I'm sure I've said it before that the truly great cover versions, in my humble opinion, are the ones where a well known song is transformed into something totally different. I'm not all that interested in a band or a singer re-producing the cover word-for-word and note- for-note at the same beat, tempo and rhythm as the original - just gimme something that makes the cover sound like one of your own. But you gotta be careful and not turn it into a parody or pastiche...
And of course David Gedge, whether with The Wedding Present or Cinerama, is a master of the art. But its not he who appears today...
The last two episodes of the Contrast Podcast have concentrated on covers which sound very different from the originals, and there's a fair few in there which are quite special. My own contribution centred more on a story for the intro than anything else, and if I had been allowed to add additional songs, these would likely have been the choices:-
mp3 : Eels - Get Ur Freak On
mp3 : Christian Kjellvander & Lise Westynthius - Hand In Glove
The first act should be well known to all of you, and its a glorious version of the Missy Elliot song that was all over the radio stations and video channels four or five years ago.
The second is, of course, a cover of the debut single by The Smiths. Recorded in 2003, it is a collaboration between a Swedish singer/songwriter who specialises in alt country (not that far removed from The Rockingbirds) and a Danish singer who includes Morrissey, The Cocteau Twins, Ian Brown, Cat Power, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mark Kozelek, Malcolm Middleton and Hot Chip among her influences. Intrigued??