2015 Best Music pt.6 – The Covers

I suppose the previous post overlaps with this one, since I included the Seth Avett/Jessica Lea Mayfield cover of Elliott Smith in pt. 5, but it only serves to remind me (and you) that there were some excellent cover songs in 2015 and that they deserve their own post in the best picks of 2015 collection.

Chris Staples – Center of the Universe (Built to Spill cover)

I didn’t know about Chris Staples at all before reading about him on one of the many online music rags touting their best albums of 2015 (making my own list both unnecessary and cannibalistic). Apparently he isn’t popular enough to warrant a biography on Allmusic.com, unlike the similarly named Country Music critical darling of 2015, Chris Stapleton. Thankfully wikipedia does have info on him, so to learn more go here.

Either way, I’m thankful for finding out about the guy, not only for his wonderful acoustic originals (think: José González, Iron and Wine), but for his excellent cover of one of my favorite all time songs, from one of my favorite all time bands. Proof that even if you love an original, a re-interpretation can also lay claim to the same love.

Here’s the original so you can hear what a great job Chris Staples did at turning this 90’s rocker into an acoustic ballad.

The Sonics – You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover

Here’s where all these so-called “categories” I come up with really blur together. This one could have easily fit in my garage-rock post, or my revival post to come later (maybe). But since this post is about “cover” songs, it seemed extra-fitting to include a song that actually is about covers.

And as much as I love the Bo Diddley original, The Sonics really take the song to new and propulsive levels here. The baritone sax just kills me in this song. I can the feel the breathy force of Rob Lind’s horn blasts in my spine when I listen to this song. And these dudes are in their 70’s! They are the Rolling Stones of garage rock, and it is amazing to see them back for their first new album, This is the Sonics, in over 30 years.

This is what bands that get back together after a long hiatus are supposed to sound like: reinvigorated, rocking and ready to rumble.

Here’s the Bo Diddley original.


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