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25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #51-75

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #51-75 There has been a very positive response to the first two 'Greatest' posts. So the list continues and the songs become no less in their timeless quality compared to numbers one through fifty. I will post a #76-100 edition in the near future and that will be out of my system. But what if I do more lists by genre? Just thinking out loud, sorry but I will keep blogging on various topics as long as people continue to click. 51. " I Put a Spell on You " written and originally recorded by Screamin' Jay Hawkins in 1956. There have been many really good covers of this song but Nina Simone (1965) was just the second person to cover this song. I just can't get over how overlooked this artist was in her time, a high class version that turns the song on it's ear to give it an entirely different sound. Billie Holiday 52. " Strange Fruit " was a courageous recording by the legendary Billie Holiday from 1939. A

Radiohead

Radiohead When talking about the band I have to confess I'm out of my depth so I will tread lightly. We should however get right to their beginnings and major influence, that being the 'Talking Heads' and their namesake song " Radio Head ". The band had been called 'On a Friday' but their record label requested they change it before signing a contract (with EMI records) in 1991. Radiohead are one of the most successful and influential Rock bands since their debut album "Pablo Honey' ( Jerky Boys ) in February of 1993. All their songs are credited to the entire band Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway and Thom Yorke. And there's the 'sixth member' producer Nigel Godrich who's done all their albums since 1994. Their song " Creep " charted top 40 across the world and it's depressing tone eventually wore the band down to the point they stopped playing it live for a long period of time. Th

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #26-50

The next 25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #26-50 In part one I listed 25 of the greatest cover songs and to date it's been my most viewed blog post. There are so many more I wanted to add to the list so depending on the response, I'm prepared to follow with 51-75 and 76-100 in the future. This list in part comes from many of the songs that I have already posted in the past 15 months or so since I started blogging. As for how songs make it on my list there are a few criteria, while I don't dismiss music from more recent years a song has to have stood the test of time for me, hence much of the list are songs of some vintage and just plain old, like the writer. Next, the original song itself must have some character and some degree of popularity. And preferably the artist and or songwriters are of interest as well. I have read other lists of great cover songs from books, articles and google searches and you'll find much similarity, but some of them contain songs I jus

Country Rock

Country Rock Music genres attempt to be definitive but are still typically full of a good spectrum of divergent styles. In order to pigeon hole artists we have over time developed other genres, sub and sub sub genres. Country music has over two dozen including; Classic Country, Country Pop, Blues Country and even Country rap. Most Artists can be placed in more than one category but we tend to want to associate them most closely with a specific one. I've read that Country Rock came from Rock bands doing more Country flavored music not Country artists doing rock music. But I've found there are many early examples of Country music sounding pretty rock-like and I have included some examples below. We don't always tend to identify music and genres in the early stages of development and in many cases it's done quite retroactively. I've talked about a few artists thought to be 'Rock' that started to record with a more Country music feel, back as early as t

Aretha Franklin: Remembering the Gospel, Soul and Pop music Virtuosa

Remembering Aretha Franklin, a story… through cover songs On the first anniversary of her passing, another homage to one of the greatest voices of all time. I paid tribute to her and some of her most memorable cover songs on August 16 of last year, but there are many more to talk about. If you know anything about Aretha Franklin then you will know that the Church and Gospel Music was a big part of her life. I myself do enjoy the odd Gospel song, particularly ones I’ve discovered from the likes of the unbelievably talented    Sister Rosetta Tharpe  . Also some of the other singers I regularly enjoy such as  Elvis or Johnny Cash , mostly because of the vocal intensity and the connections I can draw to popular music. But this particular song from Aretha just blew me away.   Considering this was a live recording of not the greatest technical quality with lots of background distraction, ‘ believer’ or not you won’t be able to not feel something when you listen. “ Precious

Elvis Presley (part 2)

Elvis Presley (part 2) In part one on the King (born January 8, 1935)  I stuck to songs he had covered and recorded in 1956. With August 16 coming up, being the anniversary of his untimely passing (August 16, 1977) I will honour his music and will wander outside of 1956. I will have little trouble finding cover songs that I have not mentioned, even though including the one dedicated issue, I have cited and inserted Elvis songs throughout at least a dozen posts. There are just so many to choose from, since that first post just over a year ago Secondhandsongs.com has added more cover songs that Elvis recorded, it was 485 and it now stands at 507. During the time Elvis was making a string of movies (1964-66) his recording releases were largely dedicated to songs from those films. Unless you are an Elvis fanatic you may not know that an album was released in 1999 of 'home' recordings from 1964-67. Some of the songs are just Elvis solo, several were used for a later Gospe

New Wave

New Wave... was a period of music during the late 70's to the early eighties and identified as a departure from the Punk Rock scene. It developed into a more diverse 'grass roots' pop oriented if you will, music that became much more commercially viable. So named from the "La Nouvelle Vague" (New Wave) cinema from France that was instrumental in turning movie making away from the more traditional approach. New wave was not a genre as artists from all over with different types and styles of music began getting lumped in together. There were many artists that came from Punk music roots to transition into more mainstream production, I've mentioned a few in past posts but to me the best example is The Clash. Firmly rooted in Punk Rock since 1974 its collective members formed one of the leading bands to come out of the UK at that time. They are important to the 'New Wave' movement with their 1979 album 'London Calling' and the title track &q

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #1-25

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs Nothing quite grabs the attention more than a list of the greatest this or that, so at 85 posts about cover songs I thought it about time to get to it. As I advised with my other 'Greatest' posts we all have our favorites so anytime there is a list, something or someone 'great' gets left off. And the debate ensues, why is this and that at #11 not #4 and vise versa. My list therefore, shall be no different for it is not scientific but subjective and it is biased by my own tastes and exposure to music. Having said that it's hard for me to have missed many of the truly great cover songs of all time, indeed I think I've talked about quite a few: "Respect" from the writer and original recording  Otis Redding  and a cover she made her own, the Queen of Soul  Aretha Franklin . More about the song and  Aretha  in these posts. Before I get to some cover's I've not mentioned, here are more songs from my previous is