Thursday, November 01, 2007

November's cover recommendation

A few years ago I discovered Napster, and I loved it, not because I was too cheap to buy CDs, but because I was able to find digitized versions of music I already owned on album but weren't on CD, and because I was able to discover some great new covers.

One of the covers I discovered years ago on Napster was Deftones' amazing cover of the Jawbox song "Savory". I was already a fan of this song because of it's lilting hook, and possible (?) reference to a great coffeehouse in Takoma Park, MD. When Deftones covered it, it took a really great song just a bit further, adding just a bit more rock to a pretty rocking song. (If I had gotten the music degree that the UCLA music library suggested, I might have better tools for describing this, but suffice it to say it is just a bit different, but still a great song.)

That is one of the keys to a good cover to me. The first is a totally different, often parody-like version of a song, like my favorite Dolly Parton covering REO Speedwagon's "Time for Me to Fly". The second is when they add just a little to a song that is already amazing. For example, The Thermals slightly more rocking version of Elliott Smith's "Ballad of Big Nothing" (BTW, the Foxymorons' version sucks! - we don't need a Beach Boys version of this genius!), or Dealership's version of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom".

Anywho, I loved that cover. For some unknown reason, I never investigated Deftones further to see if they had any other covers. Well, this week I happened upon the entire album that featured their "Savory" cover, and oh boy, was that just the tip of the iceberg!

First, they also do a cover of one of my favorite Duran Duran songs, "The Chauffeur". With a bit of investigating apparently there are some other covers of this song, but none as haunting as the Deftones version. One of my favorite parts of not only this cover, but all the covers on this "B-Sides and Rarities" album, is that they take songs that are extremely synthesizer based and translate them into rock songs using predominately guitars. It is a subtle difference, but a very interesting one. I believe they also take a highly produced drum track (Duran Duran had a real drummer, I think) and make it more truly rock and less "pop". Or maybe even less '80s, who knows.

The piece de resistance of this album is something I never envisioned and in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen before. *Deftones do a cover of Cocteau Twins!!!!*

You remember Cocteau Twins: the ethereal/goth duo where no one knew what the lead singer was singing, but she insisted it was English? I can't believe not only that someone could translate her words, but do it so well! I am in love with Deftones' version of "Wax and Wane" and would love to see more Cocteau Twins covers! Anyone?

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