Sorry Mr Shatner, there’s no room for you

25 November 2004

The Telegraph (not exactly the pop music-minded of the newspapers) have published a list of the best 50 covers of all time. While I’d probably agree with the winner (Jimi Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower), and some of the other entries, I’m shocked at the omission of The Stranglers version of Walk On By. Shirley Bassey’s Light My Fire could do with going there too. And Johnny Cash’s Personal Jesus. And while we’re at it – The White Stripes’ Jolene and Nirvana’s unplugged version of The Man Who Sold The World. Maybe Radiohead doing Nobody Does It Better too.

The article loses severe credibility by including the vile Joss Stone cover, Fell In Love With a Boy [sic] though. Anyone got any more that should (or shouldn’t) have been in there?

Update: While I’m at it, I thought the Gary Jules cover of Mad World, which is also in the list, is quite dull and inferior to the original. But I believe this is a minority view.


10 Responses

Sally

What about Sinead O’Connor’s cover of “Nothing Compares 2 you”? Or “All Apologies” for that matter. Cash’s version of “One” should’ve come first. Saw Bob Dylan play “All Along the Watchtower” as the encore at the Harvard gig this Sunday. It was like someone doing a bad Dylan impression.

“The Tide Is High” by Atomic Kitten. Seminal.

In addition to the dreadful Joss Stone, the inclusion of Roxy Music’s nadir, Ryan Adams limp-as-fuck Wonderwall, and a novelty single by the Scissor Sisters all seem odd…

Good to see PSB at number 2, they always did a mean cover version. Although today, I think you could make a strong argument that their Where The Streets Have No Name was more important than Always On My Mind.

iainl

Glad to see the magnificent Flying Lizards version of Money (Thats What I Want) in there.

Disappointed to see The White Stripes rubbish version I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself. Its not good. Its not even funny. Yuck. (and yes, on a normal day I do like the White Stripes).

Still, at least none of Marilyn Manson’s pointless versions of songs that already did the whole disturbingly pervy pop thing decades before (and to much greater effect) made the list.

Finally, if we’re talking Johnny Cash-performed covers, my fave is his frankly terrifying version of Hurt. Actually achieves everything the NIN original was trying to.

iainl

Tom says Atomic Kitten were seminal. Unfortunately, they’re just wank. Still, almost correct.

I thought Bob Dylan now plays (or attempts to play) All Along The Watchtower in the style of Hendrix, as it has become more or less the ‘definitive’ version? Which may lead to the question, should it be considered a cover at all (similarly for Nothing Compares 2 You)…?

Steve Badger

How can the Torygraph forget about Whitney Houston’s gloriously moving cover of Dolly’s “retirement fund”; namely “I Will Always Love You”. Only bettered by a brief Simpsons rendition…

Jim

Not a bad list, but I agree that inclusion of Joss Stone is mystifying, unless the Telegraph simply wanted an excuse to include a picture of a fit young lady. Cornershop’s “Norwegian Wood” should surely be in there, though. And Talking Heads’ “Take me to the river”, oh and Suede’s “Shipbuilding”.

“Shipbuilding” is indeed a wonderful cover. I’ve been listening to it fairly constantly for the past week now, as it happens. You’d never think that Brett’s voice would work for it, but it sends chills down your spine. In fact, by far the worst version of the song is by Costello himself; Robert Wyatt’s is incredible.

Danny Rafferty

Hmm… Interesting (probably accurate) list: not wrong – not right, good nor bad, but all over the place. I sort of agree with the ones I’ve heard.

Stereophonics’ “Handbags & Gladrags” (especialy live versions), and Moby’s plethora of covers – have both really been missed out. I ARE SAAAAAAD :(

ALSO ‘PRETTY DARN SWEET’ IS:

“The Boys Are Back In Town” covered by Bon Jovi – I like. Yeehaw… ROXOR, dude, like ‘old skool progresive rock style’. Yeah! Erm… sorry (really).

I’m also intruiged by “All The Young Dudes” by Travis – is it good, I wonder? Must… DOWNLOAD!

It’s good enough – pitched about halfway in between Bowie’s and the Hoople’s versions. Not as amusing as their version of ‘Killer Queen’, though, which is sort of like Gus van Sant’s version of Psycho – it’s identical to the original, and wonderfully, staggeringly pointless for it.