Handsome Boy Modelling School – The Truth Featuring Roisin Murphy – Galt MacDermot #coverversion

“The Truth” has been on rotation in my collection for about 10 years now, and it’s a track I can keep going back to and find something new every so often – the hallmark of a classic.

“The Truth” is a cover of Galt MacDermot’s seminal piano soul composition “Coffee Cold” (which was featured on the 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair). Initially it was Roisin Murphy’s voice that drew me in to the track, but the tone, texture and musically of the music soon took the focus. It was while hunting down the samples used that I discovered “Coffee Cold.”

Handsome Boy Modelling School – The Truth

“The Truth” is taken off the 1999 album “So… How’s Your Girl?” which features performances from Roisin Murphy, Del The Funky Homosapien, Gran Puba, Biz Markie and others. If you’re in to breakbeak hip hop, it’s worth a listen.

“Handsome Boy Modelling School” was made up of Dan The Automator and (the legendary) Prince Paul (De La Soul. Wu Tang Clan, Fat Joe)
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Galt MacDermot – Coffee Cold

This is one of the rare instances where I have an equal amount of love for the original and the rework. I want both of these on vinyl, baldy.

Handsome Boy Modelling School

Umami – Sunny – Bobby Hebb cover version #coverversion Friday

This week’s cover is technically more of a remix, but it was so artfully and respectfully handled, that I just has to post it.

Umami is comprised of German Duo of Sam and Robert who put together a cracking rework of Bobby Hebb’s beautful acoustic soul record ‘Sunny’ which ranks very highly on my list of all time feel-good pop songs.

Umami – Sunny

“Sunny” has been covered by everyone from Jamiroqui and Marvin Gaye to Frank Sinatra (even a surprisingly tender version by Leonard Nimoy aka Mr Spock), and I’ve posted some of my favourite versions down below the original.

It’s always great to hear a classic rework make its way to the dancefloor.

Bobby Hebb – “Sunny” (1966)

Jamiroquai – Sunny cover version

Frank Sinatra – Sunny cover version

Marvin Gaye – Sunny cover version

Leonard Nimoy – Sunny cover version

Bobby Hebby Sunny album cover

Christian Scott – No Church In The Wild – jazz #coverversion Friday

Today’s cover version is a jazz inspired mind trip. Picture Miles Davis, Frank Ocean and The Roots all having a jam session, and you’ll get to where this track is at.

Christian Scott – No Church In The Wild

Trumpeter Christian Scott delivers a trumpet driven, jazz version of No Church In The Wild that would make Charles Mingus smile, and is perfect for this week’s #coverversion Friday selection.

Considering the inherent similarities between the origin and spirit Hip Hop and Jazz Music, I really shouldn’t be as surpised as I am. But damn son, I didn’t see this coming…

I didn’t want to pick something that people could already envision a jazz version of; I picked a song that had such a different vibe. I want people to be like, “Damn, I didn’t even know you could do a jazz version of that!” – Christian Scott

Christian Scott
Photo credit: Kiel Scott via NPR

As ‘No Church In The Wild’ is one of my Top Ten Track of 2012, I had high expectations of this cover, and Christian Scott delivers. The only way this gets any more awesome is if The Throne decide to record a version of their verses over this

Watch The Throne – No Church In The Wild

The Vines- Ms Jackson – Outkast #coverversion

This week’s cover version is a hip hop classic turned on it’s head by Australian rockers ‘The Vines’. ‘Ms Jackson’ is a song with a story – Andre3000 wrote the piece as apology to his ex-girlfriend’s mother after they broke up. The fact that the ex in question in Erykah Badhu just makes the story that much more interesting, hence it is my pick for this week’s edition of #coverversion Friday

The Vines deliver a heartfelt, very different version of the track. Even though the vehicle used for delivery is so vastly different to the original, The Vines still manage to get the message contained in the lyrics across in a way that seems genuine and not forced. This is no mean feat considering that this cover version has many fewer words than the original, since Big Boi’s rap is not there to sketch in the details.

The Vines Ms Jackson cover version

In some ways, this version of the song is truer to the original than the album version presented on Stankonia. In an interview with Vibe magazine, Andre3000 tells that the track was originally an acoustic.

