS to me is the instrumentals to this track in particular, because it’s VERY late 80s and early 90s sounding, but the lyrics and vocals of Michael Hutchence cannot go overlooked; not in the least bit. I mean, the band was a pretty big deal during their time, and then Snow Patrol comes along to completely bastardizes them with their “bro-coustic” version of this song. Vocally, not bad, but everything else (I think it’s just an acoustic guitar) is just not right. Snow Patrol does save a little face with this version from the 75th anniversary of Maida Vale Studios. Problem again, is the instrumentals. This time, it sounds a shitty U2 ripoff, but better than the acoustic version.

Maybe I’m wrong and need to listen to more of the INXS catalogue. They’re probably worth another listen.

Long story short, INXS wins this round by a landslide.

Pearl Jam – “Last Kiss” (J. Frank Wilson and the Caveliers version)

While this song was originally written and performed by Wayne Cochran in 1961, the most recognized version was performed by J. Frank Wilson and the Caveliers in 1964.  Pearl Jam went on to cover the song in 1998, and released the song as a single in 1999, due to popular demand.  The song is noted as one of Pearl Jam’s most minimalist recordings.

Original Version

Cover by Pearl Jam

Which is better?

Both the J. Frank Wilson and Wayne Cochran versions are somewhat peppy and upbeat, which mesh well for the music at the time, but let’s be serious. This song about a couple getting into a car accident and the man watches his girlfriend die next to him in the wreck.

The Pearl Jam version slows down the tempo a bit and adds richer guitar sounds that contribute well to the mood of this song. Even Eddie Vedder’s vocals capture this song. Pristine. Pearl Jam gets my vote for this one.

Filter – “Gimme All Your Lovin'” (ZZ Top)

“Gimme All Your Lovin'” was the first single released in 1983 from ZZ Top’s 8th studio album, Eliminator. It is one of the band’s most recognized songs.  Filter recorded their take of the song on the tribute album ZZ Top – A Tribute from Friends.

Original Version

Cover by Filter

Which is better?

I was actually a little disappointed in the studio version of Filter’s cover, not gonna lie. I did, though, get to see Filter live the other weekend and they did play this song. It’s better live, and if you ever get the chance to see Filter, I HIGHLY recommend catching Richard Patrick and the gang.

Filter’s version, unfortunately, doesn’t quite live up to the ZZ Top version, an instant classic.

The Ataris – “The Boys of Summer” (Don Henley)

“The Boys of Summer” is the opening track to Don Henley’s second solo album, Building the Perfect Beast, released in 1984.  It is also the first single released from the album and presents a darker mood that conveys the transcendence from youth to middle age mixed with the concepts of summer love and past relationships.  The Ataris recorded their cover of the song for their fourth album, So Long, Astoria and released the song as a single.

Original Version

Cover by The Ataris

Which is better?

The Ataris did a surprisingly good job covering this song. I think it’s a very good and modernized take on the song, but it’s not as haunting and dark as the original. When I listen to The Ataris version, I don’t think of depressing memories from the past, rather I think about high school, and memories from around the time this song was released. Oh shit, nevermind, I guess the Ataris were successful after all.

Either way, I’ve always been more keen and faithful to the original version of this song. Maybe it’s because I never fell for the whole pop punk genre.

That wraps up this week’s Under The Covers. Tell us what you think!

 

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Under The Covers Goes Ska http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-goes-ska/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-goes-ska/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2011 21:18:39 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=1047 In Under The Covers Vol. 4, one of the covers was “Come On Eileen”. I love both versions of the song, but it got me thinking about how I missed the summers of 1997-98 when ska was popular. That, in turn, got me thinking of other ska covers. Thus UTC Goes Ska was born. In this […]

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Under the Covers Goes Ska!

In Under The Covers Vol. 4, one of the covers was “Come On Eileen”. I love both versions of the song, but it got me thinking about how I missed the summers of 1997-98 when ska was popular. That, in turn, got me thinking of other ska covers. Thus UTC Goes Ska was born. In this installment we have Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger and Smashmouth.

