Concept of covers

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    Concept of covers

    A few days ago, the silver medal figure skater, the enchanting Yuna Kim, skated to John Lennon's "Imagine" (flawlessly, I might add), in the relaxed, non-competitive gala skating event.   Yes, the music was John Lennon's, but the version that was piped into the rink was that of Avril Lavigne.   Lavinge recorded the cover a few years ago, so it's not 'new', but for many young listeners, who had never heard the song, it was an opportunity to hear and see it brought to life through the performance, which was very touching. 

    I read that the performance brought quite a bit of activity to the song, both the original and Lavigne's.    It should go without saying that Lennon cannot be topped, but for the performance of this young skater, the cover version worked and was suitable.   It's hard to fathom, but Lavigne did what you may think is unimaginable: she succeeded with this recording (it's on a tribute album with other various artists).    Of course, there are going to be younger listeners that will say they 'prefer' Avril's version, because they relate to her -- here and now.  

    Here's the question:

    What's your take on cover songs that draw attention to a great song, to a younger audience?   Do you feel it's a good thing, or are you of the mind that it's a shame that the audience didn't hear the original, at least first?

    Does it matter -- as long as the song is covered well, and the original is acknowledged?  

    Now if the cover is an abomination, and new listeners hear it for the first time, that's another story.  Hearing a cover, of a great song gone wrong.   Any examples?   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    I was indifferent at first over No Doubt's cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life".  I felt they kind smoothed out edges that didn't need smoothing and felt that Gwen's singing just didn't improve on the original.

    But after a while, I felt it was a good thing if younger audiences were drawn to the original and especially to Talk Talk, whom I feel is one of the best-yet-largely-unheralded new wave groups.  Specifically, I have an extended 7-minute mix of the original song that emphasizes the bass line and adds a bit of groove that wasn't in the single version.  This wasn't lost on No Doubt - a bass-heavy group - so in the end I felt it was a win-win even though I still prefer the original.

     

    (Conversely, I still for the life of me can't listen to Gary Jules' languorous cover of Tears For Fears' "Mad World"...puts me to sleep....)

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    Nirvana introduced the Meat Puppets and David Bowie to a whole new generation of fans with their acoustic covers of Lake of Fire, and the Man Who Sold the World during their unplugged special. Both versions were better than the original imo, and helped boost albums sales of each. Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, and KD. Lang, have each added their own unique interpetations to the Leonard Cohen Song, Hallelujah, allowing Cohen's music to be heard the way it should in front of a whole new audience. When done well, covers can be as, or more influential than the original.

    One of the worst covers has to be Sheryl Crow's version of Sweet Child of Mine. I saw her do it once and laughed through the whole thing. Sorry.

     

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    (Conversely, I still for the life of me can't listen to Gary Jules' languorous cover of Tears For Fears' "Mad World"...puts me to sleep....)



    Coincidentally, the Donnie Darko movie was on one of my cable channels last night.

    That version of Mad World was specifically created for the movie and I thought it fit with it  perfectly...so sad and surreal.  It sort of became the unofficial theme song of the film.

    But I can certainly understand finding it too slow compared to the original.

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    I think covers are a great thing, even if it doesn't lead one to the original artist. If a song is good, it should be heard. Doesn't matter much to me how it is heard.

    For artists, one of the best benefits comes if the cove is a big hit or is in a hit movie. That puts money in their pockets and takes the pressure off of them to have to produce hits of their own, giving them the freedom to be more creative without the constant pressure to sell.

    The Byrds covers of Bob Dyland songs did wonders for both the songs and Dylan's career.

    Manfred Mann in various configurations also did Dylan justice as well as the Dylan influenced Bruce Springsteen.

    Three Dog Night, perhaps the greatest cover band ever, did a great job bringing exposure to songwiters who were not so well known by the general public.

    Heck, even the Stones and Beatles were great cover bands when they first started out.

    Suffice to say, I love the concept of covers. Here's a few great examples.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shQQuLULa7U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz6g8zTG-pc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06rGW0AQGiY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K13hH0pJx5s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlBifX0H3yg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkM7uWBjUrI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeFlPxMTP24

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    (Conversely, I still for the life of me can't listen to Gary Jules' languorous cover of Tears For Fears' "Mad World"...puts me to sleep....)



