coverjam

JotD, 7/20/2011

It’s a little too hot to function; I can’t imagine too many of you are sitting by your computers jamming tonight. So, we’ll waste no time in getting to today’s Wednesday Cover Jam. Only seven weeks left of our series, so if you have some Cover Jams you want me to share, don’t hesitate.

Here’s Nazareth with “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976). The original, if you were unaware, was done by the Everly Brothers back in 1960.

JotD, 7/6/2011

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I found something totally fascinating today. It’s a list of songs that have sold more than 10 million copies around the world in the history of time, and there are only 27 of them. No Lady Gaga (yet, but soon). No Madonna. No Elvis Presley. No solo Michael Jackson (“We Are the World” is #5). No Janet, Usher, Britney, Mariah, Rihanna or Beyoncé, either. Ke$ha? Yes. 

Is your mouth on the floor yet? What the hell are all of these songs that have sold all of these records? Well, if you think logically, maybe you can guess a little better: Christmas Jams are going to be way up there, including “White Christmas” (#1) and “Silent Night” (#3). Also, the operative word is “worldwide”; that’s how Elton John’s version of “Candle in the Wind” for Princess Diana’s untimely death went all the way to #2, and how “Sukiyaki” is up at #10. It’s also how “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Kung Fu Fighting” clock in at #21 and #19, respectively.

Then there are some obvious ones (“My Heart Will Go On”“I Will Always Love You”) and some old tracks, like “Paper Doll” (1943) and “If I Didn’t Care” (1935). The newest additions are 2009's “I Gotta Feeling” and … gulp … “Tik Tok”, which have both sold about 13 million copies already. Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance” appear to be the next tracks to cross the 10 milli threshold.

OK, OK. You can now see the full list for yourself here.

The first song on the list I had never heard of comes from a Spanish disco duo called Baccara. If you’ve never heard of them, don’t think less of yourself; they never had a hit in the U.S. Their international breakout, which has now sold 18 million singles since debuting in 1977, is called “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie”, and well, it’s pretty amazing. It’s ABBA (whose “Fernando” is also on the elite list) meets Donna Summer meets Charo – need I say more? Though I’d never heard the song before, I thought it was vaguely familiar. Turns out that Goldfrapp does a cover of the song that I’ve probably heard before out at the club. And, well, it’s Cover Jam Wednesday, so … 

I have to make this a two-fer, though. Because this original track really is amazing. 

So here’s Goldfrapp with “Yes Sir (I Can Boogie)” (2003) followed by the original clip. Boogie your asses off, Jammers.

Goldfrapp:



Baccara:

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I give credit where it’s due at JotD, even when I don’t generally like an artist. Here, Taylor Swift (and her talented band) surpasses the original with her take on Mumford & Sons’ “White Blank Page.” BBC’s Radio 1 seems to have a lot of faith in Swift – good for them.

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As previously reported, an album of Franz Ferdinand cover songs is coming out on Record Store Day. All of the tracks come from the band’s last album, the underrated Tonight from 2009.

What you’re listening to above is LCD Soundsystem’s take on “Live Alone”; James Murphy does the song much justice. Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, Peaches and Debbie Harry are also slated to appear on the EP. (And yes, by the way, I do intend to do a roundup of Record Store Day offerings, of which there are many.)

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If you haven’t been impressed by the Dum Dum Girls yet, now’s the moment. This chic, collected take on Big Star’s ‘70s power-pop classic “September Gurls" is one of the finest I’ve heard from the A.V. Club’s Undercover series.

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Childish Gambino covers PM Dawn for BBC Live Lounge.

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Wilco’s got a new iTunes Session out, and one track features Nick Lowe helping out on his own hit, “Cruel to Be Kind.” And it’s lovely!

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You know, JotD hasn’t seen any of Portlandia yet, in part because I’m fearful that it’s too hipster pretentious – even though I realize that’s exactly what it’s trying to parody. (The other part is that I can only watch one or two shows at a time, and I’m just getting caught up on Breaking Bad episodes because I’m 2000 and Late).

But, I digress. This clip, from a recent Portlandia Tour stop in San Francisco, features Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (of Wild Flag) joined on staged by Thao & Mirah for a totally UN-pretentious cover of the Salt-N-Pepa classic “Push It.” The pure fun this exudes has single-handedly changed my attitude toward watching the show. Now, if only I could get through all the crap in my queue …

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Apparently, one of the co-founders of Record Store Day may have to close his own doors after biting off a bit more than he could chew, according to this Spin report. I’ve never been to Criminal Records in Atlanta, but consider this another sign of the changing music world. *Frowny face*

Not to push the issue aside, but the Spin report also pointed to several in-store appearances that Criminal Records has held in recent years. My favorite was a Cover Jam (if only I had seen this yesterday!) of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs doing Björk’s “Hyperballad.” No one does it like our Icelandic queen, but I do like this take on the song. Other performance pointed out by Spin include solid clips from the Gossip, Janelle Monáe and Deerhunter.

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I never could stand “Birthday Sex”, but Jeremih adds some good energy into this cover of Adele’s current single, "Rumour Has It,“ for this week’s Billboard Monday Mashup. No Auto-Tune effect, either! 

Sadé’s two-disc Ultimate Collection came out this month, and in addition to having 25 classic tracks on it, there are four new ones. Among them are two worth noting, a remix of “The Moon and the Sky” featuring Jay-Z and a Thin Lizzy cover. Check them both out below.

“Still in Love with You” (Thin Lizzy cover)

“The Moon and the Sky (Remix, ft. Jay-Z)”