Reel Big Fish — “Take On Me” (a-ha)

“Take On Me” is the first, and arguably the best, track off a-ha’s debut album Hunting High And Low. This record sold over eight million copies worldwide, and propelled a-ha to fame. Reel Big Fish covered this song for the 1998 film BASEketball.

Original Version

Cover by Reel Big Fish

Which Is Better?

While I love the original, I have to give it to Reel Big Fish on this one. The up-tempo rendition and tight horns make me rock out and chair dance at work every time. I will give the nod to the original video, however.

Goldfinger — “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday” (Spiral Staircase)

A one hit wonder in 1969, “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday” peaked at #12 on the Billboard Charts. Soon after, Spiral Staircase broke up and went their separate ways. Goldfinger followed suit like many ska bands of the era and covered this song for the 1998 film The Waterboy.

Original Version

Cover by Goldfinger

Which Is Better?

Goldfinger does the song a solid, but I love the original. It settles into a steady but staccato groove, the bass line is funkier and the horns swing it a bit better. Goldfinger does a great job, but I don’t think the punk breakdowns in the “but darling, not as much” parts of the chorus fit.

Smash Mouth — “Why Can’t We Be Friends” (War)

“Why Can’t We Be Friends” is the title track off War’s 1975 album. The better known single off the album was “Lowrider”. War is known for an almost unrefined style blending funk, jazz, reggae and R&B.  They were also known for being a multiracial band in an era where that was a rarity. This track topped the Billboard Charts at #8. Smash Mouth, more known for a pop/rock sound, originally started as a ska band. This song was also featured on 1998 film BASEketball.

Original Version

Cover by Smash Mouth

Which Is Better?

Smash Mouth wins this one. The opening guitar leads into a steady rocking version. It slows back down and brings that same guitar back to close it out. I’m a fan of “lo-fi” to a point, but War’s version is more sloppy than “lo-fi”. I could deal with that if it was a live record, but do a few takes in the studio so the piano’s opening riff is right and the saxophone doesn’t squeak.

Less Than Jake — “I Think I Love You” (The Partridge Family)

This song was featured on the first season of The Partridge Family and eventually made it to #1 on the Billboard Charts. Numerous artists have given this song a go over the years, but the ska version made an appearance on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Scream 2.

Original Version

Cover by Less Than Jake

Which Is Better?

Although at times it sounds a bit like scary carnival music, the original wins out for me. It has more musical integrity. Less Than Jake’s version feels like the same old punk song: power chord, repeat, one two drumbeat repeat. The horn line gives it a little bit of depth, but that is not enough.

Reel Big Fish — “New York, New York” (Frank Sinatra Liza Minnelli)

The only cover to not make an appearance on a 1990s soundtrack is Reel Big Fish’s cover of “New York, New York”. Ironically, Minnelli’s version was the theme song for Martin Scorsese’s 1977 film New York, New York. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a Frank Sinatra original but a cover itself. I know, your mind is blown.

Original Version

Cover by Reel Big Fish

Which Is Better?

This was by far the toughest. The original version is classic, iconic and timeless. It is the quintessential standard. Huge horns, classy orchestration, and a swinging rhythm section. Reel Big Fish’s version is a cappella, save for a jazzy brush snare in the background. From a band with such hits as “Another F U Song” (I’m sure you can deduce what THAT means) and “Your Guts (I Hate Em)” comes a refined, pretty classy version. I believe this song showcases the talent Reel Big Fish has. I loved Liza in the original 1981 film Arthur, but she didn’t have a singing role in that. This one goes to the RBF.

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Under the Covers, Vol. 4 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-4/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-4/#respond Tue, 27 Sep 2011 02:50:19 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=663 This week’s Under the Covers explores covers from Fuel, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Save Ferris, and Martin L. Gore. I wrote this one a little later than usual. Apologies for my tardiness. Fuel – “Daniel” (Elton John) “Daniel” is a song originally written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and appears on the 1973 album […]

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Under the Covers, Vol. 4This week’s Under the Covers explores covers from Fuel, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Save Ferris, and Martin L. Gore. I wrote this one a little later than usual. Apologies for my tardiness.

