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Fred FM playlist: 26 September 2010 “Covers”

September 26th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Whatever negative comments one might be inclined to make about Wikipedia, it is hard to say that their community-built entries aren’t interesting reads:

From early in the 20th century it was common practice among phonograph record labels, if any company had a record that was a significant commercial success, that other record companies would have singers or musicians “cover” the “hit” tune by recording a version for their own label in hopes of cashing in on the tune’s success. For example, “Ain’t She Sweet,” was first popularized in 1927 by Eddie Cantor (on stage) and by Ben Bernie and Gene Austin (on record), was repopularized through popular recordings by Mr. Goon Bones & Mr. Ford and Pearl Bailey in 1949, and later still revived as 33 1/3 and 45 RPM records by the Beatles in 1964. Since there was little promotion or advertising involved in the earlier days of record production, other than at the local music hall or music store, when the average record buyer went out to purchase a new record, he usually asked for the tune, not the artist. In addition, distribution of records was highly localized in many cases. So, a quickly-recorded version of a hit song from another area by a locally popular artist could reach an audience before the version by the artist(s) who first introduced the tune in a particular format — the “original,” “introductory” or “popularizing” artist — was widely available, and the highly competitive record companies were quick to take advantage of these facts.

Wow: Mr. Goon Bones.  I’m definitely going to use that in the future.

A cover version can really screw up a good song.  The ones I compiled for today’s playlist range from drastic re-interpretations to faithful mimicry.  But none of them fails as a good cover version, with maybe one exception (and you know I’m not going to say which one that is).

Approximate playing time: 76 minutes.

  1. George Harrison  “If Not for You”  (1970)  [original by Bob Dylan]
  2. Josh Rouse  “A Forest”  (2002)  [original by The Cure]
  3. Laura Veirs  “The Ocean”  (2010)  [original by Led Zeppelin]
  4. Kronos Quartet  “Purple Haze”  (1995)  [original by Jimi Hendrix]
  5. Iron & Wine with Calexico  “Dark Eyes”  (2007)  [original by Bob Dylan]
  6. Josh Ritter  “Blame It on the Tetons”  (2006)  [original by Modest Mouse]
  7. Kevin Tihista  “We Just Disagree”  (2005)  [original by Dave Mason]
  8. Garbage  “Kick My Ass”  (1996)  [original by Vic Chesnutt]
  9. Emmylou Harris  “The Magdalene Laundries”  (2007)  [original by Joni Mitchell]
  10. David Mead  “The Only Living Boy in New York”  (2004)  [original by Simon & Garfunkel]
  11. Mavis Staples  “Wrote a Song for Everyone”  (2010)  [original by Creedence Clearwater Revival]
  12. Elvis Costello  “Brilliant Disguise”  (2004)  [original by Bruce Springsteen]
  13. Neko Case  “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”  (2004)  [original by Chuck Berry]
  14. Beck  “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”  (2009)  [original by Bob Dylan]
  15. Nada Surf  “Question”  (2010)  [original by The Moody Blues]
  16. Sondre Lerche  “Let My Love Open the Door”  (2007)  [original by Pete Townshend]
  17. Marc Broussard  “You Met Your Match”  (2007)  [original by Stevie Wonder]
  18. Rickie Lee Jones  “Show Biz Kids”  (2000)  [original by Steely Dan]
  19. Kate & Anna McGarrigle  “Tu Vas M’Accompagner”  (1982)  [original English version by Bob Seger]
  20. Elton John  “Way to Blue”  (1970)  [original by Nick Drake]
  21. Chicago with Al Green  “Tired of Being Alone”  (1973)  [original by Al Green]

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Fred FM playlist (26 September 2010)

Some notes on the songs:

  • You’re going to have to do that French translation yourself.
  • It’s no surprise that Bob Dylan is well-represented here (three covers), but have you seen that book of his collected lyrics?  It could stun a horse.
  • Check out the syncopated crow caws at 47:15.

Tags: books · Fred FM · music

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Linkmeister // Sep 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    John Cage’s collected lyrics, on the other hand . . .

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