Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Covers Gallery IV – Tribute Album Edition

The latest set in my series honoring covers is drawn entirely from tribute albums:

1.    Opelousas (Sweet Relief) – by Maria McKee from Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. McKee’s transcendent version of singer-songwriter Williams’ song is one of the highlights of the album.
2.    #9 Dream – by R.E.M. from Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The alternative rockers do a nice, dreamy cover of John Lennon’s solo hit.
3.    Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt - from Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon.  Browne & Raitt pay tribute to the late, lamented Zevon with this energetic reading of a song made famous by Linda Ronstadt’s version.
4.    Yesterday Once More - by Red Kross from If I Were A Carpenter. The power poppers re-do The Carpenters hit, emphasizing the melancholy inherent in the song's lyrics.
5.    Raining in My Heart - by Graham Nash from Rave On Buddy Holly. Pretty, stripped down version of the Buddy Holly tune by Nash. From one of two star studded Holly tributes released in 2011, the other being Listen To Me: The Songs Of Buddy Holly.
6.    You Won’t See Me - by Dar Williams from This Bird Has Flown: a 40th Anniversary Tribute to The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. One of the best songs on this tribute to a classic Fab Four album.
7.    Tush - by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. Grace & the boys get the groove right on this cover of the ZZ Top hit, from ZZ Top: A Tribute From Friends.
8.     Deuce - by Lenny Kravitz from Kiss My A**: Classic Kiss Regrooved. Fantastic version of the Kiss song, also featuring Stevie Wonder.
9.    Girls Talk - by Dave Edmunds from Songs Of Elvis Costello: Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours & Rendezvous. Edmunds’ hit cover leads off this eclectic album of Costello classics by a variety of artists.
10.  Washable Ink - The Neville Brothers - from Love Gets Strange: Songs of John Hiatt: There are several Hiatt tribute albums, but this out of print disc from Rhino has an excellent lineup of musicians and songs, including The Neville Brothers funky take on this tune.
11.  Encomium: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin: Tangerine - by Big Head Todd & The Monsters. Moody, folk-inflected version of the Led Zeppelin III track.
12.  I Want You from Inner City Blues: The Music of Marvin Gaye. Madonna’s smooth, sensual reading of the Marvin Gaye hit.
13. Gypsy Woman – Bruce Springtseen’s excellent take on the Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions classic, from All Men Are Brothers: A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield.
14. You Got Me Floatin' - P.M. Dawn’s psychedelic/r&b version of the Jimi Hendrix tune, from Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix.
15.  Burn Down the Mission - Phil Collins' emotional cover of the early Elton John tune, from Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
16. The Chain by Shawn Colvin, who does right by this Fleetwood Mac classic on Legacy: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
17.  Fat Bottomed Girls - by Antigone Rising from Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen. The all girl rockers get it on with their version of the hard charging Queen hit.

Bonus Track: Sugar Sugar - by Mary Lou Lord & Semisonic from Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits. One of the best tracks on this wonderful collection of cartoon themes & songs from shows like The Archies, Scooby Doo & The Flinstones. A real treat for baby boomers.

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