From Cover to Cover:

We all know that there’s more to life than comic book covers (although they are important)–like, for instance, Jim Henley’s exploration of classic cover-versions of songs.

Here are my nominees:

–Sleater-Kinney’s “More Than A Feeling” (Boston):which makes it clear, if anyone failed to appreciate the message of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, that the sheer emotional power of the original song could fuel far more radical undertakings than technologically oriented FM-rockers like Boston ever dreamed…

–Linda Scott’s “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star” (Jerome Kern): Which brought Kern’s genius to the Phil Spector generation far more effectively than the Platters had a few years earlier–at least in my opinion…

–The Ramones’ “Needles and Pins” (Sony Bono & Jack Nitzsche) & “Do You Wanna Dance?” (Bobby Freeman): The Ramones are famous for their covers, and it’s because they dramatize the group’s almost unique ability to maintain the tension between wearing their influences on their sleeves and going boldly where no band had gone before (all artists ought to strive to walk this line!)

–The Breeders’ “Happiness is a Warm Gun” (Beatles): Dave Intermittent also nominates this one–it’s sort of like the finished portrait based on the brilliant sketch the Beatles gave us…

–The Clash’s “Pressure Drop” (Toots and the Maytals): The fusion of rock and reggae that the band had been seeking to perfect since their first album…

–Nirvana’s “Molly’s Lips” (the Vaselines): A good song brought to a boil by Cobain’s amped up sense of urgency…

Obviously, there are many more great ones!



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