As some of you may know, we've done a cover of Sonic Youth's 100% which is a B-Side on These Sins. Fortunately, the response we've had has been really positive. Being a huge Sonic Youth fan and knowing how many other fans are out there, I was slightly apprehensive when we first unveiled the song. It's not always good to mess with the best...Although Sonic Youth themselves have done this with their cover of the amazing song, Superstar by The Carpenters. I grew up listening to The Carpenters as my father's a huge fan. Sonic Youth's cover kept all the sad, haunting qualities of the original but with their trademark noise still surfacing albeit in a more controlled way.
I love covers especially ones that depart quite extensively from the original. It is very easy to rip something off but very difficult to make something your own.
Dinosaur Jr's cover of The Cure's Just Like Heaven is a good example of this. At first the song sounds quite similar to the original but their version develops in a typical Dinosaur Jr way:
Another favourite cover is Hole's version of He Hit Me (But It Felt Like A Kiss) by The Crystals. Hole originally performed this on MTV Unplugged and also on Jools Holland:
I also love Nirvana's cover choices - everything from Blues hero Leadbelly (Where Did You Sleep Last Night?), Devo (Turnaround) and The Meat Puppets. Lake of Fire which Nirvana performed alongside The Meat Puppets on MTV's Unplugged is a great version. The original song is below for those who haven't heard it:
Another great cover is So Sad About Us originally by The Who and covered by The Breeders on their Safari EP. The Breeders also did a great cover of The Beatles' Happiness Is A Warm Gun on their Pod album.
Of course there are also lots of terrible cover versions out there too. Despite the general consensus, I dislike Nouvelle Vague with a passion and I also dislike Glasvegas' dreadful cover of Be My Baby by The Ronettes. I find this tremendously painful to listen to. I think what both these bands do is just so easy and unchallenging. I just don't get it. They need to get off the middle of the road as it's a boring place to be despite the lure of commercial success. That's not what you should be creating music for. D-Bird