    Coincidentally, the Donnie Darko movie was on one of my cable channels last night.

    That version of Mad World was specifically created for the movie and I thought it fit with it  perfectly...so sad and surreal.  It sort of became the unofficial theme song of the film.

    But I can certainly understand finding it too slow compared to the original.

     



    Very good movie with decent soundtrack (if a bit predictable for a film set in the 80s).  I'm just meh on the cover.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Some more cool covers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a4CKK27JA4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKocjAlOD80

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV62UcqbcQA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4-16zxVMw0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd1gRHk28IE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXXFj5wzLFA

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Normally a question like this would be the perfect opportunity to start ranting (which I like to do...and you know this, but you encourage me anyway).

    But I'm going to surprise you and be really positive about this one....(no promises for future topics), I'm going to try for a "kindler, gentler" approach in the rest of 2014. But, beware , I've tried before and failed.

    I like covers. I really like covers.

    Most covers are of really good songs (why would you cover a lousy song?).

    The Talk, Talk song that Matty mentions 'It's My Life' is great, the cover is well done and I like it almost as much as the original. Polar mentions 'The Man Who Sold The World' the David Bowie song covered by Nirvana. It helps that I like both artists, but Nirvana does a smashing rendition of an incrediblly great song.

    Easily one of my favorite songs 'Hair Of The Dog' by Nazareth is covered well by Guns'N'Roses , it doesn't hold a candle to the live version ( from 'Snaz) , but, just the same it is a good song and really tough to ruin it....and they didn't....they brought this great song to a younger generation.

    Some other great covers of note:

    Santana- 'Black Magic Woman' ( would you have ever gone back and discovered the genius of Peter Green without hearing this gem...done by another master craftsman?

    Gov't Mule - 'Cortez The Killer'...a Neil Young classic done marvelously.

    'Walking The Dog' by many artists ( Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and the Trashmen covered this one , my favorite is by the Trashmen but I have a soft spot for this "Surf" band from Minnesota.

    Speaking of Minnesota, is there a better cover than Hendrix version of  'All Along The Watchtower?'

    A real favorite of mine is Graham Parker's live cover of the Jackson 5 song 'I Want You Back.'

    Riot does a great version of Deep Purple's 'Burn.'

    Stephen Stills covered two songs by his old buddy, Neil Young....'New Mama' and 'The Loner.'

    The ones that get lots of airplay and I don't really like them are the Beatles covers by Joe Cocker.

    I've probably mentioned before that the instrumental cover by Blackmore's Rainbow that closes out the debut album is the Yardbirds classic 'Still I'm Sad', an incredible tour de force, by Ritchie.

    Speaking of Ritchie Blackmore, Ingwie Malmsteen's album of all covers ( 'Inspiration') hits on a number of Deep Purple and Rainbow songs and offers a sensational cover of 'In The Dead Of Night' by U.K. and 'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas.

    Two of my favorite songs the Beatles chose to cover are 'Matchbox' (Carl Perkins) and 'Money'...done by so many that I am not even sure who sang the original.

    The Surf bands ( mentioned the Trashmen) of the 60's like the Challengers and the Astronauts made a living covering great Rock'N'Roll, I think the popular version of 'Louie, Louie' by the Kingsmen is also a cover....you can correct me if I am wrong...I won't get mad ( the "kindler, gentler" thing...remember?).

    The worst of all time ( and the original is no great song, anyway) is 'Muskrat Love' not sure why Captain and Tennille would bother ( but they did "schlocky stuff" so I guess that's my answer...right?) , this was America's worst attempt, I don't know why anyone would buy it.....they should have made a sequel to Ventura Highway or Horse With No Name, but not Tin Man....uh-oh, I'm starting to rant....better stop now.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Normally a question like this would be the perfect opportunity to start ranting (which I like to do...and you know this, but you encourage me anyway).

    But I'm going to surprise you and be really positive about this one....(no promises for future topics), I'm going to try for a "kindler, gentler" approach in the rest of 2014. But, beware , I've tried before and failed.

    I like covers. I really like covers.

