Sunday, 9 December 2007

Top Twenty Cover Versions: 2007

It's New Year's Eve, not the 9th, and with my only real offer involving whiling away the night in someone's shed, I am left here watching Jools Holland with my dad and a couple of cats, none of whom really care about the changing of the calendars tonight. Of course, I'm not too fussed either, except for a particular enjoyment in making end of year lists, of which the pick of the crop come tonight. So, to kick things off, my top twenty covers of 2007. I hope they do all originate in their covered forms from this year, but if they don't, well, screw it.

20. Getting Better - Kaiser Chiefs (The Beatles)
19. Valerie - Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse (The Zutons)
18. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face - Mark Ronson (Coldplay)
17. The Power Of Love - The Pigeon Detectives (Huey Lewis and the News)
16. Oh My God - Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen (Kaiser Chiefs)
15. Love Is The Drug - Kylie Minogue (Roxy Music)
14. Umbrella - Mandy Moore (Rihanna)
13. Waterfall - Stoney (The Stone Roses)
12. Under Pressure - Keane (David Bowie and Queen)
11. How Deep Is Your Love? - The Bird and the Bee (Bee Gees)
10. Band On The Run - Foo Fighters (Wings)
9. You Sexy Thing - Stereophonics (Hot Chocolate)
8. Number 1 - Jont (Goldfrapp)
7. Getting Better - Fionn Regan (The Beatles)
6. The Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In) - Lightspeed Champion (The Cast of 'Hair')

5. Super Trouper - Camera Obscura (Abba)
Britain's new found love for cover-themed compilation albums dominate the top five for this year, and this superb Abba cover by Scottish band Camera Obscura is the first of these. The song is so twee you could squeeze it like a sponge and fill a jar with kittens in flatcaps. Rather lovely news for such a lovely band, it was this single track that led to my purchasing their most recent album on eMusic. It's equally lovely. Lovely.

4. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Nerina Pallot (Joy Division)
Take a heartbreaking song, that many would consider blasphemy to cover and throw caution to the wind. Nerina Pallot is an artist I originally brushed away dismissively as a cheap Regina Spektor for people who didn't like Regina Spektor. No more.

3. Breathe (In The Air) - The Shins (Pink Floyd)
Funnily enough, I don't like Pink Floyd (I know, I know, shut up.), and this song doesn't sound all that much like The Shins, but that somehow doesn't matter. It's deep, and dark, and terrifically breathy, like Darth Vader. Wait. No. Regardless, The Shins don't seem to be making many smart moves right now. First they release an album that is almost impossible to top, and then they boost it further with ridiculously good covers such as this. Frankly, their only option right now is to crash and burn briefly, allowing their fourth LP to be more of a relief that they're still together than a follow-up to Wincing the Night Away. Just my opinion, of course.

2. Ray Of Light - Natasha Bedingfield (Madonna)
My favourite covers are often better versions of songs I previously disliked, or ones originally sung by people I dislike. Ray Of Light falls under both categories. The song was just annoying, and Madonna, in my humble opinion, is the most overrated artist ever to get a number one single. And in that count I include Mr. Blobby. Why is the cover so great? One word: vocals. Natasha Bedingfield sings better than any diva I've yet heard. Perhaps not as bold, but better placed notes, better chosen. Simply delicious.

1. Don't Get Me Wrong - Lily Allen (The Pretenders)
Just listen.

mp3: 'Don't Get Me Wrong' - Lily Allen

Happy New Year!
(more lists to come)

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