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Under the Covers, Vol. 3

Under the Covers, Vol. 3

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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