    Most covers are of really good songs (why would you cover a lousy song?).

    The Talk, Talk song that Matty mentions 'It's My Life' is great, the cover is well done and I like it almost as much as the original. Polar mentions 'The Man Who Sold The World' the David Bowie song covered by Nirvana. It helps that I like both artists, but Nirvana does a smashing rendition of an incrediblly great song.

    Easily one of my favorite songs 'Hair Of The Dog' by Nazareth is covered well by Guns'N'Roses , it doesn't hold a candle to the live version ( from 'Snaz) , but, just the same it is a good song and really tough to ruin it....and they didn't....they brought this great song to a younger generation.

    Some other great covers of note:

    Santana- 'Black Magic Woman' ( would you have ever gone back and discovered the genius of Peter Green without hearing this gem...done by another master craftsman?

    Gov't Mule - 'Cortez The Killer'...a Neil Young classic done marvelously.

    'Walking The Dog' by many artists ( Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and the Trashmen covered this one , my favorite is by the Trashmen but I have a soft spot for this "Surf" band from Minnesota.

    Speaking of Minnesota, is there a better cover than Hendrix version of  'All Along The Watchtower?'

    A real favorite of mine is Graham Parker's live cover of the Jackson 5 song 'I Want You Back.'

    Riot does a great version of Deep Purple's 'Burn.'

    Stephen Stills covered two songs by his old buddy, Neil Young....'New Mama' and 'The Loner.'

    The ones that get lots of airplay and I don't really like them are the Beatles covers by Joe Cocker.

    I've probably mentioned before that the instrumental cover by Blackmore's Rainbow that closes out the debut album is the Yardbirds classic 'Still I'm Sad', an incredible tour de force, by Ritchie.

    Speaking of Ritchie Blackmore, Ingwie Malmsteen's album of all covers ( 'Inspiration') hits on a number of Deep Purple and Rainbow songs and offers a sensational cover of 'In The Dead Of Night' by U.K. and 'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas.

    Two of my favorite songs the Beatles chose to cover are 'Matchbox' (Carl Perkins) and 'Money'...done by so many that I am not even sure who sang the original.

    The Surf bands ( mentioned the Trashmen) of the 60's like the Challengers and the Astronauts made a living covering great Rock'N'Roll, I think the popular version of 'Louie, Louie' by the Kingsmen is also a cover....you can correct me if I am wrong...I won't get mad ( the "kindler, gentler" thing...remember?).

    The worst of all time ( and the original is no great song, anyway) is 'Muskrat Love' not sure why Captain and Tennille would bother ( but they did "schlocky stuff" so I guess that's my answer...right?) , this was America's worst attempt, I don't know why anyone would buy it.....they should have made a sequel to Ventura Highway or Horse With No Name, but not Tin Man....uh-oh, I'm starting to rant....better stop now.



    Money was originally recorded by Barrett Strong for Motown.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeVx1C73o8k

    Louie Louie was originally a calypso song written and recorded by Richard Berry. Subsequently it has been covered by....everybody.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-2CKsaq5r8

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to WhatNowDoYouWant's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    I don't like covers that basically try to reproduce the original. What's the point to that?

    Covers that are reinterpretations, in the 'blues' style of covering, can be quite good.

    Trying to "reproduce" the original is one thing, but otherwise 'staying true' to the original is another, and the point is, in keeping with my question, that assuming it's a  great song, the cover will draw attention to it, revive it, etc.   Perhaps.  No guarantee. 

    Songs don't need to be overhauled to be good covers.   If it feels 'right' or 'natural' to a singer or band to cover a song simply, that's probably the way they're going to make it work. 

    It goes without saying if that type of cover isn't to your liking, that's fine, but if you want to know what the point is, there is one.  I'd also say a few well-chosen covers go a long way, so unless a band strives to *be* a cover band, they should be very selective.  :P

     

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    "The worst of all time ( and the original is no great song, anyway) is 'Muskrat Love' not sure why Captain and Tennille would bother ( but they did "schlocky stuff" so I guess that's my answer...right?) , this was America's worst attempt, I don't know why anyone would buy it."

