The glorious cover song. Anyone who has heard music in their lifetime has heard one. Some may have even thought that they were originals by whoever was covering it.
I can almost guarantee you that as long as there has been music, there have been cover songs and that most of the artists that you love have done one. From the classics like Mozart to the popular artists of today like Britney Spears, cover songs are everywhere. Here are some of my favorites:
1. The Scene Aesthetic – “Love Story” (originally by Taylor Swift)
The Scene Aesthetic is an acoustic/indie pop duo based in Seattle. They are made up of Eric Bowley and Andrew de Torres and have been on the scene since 2005. In 2009 they released their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” as part of “Rockin’ Romance,” a compilation CD from Destiny Worldwide. There are a lot of things that I like about this cover, but one of the things that made me love it was that Bowler and de Torres didn’t change the lyrics. Usually, bands or artists will change the lyrics of a song to fit their sexual orientation, so “she’s” become “he’s” and vice versa. They put their own spin on the record by making a stripped down acoustic version. By arranging the lyrics in a back and forth style of singing with the original lyrics, it makes for a unique re-imagining of the song. You can get this song along with The Scene Aesthetics other releases on iTunes.
2. David Cook – “Always Be My Baby” (originally by Mariah Carey, as heard on “American Idol”)
“American Idol” isn’t really known for amazing cover songs, or for artists that go on and become major successes (minus Kelly Clarkson, that girl is amazing). David Cook rose to fame by winning the seventh season of “American Idol,” during which he gave one of the best performances of the entire competition. He performed a rock arrangement of “Always Be My Baby” during Mariah Carey’s mentor week on the show. You would think that a guy with a gritty rock oriented voice couldn’t pull of an R&B; classic. Well, he did. Not only did the rock arrangement match his voice perfectly, he managed to keep the soulful quality that is in all of Carey’s songs. It was praised by all of the judges and Carey herself, and the studio version quickly rose to the top of the iTunes charts, becoming one of the most successful singles that “American Idol” has released. The studio version of the song even had Mariah Carey doing backing vocals. This song used to be available on iTunes but has since been taken down. But it is all over YouTube for you to check out.
3. Bayside – “Be My Baby” (originally by The Ronettes)
As soon as I heard that one of my favorite bands did a cover of one of my favorite songs, I got excited. So excited that I downloaded and listened to their EP of covers over and over again. Bayside is made up of Anthony Raneri, Jack O’Shea, Nick Ghanbarian and Chris Guglielmo. They formed in the winter of 2000 in Queens, New York. In October of last year, they released an EP titled “Covers – Volume 1,” which includes five cover songs that span decades of music. The EP was one of the best releases of 2012 and while you can’t go wrong with any of them, “Be My Baby” is definitely a highlight. “Be My Baby” has to be one of the hardest songs to cover. The original is considered by many to be the best pop song ever released and other covers up to this point have been epic fails (ahem, the Millionaires). What makes this cover so amazing is that the band manages to keep the integrity of the song while still making it all their own. You can get this song and all other releases by Bayside on iTunes.
4. Paradise Fears – “Call Me Maybe” (originally by Carly Rae Jepsen)
“Call Me Maybe” has to be one of the catchiest songs ever released. You hear that song once and it’s guaranteed that the lyrics will get stuck in your head. While not everyone is a fan of the song, this cover will make you change your mind. In March 2012 Paradise Fears released the music video for their cover of “Call Me Maybe” on their YouTube channel. The band is known mostly for their imaginative and unique covers of popular songs by varying artists and genres. Their cover of “Call Me Maybe” is a stripped down version of the original with only acoustic instruments and is one of the best songs they’ve released. The stripped down sound the band gives this song is refreshing compared to the full on plugged in sound that most bands lean towards when doing covers. This song is also available on iTunes.