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

10 Guitar Solos

10 awesome standout guitar solos picked by someone who wasted a great deal of his teenage years in a tiny bedroom in Portsmouth with a Washburn Les Paul copy trying and failing to learn most of ’em.

This is not a definitive list of the 10 best in the world and I’m aware it’s only rock guitar that features. And neither Jimmy Page nor Jimi Hendrix are represented here — you’ll see why.

I welcome all arguments/comments/flames/praise. Read more