     

    Since you're being "kinder and gentler",I'll take this opportunity to disagree with you.Not that you're wrong,but I know a worse cover in my humble (but correct) opinion.

    Take a listen to Rod Stewart singing the Who's Pinball Wizard.I hope you haven't just eaten because everyone deserves to keep their lunch down.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7GThhvxBK0

     

    A couple of my favorite covers besides the ones that have been mentioned already:

    Tommy James and the Shondells "Crimson and Clover" covered by Joan Jett

    Springsteen's "Blinded by the light" covered by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

    Stevie Wonder's "Higher ground" covered by Red Hot Chili Peppers

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    I think covers are a great thing, even if it doesn't lead one to the original artist. If a song is good, it should be heard. Doesn't matter much to me how it is heard.

    For artists, one of the best benefits comes if the cove is a big hit or is in a hit movie. That puts money in their pockets and takes the pressure off of them to have to produce hits of their own, giving them the freedom to be more creative without the constant pressure to sell.

    The Byrds covers of Bob Dyland songs did wonders for both the songs and Dylan's career.

    Manfred Mann in various configurations also did Dylan justice as well as the Dylan influenced Bruce Springsteen.

    Three Dog Night, perhaps the greatest cover band ever, did a great job bringing exposure to songwiters who were not so well known by the general public.

    Suffice to say, I love the concept of covers. Here's a few great examples.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shQQuLULa7U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz6g8zTG-pc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06rGW0AQGiY

    Yes, you love the concept of covers, and thanks for the details. 

    I certainly appreciate your take on this topic; I have a very similar attitude re: the song should be heard, even if it doesn't double-back to the original artist.   That's why I wanted to mention Avril Lavigne's cover, b/c she has so many younger fans, many of them will 'argue' they like her version better than the original, and so what if they do?  It's a beautiful song, and it's a classic by now.  Hopefully, it will be covered forever. 

    Can't help but laugh re: the Byrds, as you know, I've had a history of confusion about them (I love them) myself.  

    I'll have to check out some of you links later when I have more time, I usually like your choices. 

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Joe Bonamassa does many cover songs, and some of the choices are pretty interesting/surprising.

    For example, the last song on his Dust Bowl album is 'Prisoner'.  I was listening to the album with my wife, and when this one came on she said 'Oh, I love this song, it's from the movie 'The Eyes of Laura Mars'. (A 1978 thriller starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones).

    I was like 'Seriously?'  I had to look it up, but she was right.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    The comment about a "history of confusion" about the Byrds didn't go unnoticed....but the 'kindler, gentler" thing prevents me from further comment....Wink

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    OK, unless you have a 16.5 year old teenage daughter this won't make any sense to you!

    My TA daughter watches GLEE every Tuesday night - every episode has a cover song or two or a mash up of several songs together.

    Each Wednesday I get a call..."Dad, do you have that song by?????"

    (Zilla - last week she asked for a Bob Dylan tune!)

    Each time a GLEE cover is released on iTunes it's an instant sell out! And a whole new generation gets exposed to an older (mostly) artist. Good, bad or ugly the show promotes a lot of artists and thier music.

     

    The funny part is when I play the original song in my car only to have my daughter tell me that she like's the original version too.

     

    Take a look...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_in_Glee_(season_1)

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Klaas. Show Klaas's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    It's funny I was going to mention Glee as well. I seem to remember overhearing my daughter and her friends in the basement listening to Glee doing Beatles songs not too long ago. It sounded OK I guess.

     
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    Re: Concept of covers

    Even more (!) covers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CH8hkzmXfk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGWR3uI3Qa0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIEV1OanDGY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3FwMa4SNLM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcLOiF8-pOM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwfW9WwIXLk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea0759BeJ2U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYbs_O_iMfU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDxYIbW9HwE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtgNHnF7CYI

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Re: bands prone to cover songs...Phish has had an array of covers in their arsenal over the years, some more successful than others, though that has rarely stopped them.

    For a while, they had taken to covering entire albums for their halloween shows, including The White Album, VU's Loaded and Talking Heads' Remain In Light.

    At one show a few years ago, they did Cities, Instant Karma and Rock And Roll (VU).  The former completely change the manic tempo of the original for a groovier, slower-paced version that I actually prefer to the original.

