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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Brian's 80's Pop tunes cover project

Here we have it: the pile of 80's covers I told you about. I originally only got about 50 tracks, but with Jonder's help and research, I managed to make it 75. And again, these are all covers of pop songs. That being said, there's quite an eclectic array here.


Many of your Alternative Heroes are inside. The Foo Fighters rip their way through "Kids In America". Weezer's great version of "You Might Think" is from Cars 2. Also in a Cars vein, the Deftones bring a moody and beautiful cover of "Drive". Sonic Youth show up - in the guise of Ciccone Youth - with a lo-fi, cooing version of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love". Yo La Tengo crank up the amps for a runthrough of Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby". Ben Folds does an utterly faithful "Video Killed The Radio Star".

Violent Femmes effectively mutate "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?". Tori Amos does a great live version of "I Ran". Cobra Starship's cover of "Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades" is funkier than the original. Juliana Hatfield gets into Guitar Pop Heaven for her cover of "Every Breath You Take". The Mike Patton project Lovage turn Berlin's "Sex (I'm A)" into late night sextronica. Done contemporary to the original, Rowland S. Howard's version of "White Wedding" carries its own sense of drama.

Around the turn of the millenium, it became cool to do power punk covers of 80's tunes. I've spread a smattering of them across the 4 discs. I remember cranking Goldfinger's "99 Red Balloons" while playing Gran Turismo 3The Ataris' "Boys of Summer" is really good, and was a hit if I remember. I like The Starting Line's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", but then again I've always been a sucker for Mannequin. And bringing back another childhood fave, A Loss For Words tunefully tear through "I Just Called To Say I Love You". And speaking of tearing, Good Riddance's cover of "I Melt With You" is snot-nosed and glorious.
As is wont to happen, some of these songs are completely transformed. Sapli turn "With or Without You" into a gentle tango. J.W. Jones makes "Cuts Like A Knife" a rollicking blues. Nothing But Thieves turn in a dramatic "Holding Out For A Hero" that would befit a Bond film. The Postal Service make "Against All Odds" into a beautifully nerdy ballad. The Brand New Heavies' version of "Sledgehammer" is pure, grooving funk. Signe Tollefsen's forlorn and icy cover of "Dirty Diana" flips the gender roles, making the song titillating in a different way. Sharon Jones & Dap Kings cover of "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" is barn-burning soul. William Shatner (along with ol' Bootsy) shows up to do his thing on "She Blinded Me With Science".

Reggae only shows up twice, but both are worth it. The Sunshiners' cover of Human League's "Don't You Want Me" is fun, and The Easy Star All Stars' version of MJ's "P.Y.T." is a brilliant groove.

Country, bluegrass, and Appalachia show up now and again. Jimmy LaFave's version of "Missing You" is straight up contemporary country, but I still like it. The Wind + The Wave's cover of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" is hill music of the best kind. Lelia Broussard's "Dancing In The Dark" has some stark country vocals. The DeLorean Sister's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" may be low volume (sorry), but tell me that's not a beautiful melody! And the Man In Black himself, Johnny Cash, covers "Personal Jesus". There is no reason for anyone to ever cover that song again.

There you go: I've discussed 31 tracks. There are 44 more that I haven't even mentioned! Some are faithful, some are bizarre, but all of them I like. I would encourage you to download and play em, not even looking at the track list. You'll be in for some surprises! I'll also put the link here for the "Metal Covered Eighties" comp if you haven't sipped from that cup of madness yet.

And Cohen covers are on the way....


  1. Disc 1

    Disc 2

    Disc 3

    Disc 4

    Metal Covered Eighties

  2. Love these! Keep it up. Although IMHO 7 Seconds own the 99 Red Balloons cover.

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