Cover versions galore in this week’s playlist featuring Gladys Knight, The Cardigans, The Magic Numbers, Charles Bradley, Sonic Youth, Beautiful South and much more!
What makes a good cover version? maybe it’s easier to ask what makes a bad cover version. There are plenty of those. Either bland facsimiles of the original, attempts by artists who simply lack the talent for the job, or catastrophic mis-matches that should never have been attempted in the first place. Think Kanye’s recent Bohemian Rhapsody disaster at Glastonbury and you’ll know what I mean by that.
When it works though it happens because something new is found within a song; a different musical angle, a new point of view is found. In doing so an artist or a band make a song their own and sometimes even improve it a little. So here we have Sonic Youth’s aesthetic reworking of the Carpenter’s classic, or Charles Bradley turning Neil Young in to a smoking slice of soul, or the Beautiful South bringing some latin groove to ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper, and even Snoop Doggy Dogg being stripped down to an acoustic ballad. Yep, each of these 15 songs is, in our opinion, what every good cover version should be – recognisable yet completely different. We hope you agree, and as always we hope you enjoy!