Top Ten Thursday: Best Covers Albums

cover album art for william hung inspiration

After the painful experience of reviewing Neil Young’s new cover album, Americana, we decided to go back to some of our old favorites, and create a list of the top ten cover albums.  It was surprisingly difficult to find a comprehensive list of cover albums that have even been released, so I am certain we are missing a couple of classics, but also was very happy with strength of the list we came up with.  Another couple items of note is that the album needed to be 75% covers to be considered and a lot of 1950’s and 60’s albums were not considered.  A lot of early Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. albums were comprised mostly of covers because that’s just the way the music business was run back then.  Somebody would have a minor hit, then ten artists would cover it to bandwagon and try to copy its success. 

So what makes a great cover album?  There are a lot of opinions on that, but we firmly believe it is not enough to simply mimic already great songs.  What we like to see is an artist keep the feeling of the original but substantially change the arrangement.  Also great is when an artist manages to rescue a song from obscurity and make it completely their own.  There is not absolute formula to a great cover song or album, but as with most of our list the following selections hit us the hardest.  On to the list.

10. David Bowie – Pin Ups

album cover art for david bowie pin ups

Bowie’s lat album with The Spiders from Mars was a tribute album to some of his favorite tracks from the 60’s.  Pin Ups contains classic songs from The Who, a lesser known track from Pink Floyd’s most underrated era, a Kinks track for the ages, and some lesser-known bands that I probably would have never been turned onto otherwise such as The Pretty Things and The Easy Beats.  All of these things fused with the Bowie twist means it is a sure-fire instant eargasm.

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Fifty Licks: 50 Songs for 50 Years | 10-1

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Here it is folks.  If you are as big of a Stones fan as us, then you should have been able to deduct most of the entries, if not the order, of our top ten Rolling Stones tracks.  What amazes me is the enormity of the popularity of each of these songs.  With many bands, the most popular tracks often seem to be simply the most accessible, but with the Stones we get the best of both worlds.  This top ten list came so easily to us, with little rancor or argument.  The Rolling Stones truly went from England’s newest hit-makers to England’s greatest hit-makers.  Please check out #’s 50-31 here and #’s 30-11 here.  Also, check out our top 5 Stones albums here.

Songs 50-31 | 30-11 |10-1

10. “Under My Thumb”
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Fifty Licks: 50 Songs for 50 Years | 30-11

the rolling stones, the stones, rolling stones, 50 years, 50, 50 anniversary, 50th anniversary, hits, songs, album cover,

Picking right on up were we left off at #30, we give you our next-to-last selections for our Fifty Licks: 50 Years list. This portion seems to focus more on the country/delta blues stylings of The Stones. I’d like to say that this list was especially fun for us to put together, and it is always great to revisit these songs that serve as an inspiration to me, but also to many more modern musicians that may not even realize it themselves. So here we go, let us continue with our 30th-11th favorite tracks from one of our favorite all time bands:

Songs 50-31 | 30-11 |10-1

 

30. “Rip This Joint”
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Weak List Wednesday: Top 5 Albums of The Rolling Stones

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This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest bands of all time forming to make some of the best, most memorable music ever. The Rolling Stones originally joined together in 1962, marking them as early competitors with The Beatles, and one of the few bands that could actually give them a run for their money in terms of quality of music, influence of music, and overall badassness of music. The remainder of this week, LxL is choosing to remember, praise, and love on the Stones for their 50th b-day. So sit back and enjoy our first Stones post of the week, as we journey through our favorite albums of one of our favorite classic bands:
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How I Received My Primer in Classic Rock

I kind of wanted to review Killer Mike’s new album for today, but just haven’t had the time to fully absorb it.  I will say it is awesome and will get a full review out next week.  Instead, due to our coverage of The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary over the next couple days and a chance run-in I had with an old friend last weekend, I thought I could take a little trip down memory lane, and get more personal than analytical for today’s post.  So if you want more of a substantial analysis of a new album, check out Wes’s Beach House review or Todd’s Best Coast review from the past couple days.  Enjoy the trip.
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