10 Covers

A good cover version can bring out the best bits in an already great song and, as with One by Johnny Cash, can polish them like diamonds. Or it can make you rediscover a lost classic as happened for me with the Ataris’ version of Boys of Summer. Some covers are so unique that they verge away from mimicry and morph into original versions themselves — prime example I’m Not Like Everybody Else by Jimmy and the Boys, but seek out Rock On by The Smashing Pumpkins for extra weirdness. A bit of novelty always helps I find; bands covering music that is so far removed from their normal repertoire makes for smashing contrasts — step forward Rammstein with their version of Kraftwerk’s Das Modell. But I guess above all, for a cover to be any good the artist should make it his own.

This is an entirely subjective list based only on what’s in my music collection. I’m aware that The Wedding Present covered Steve Harley’s Come Up and See Me and that, according to my mate Steve, it is blinding . . . sadly though I just don’t have the track. Honourable mentions must go to Nazareth’s This Flight Tonight, Morrisey’s That’s Entertainment, The Lemonheads with Mrs Robinson, The Wondermints’ Knowing Me Knowing You and that karaoke classic Live and Let Die by Guns N’ Roses. Also some of you may chastise me for not including Sheryl Crow’s version of Sweet Child O’ Mine . . . I would suggest in this case you seek medical help. Read more

Rammstein

When it comes to Rammstein there is much misunderstanding in the UK. A few years ago Q wrote some tosh about the band’s Nazi links which thankfully, Rammstein had the good grace to ignore, while more recently Ali G. dissed the band live on air when introducing them in his capacity of MTV awards compere – shame on you Sasha. The root cause of this disdain is really all to do with their uncompromising image. Rammstein fulfil all the popular UK cliches of the ‘Bosese Deutsche’ gleaned from a zillion cheesy war movies : singing almost 100% in German, singer Till Lindemann alternately whispers and rasps his way through their (sometimes) dark lyrics in a mock-portentous guttural croak. Meanwhile the CDs feature scary photos of the band embalmed in test tubes and, it must be said, the whole lot of ’em are fond of spouting fire from their gobs at the drop of a hat. Lets’ just say you wouldn’t have ’em as your wedding band. Read more