Fuel – “Daniel” (Elton John)

“Daniel” is a song originally written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and appears on the 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player. The song revolves around the events concerning the Vietnam War and a fictitious character named Daniel who was blinded during war, is ridiculed when he returns home, and makes travels to Spain to rid himself of the pain of being home.

The Fuel version was included on a bonus disc that came along with the Something Like Human album.

Original Version

Cover by Fuel

Which is better?

This one really depends on my mood, to be honest. A lot of times I default to the Elton John version, but on a rainy or dreary day, the slower paced and acoustic rendition that Fuel put together fits the mood oh so well.

The Killers – “Shadowplay” (Joy Division)

“Shadowplay” appeared in it’s final form on the 1979 album Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division. If you check out the album Warsaw, you can find an even earlier version of the song.

The Killers covered this song in 2007 for the biopic of Ian Curtis called Control.

Original Version

Cover by The Killers

Which is better?

The Killers did a good job covering this song, but it’s a little too poppy for me. I think it’s a good gateway to get the kids into Joy Division, but the Joy Division is way better because of how dark it is and it’s foreshadowing and glimpse into the life and death of Ian Curtis.

Franz Ferdinand – “All My Friends” (LCD Soundsystem)

“All My Friends” was the second single released from LCD Soundsystem’s second album, Sound of Silver.  The Franz Ferdinand version is one of the b-sides to this single.

Original Version

Cover by Franz Ferdinand

Which is better?

I love LCD Soundsystem, and I love the fact that Franz Ferdinand’s cover was released on the single for the original. I think I would have liked to see Franz Ferdinand’s released, because I think there are some elements that Franz did better than James Murphy. That or they had a really good handle on the song. I can see why it was added to the single’s tracklist.

Save Ferris – “Come on Eileen” (Dexy’s Midnight Runners)

Dexy’s Midnight Runners is a band known for two songs: “Come on Eileen” and “Geno”. “Come On Eileen” became an instant classic out of the early 80s.  Believe it or not, “Geno” was their first hit (1980) while “Come On Eileen” arrived two years later in 1982.

Save Ferris released their version in 1997 on their debut album It Means Everything and replaced the strings portion of the song with a horn section.

Original Version

Cover by Save Ferris

Which is better?

Man, I sure love my 80s music, but I think Save Ferris really energizes this song and adds an even catchier and more positive spin on it than the original. The bassline is super catchy and it’s just a really fun cover. Good job, Bueller.

Martin L. Gore – “Loverman” (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)

“Loverman” was released as the second single from the album Let Love In by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  Martin L. Gore of Depeche Mode covered this song on his solo album Counterfeit2.

Bonus points to anyone that can tell me what these two artists have in common in relation to their albums.

Original Version

Cover by Martin L. Gore

Which is better?

I’m pretty bias on this one as I am a huge Depeche Mode fan, so I am definitely choosing Gore’s version, and here’s why: Martin Gore has always been at crafting a near perfect cover song. His counterfeit albums are proof of that. He knows how to capture the right mood and feelings in every song he chooses to cover. This song in particular is one of his darker songs, and cleans up some of the grittiness that’s in the Nick Cave version.  Great song overall, and Gore’s even beats out Metallica’s version. Oh, the Martin Gore version is a live version because I couldn’t find the studio version on YouTube. Oh well.

Tell us what you think? What versions of each song did you like?

