In his new book, The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music, Dylan Jones devotes an entry to “Cover Versions: 75 of the Best,” from Rufus Wainwright’s popular take on the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah,” to Hendrix doing “All Along the Watch Tower.” It’s a very fine and noble list, of which you can listen to the top fifteen on the Huffington Post. (See also two great excerpts at Salon and the Daily Beast.)
In that spirit I’d like to present my own list of “Favorite Covered Songs!” I warn you though, if you can’t make it through this video of Sid Vicious singing Frank Sinatra’s standard “My Way” then this Spotify playlist is not for you!:
1. “Love Goes On” (The Go-Betweens) by Nada Surf
2. “Video Killed the Radio Star” (The Buggles) by Joyce Manor
3. “Black Diamond” (Kiss) by The Replacements
4. “Many Rivers to Cross” (Jimmy Cliff) by Harry Nilsson and John Lennon
5. “What’cha Gonna Do About It” (The Small Faces) by Condof****
6. “My Generation” (The Who) by Patti Smith
7. “Can’t Hardly Wait” (The Replacements) by Justin Townes Earle
8. “Speeding Motorcycle” (Daniel Johnston) by Mary Lou Lord
9. “Thirteen” (Big Star) by Elliott Smith
10. “After Hours” (The Velvet Underground) by Rilo Kiley
11. “Benny and the Jets” (Elton John) by The Beastie Boys featuring Biz Markie
12. “Attitude” (The Misfits) by Guns N’ Roses
13. “Hey Jealously” (Gin Blossoms) by The Ergs
14. “Louie Louie” (The Kingsmen) by Black Flag
15. “Wendy” (The Beach Boys) by Descendents
16. “Mercury Blues” (Douglas/Geddins) by David Lindley
17. “I Gotsta Get Paid” (Fat Pat) by ZZ Top
18. “Strangers” (The Kinks) by Wye Oak
19. “If You Want Blood” (AC/DC) by Mark Kozelek
20. “Sea of Love” (Phil Phillips) by Cat Power
Picador’s playlist game is A+ at the moment.
So many of us had collections of short stories we read in seventh grade as an introduction to fiction. We were never taught the short story as a unique form. It was an introduction to longer forms. This book was really about looking at what makes a short story such a distinct discipline. The writers we chose to introduce the stories are known for their mastery of that particular medium, which is so deceptively difficult.
“If we can achieve one thing with this book, I think it would be that — that a short story can be both an education and a pleasure.”
“Only thing Fitzgerald wrote that will last is THE GREAT GATSBY—- the rest (TENDER IS THE NIGHT, THE LAST TYCOON) is midcult junk.”
From As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks 1964-1980, by Susan Sontag. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, page 409. This quotation is from 1976.
Sunday Sontag — “Stir up a shitstorm” Edition!
& Other goodies available at Picador’s awesome new Tumblr.