    They've done several live versions of Edgar Winter's Frankenstein with predictably funky results.

    Elsewhere, the Flaming Lips has done the entire DSOTM brilliantly.

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Crash Test Dummies did a very nice cover of XTC's brilliant song 'Peter Pumpkinhead'.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    The comment about a "history of confusion" about the Byrds didn't go unnoticed....but the 'kindler, gentler" thing prevents me from further comment....Wink


    Well, we have a history on the forum, now.    Glad you appreciate it.  

    I think of your rants as "statements".   At times, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get you to say anything negative about rock music (other than you know, starts with a "d" ends with an "o" -- although that is not a genre of rock ...).    If the kinder/ gentler is working for you, stay with it.    Next?  You'll come and tell us you're taking a yoga (gentle, of course) class, to augment your new 'gentle' approach to life.   Laughing

     

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    Yeah, you guessed it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohkFgdCE2yQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8e4kla7Hd0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h80l4XIPJC4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqcrnWGbh8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gQSj4lKIl0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLPHz8KT9No

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpIxOPUxIt4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4I21_vooWI

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    No discussion of covers can be complete without mentioning Vanilla Fudge.

    If you have never heard of them, they did extremely "heavy" covers of well known hits like Diana Ross and the Supremes, 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' or Donovan's 'Season Of The Witch'.....if your taste in music gravitates toward heavy, heavy 60's Rock at all ( Iron Butterfly, Early Deep Purple and Early Led Zep ) you'll prefer this over the original.

    The group features Bogart and Appice , the rhythm section that travelled together in many other bands ( Jeff Beck, Cactus), and the great heavy organ sound made famous by the Animals, Sugarloaf and Iron Butterfly.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    No discussion of covers can be complete without mentioning Vanilla Fudge.

    If you have never heard of them, they did extremely "heavy" covers of well known hits like Diana Ross and the Supremes, 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' or Donovan's 'Season Of The Witch'.....if your taste in music gravitates toward heavy, heavy 60's Rock at all ( Iron Butterfly, Early Deep Purple and Early Led Zep ) you'll prefer this over the original.

    The group features Bogart and Appice , the rhythm section that travelled together in many other bands ( Jeff Beck, Cactus), and the great heavy organ sound made famous by the Animals, Sugarloaf and Iron Butterfly.



    One of my links was to The Vanilla Fudge cover you mention. I really enjoy it.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    No discussion of covers can be complete without mentioning Vanilla Fudge.

    If you have never heard of them, they did extremely "heavy" covers of well known hits like Diana Ross and the Supremes, 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' or Donovan's 'Season Of The Witch'.....if your taste in music gravitates toward heavy, heavy 60's Rock at all ( Iron Butterfly, Early Deep Purple and Early Led Zep ) you'll prefer this over the original.

    The group features Bogart and Appice , the rhythm section that travelled together in many other bands ( Jeff Beck, Cactus), and the great heavy organ sound made famous by the Animals, Sugarloaf and Iron Butterfly.



    One of my links was to The Vanilla Fudge cover you mention. I really enjoy it.



    Due to time limitations , I am not able to view all the links on all posts...sorry.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Concept of covers

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Re: bands prone to cover songs...Phish has had an array of covers in their arsenal over the years, some more successful than others, though that has rarely stopped them.

    For a while, they had taken to covering entire albums for their halloween shows, including The White Album, VU's Loaded and Talking Heads' Remain In Light.

    At one show a few years ago, they did Cities, Instant Karma and Rock And Roll (VU).  The former completely change the manic tempo of the original for a groovier, slower-paced version that I actually prefer to the original.

    They've done several live versions of Edgar Winter's Frankenstein with predictably funky results.

    Elsewhere, the Flaming Lips has done the entire DSOTM brilliantly.

     


    I only know this b/c I did a band ID question on them a long time ago (and made it far too easy without realizing at the time) but closely related, Gov't Mule does a yearly cover tribute for Halloween as well.  

    I don't consider this sort of thing a gimmick, as much as a tradition that fans go wild over and look forward to annually.   It's basically a two-fer. 

     

     
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