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Under the Covers, Vol. 3 http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-3/ http://electricmohawk.com/under-the-covers-3/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2011 00:16:30 +0000 http://www.electricmohawk.com/?p=661 You might notice in this week’s Under the Covers echoes of artists in previous versions, but there’s some really good covers Puscifer – “Rocket Man” (Elton John) “Rocket Man” is a song originally composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin that first appeared on Elton John’s 1972 album Honky Chateau.  The song became one of John’s […]

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Under the Covers, Vol. 3

You might notice in this week’s Under the Covers echoes of artists in previous versions, but there’s some really good covers

Puscifer – “Rocket Man” (Elton John)

“Rocket Man” is a song originally composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin that first appeared on Elton John’s 1972 album Honky Chateau.  The song became one of John’s hit singles.  Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips and Maynard James Keenan (as Puscifer) arranged their version for the 2009 documentary The Heart is a Drum Machine. The track is titled as “Rocket Mantastic” on the Puscifer website.

Original Version

Cover by Puscifer

Which is better?

For whatever reason, the original version always had an element about it that I just couldn’t jive with.  I’m not entirely sure what this element is, or if it was something experiential while listening to the song for the first time. Whatever the reason, I really like the work that Maynard and company put into their version, down to the beeps in the beginning of the track. You win this time, Maynard.

Bon Iver – “Come Talk to Me” (Peter Gabriel)

Come Talk to Me is a song from Peter Gabriel and is the opening track to the 1992 album Us. The song was written about the relationship of Gabriel and his daughter. Bon Iver included his version of the song as the b-side for the 2011 single “Halocene”.

Original Version (sort of)

Cover by Bon Iver

Which is better?

I’ve only heard each version of this song a few times, so making a fair judgment on this is near nil for me. I’m going to vote for  Bon Iver because he’s from Wisconsin and so am I. Represent.

Cake – “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” (Kenny Rogers)

“Ruby…” was originally written by Mel Tillis, performed by Johnny Darrell, and made famous by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition in 1969. For the record, any originals of older songs in Under the Covers are typically the ones that were the most famous, as many times songs were covered and re-recorded and re-released by many artists during that time. Cake’s version  appears on their b-sides and rarities compilation.

Original Version

Cover by Cake

Which is better?

This is a tough one for me. I mean, do you see how badass Kenny Rogers looks in the music video? Not to mention that it’s real country/western music, not twangy over produced garbage (see: nearly all country music released today).

I have to say, Cake’s spin on the song, especially with the dialogue heard at the end, really fits with the song. Cake wins. Everybody loves Cake, right?

A Perfect Circle – “The Nurse Who Loved Me” (Failure)

“The Nurse Who Loved Me” originally appears on Failure’s third an final album Fantastic Planet, released in 1994.  A Perfect Circle covered it and made it part of their concept album Thirteenth Step in 2003.

Bonus points to whoever can tell me the relationship between the two bands.

Original Version

Cover by A Perfect Circle

Which is better?

I would give this one a tie if I could, because both artists created wonderful and thematic albums. Fantastic Planet has a sci-fi (not SyFy… derp) theme that is solid start to finish while A Perfect Circle’s Thirteenth Step revolves around the twelve step process of addiction and rehabilitation.

The ultimate decision is that I would pick the Failure version in this instance because I believe the original was composed and arranged better, has a darker and more compelling sound to it, and stands out on the album. The A Perfect Circle version is a little too mellow and doesn’t really blend with the album as well as it should. Even when A Perfect Circle performs the song live, it resembles the Failure version. That alone tells you something. 😉

The Manichean – “Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven” (Love and Rockets)

“Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven” is a song originally featured on Love and Rockets’ debut album of the same title.  The song was covered by The Manichean for the Love and Rockets tribute album New Tales to Tell: A Tribute to Love and Rockets.

Since I couldn’t find The Manichean version on YouTube, I uploaded my own. 🙂

Original Version

Cover by The Manichean

Which is better?

For whatever reason, the Love and Rockets sound is a sound that I haven’t developed a fine taste for (at least not yet). Maybe it’s the lack of polished production or the vibe I get from the music. Whatever it is, I’m going to have to go with The Manichean version.

Want the Spotify playlist? Here you go!

Spotify URI Playlist
Spotify HTTP Playlist

That wraps up this week’s version of Under the Covers. Come back next week for more!

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