Day of the (mostly) Dead- 10 Covers

Covers of songs by the dead or songs covered by the dead, or almost:

10. Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann. Originally written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. Manfred Man achieved the ultimate in cover songs: they made it there own. No one knows Springsteen's version, nor should they. BTW, it's 'wrapped up like a DEUCE.' It also finally set them free from that God damned "Do Wah Ditty" bullshit.

9. Wonderwall by Paul Anka Originally written by Noel Gallagher and recorded by Oasis. Paul Anka added horns and smoothness to a song that is rough around the edges and made it almost fun. Especially interesting as it's about love, what is and what can or should be but the inability to do anything. Check out the lyrics and you can see why this song has been covered by Foo Fighters, Cat Power, and Radiohead among others. Even the Beastie Boys are known for doing a live version.

8. Satisfaction by Devo. Originally written by Richards and Jagger and recorded by the Rolling Stones. Devo took a song written by a couple of Brits influenced by black American blues, stripped it down to nothing then put it back together in a way that made it fresh again. Even if it's fresh in a dated, New Wave kind of way.

7. House of the Rising Sun by Eric Burdon and the Animals. Original writer is unknown. Recorded in 1962 by Bob Dylan after hearing it performed in a coffee shop by Dave Van Ronk. Eric Burdon's alternating growl/lamentations make this the definitive version hands down.

6. Misirlou by Dick Dale. Original writer is unknown. The use of this song in "Pulp Fiction" brought the King of the Surf Guitar back from the grave and back out into the world of touring and playing again. I had to look for a while to find the most boring clip of the song as seen below.

5. Hurt by Johnny Cash. Originally written by Trent Reznor and recorded by Nine Inch Nails. The move by Rick Rubin to have Cash sing this song was brilliant. The lyrics of shame, apology, regret and drive to go on are accented by Cash's years of hard living and experience.

4. Baby, please don't go by Them. Originally written and recorded by Big Joe Williams. A plea by a man to a woman to come back home.

3. Stagger Lee by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Original writer is unknown. It's been a blues standard since at least the 20s. Nick Cave now owns the song. He made it about more than a man shooting a pimp and winning over a prostitute. Stagger Lee is a homosexual (bi-curious anyway) sociopath that wants a blowjob and a beer in the worst way. And he doesn't give a good God damn who gives either to him. Then Blixa shows his vocal range by screaming in such a high pitched voice that I thought it was feedback until I saw it live.

2. Train in Vain by Dwight Yoakam. Originally written by Mick Jones and Joe Strummer and recorded by The Clash. Lyrically, the song is pure country. And, beneath Dwight's classic, Bakersfield country drawl, it sounds right. Can't find any video or audio and I loaned my copy to Frank about 5 years ago. So, you'll have to settle for Dwight's cover of Cheap Trick's "I want you to want me."

1. Police on my back by The Clash. Originally written by Eddie Grant and recorded by The Equals. I wish they would have covered his next big hit, "Electric Avenue." Could have been interesting. Ok, probably not.

So, I was going to do only covers of Dylan. But, the list got out of hand. So, I didn't do any. And for the above list, it's by no means definitive nor do I claim it to be. I tried to put some variety out there without being too obscure and I didn't put anyone who had a schtick. Yes, the strings quartet of Love Will Tear Us Apart is fun but it's not much different from their Bizarre Love Triangle. That's why Lounge Against the Machine or any other knock off is also not on the list.

Worst covers? The list is already being compiled.

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