‘Ms. Jackson’ was an acoustic guitar song that I was doing at home. Then I just converted it over into something people could understand a little bit more.”

Outkast Ms Jackson

As Outkast’s first major radio hit in South Africa, ‘Ms Jackson’ was my introduction to Outkast , and also the genesis of a catch phrase that I still throw around.

Forever ever?
Forever ever?

Bastille No Angels – TLC #coverversion

When I was a kid, I had a massive TLC poster on my bedroom wall. Left Eye was always my favourite and I listened to Crazy Sexy Cool a whole helluva lot, son.

This week’s #coverversion is a Bastille’s take on ‘Scrubs’. The track opens with a quote from Hitchcock’s Norman Bates and reveal’s itself to be based on ‘Angels’ by The XX. Spacious reverb and spring loaded guitars make this slow burner very enjoyable. This TLC fan approves.

Bastille No Angels

bastille-no-angels-tlc-cover-version

The XX – Angels

Jessie Ware – Do For Love (Bobby Caldwell #coverversion)

I grew up with ‘Do For Love’. My father had the Bobby Caldwell OG version in pretty frequent rotation on the old Blaupunkt turntable, and when I discovered the Tupac version as a teenager I played it to death., cos I was hardcore like that homie. This is a special song to me. Suffice to say, I’m sufficiently skeptical of covers of a song so near and dear to me. Jessie Ware treats the track with respect, leaving in enough of the original to allow some reminiscence while still adding enough of her own signature to make the version refreshing.

The sparse but never empty production complements the tone and emotion of the vocal track, resulting in a pleasing and thoroughly listenable record.

Jessie Ware Do For Love Cover Version
]Img credit: Jamie McKelvie

Ellie Goulding High For This – The Weeknd cover version

I love Ellie Goulding. Her tone and style bring to mind what would happen if Imogen Heap and Bjork morphed in to one person. Lately though, I think I almost appreciate her cover versions more than her original work. This girl is a work horse, covering everyone from Bon Iver to Elton John and many more in between.

This glitchy, laid back cover of ‘High For This’ originally performed by The Weeknd on House of Balloons is a #coverversion Friday treat to listen to.

Ellie Goulding High For This. The Weeknd Cover Version

I originally found this over on The Hype Machine, but it’s been a while since I listened to it. Hearing it again last night made it sound fresh all over.

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In addition to being a fun cover version, Monsieur Adi (he of the killer Lana Del Rey Summertime Sadness Remix)delivers a smooth, string loaded Ellie Goulding High For This Remix.

Ellie Goudling High For This Monsieur Adi Remix

Ellie Goulding High For This is a cover of a song by The Weeknd. Listen to the original version below

Just Friends Avalance (Nicolas Jaar Remix) – Leonard Cohen Cover Version – #coverversion Friday

On a weekend spent in San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua, I met the amazing Shane and Emma from Ireland who introduced me to the music of Nicolas Jaar. How the hell I had missed out on this man for so long, I have no idea.

Today’s cover version is a Nicolas Jaar remix of a track by a group going by the name of Just Friends. Interestingly, the vocalist is Sasha Spielberg, daughter of Steven Spielberg.

This remix of Avalance is atmospheric, rhythmic and hauntingly beautiful that counterbalances Leonard Cohen’s deep, melancholic baritone with a light and airy but equally melancholic alto female vocalist.

Just Friends Avalanche

This is a cover version of Leonard Cohen’s 1971 acoustic guitar driven masterpiece ‘Avalanche’ taken from the album ‘Songs of Love and Hate.’ Listen to Just Friends Avalanche below.

[blockquote]You who wish to conquer pain, you must learn, learn to serve me well.[/blockquote]

Leonard Cohen – Avalanche

Jimi Hendrix All Allong The Watchtower (Bob Dylan Cover) #coverversion Friday

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another killer cover version. In some respects, they don’t get any bigger than this – Jimi Hendrix covering Bob Dylan.

For a long time I didn’t know that this was a cover version, I thought that it was a Hendrix original. Dylan penned the original in 1967 and the Hendrix Experience started recording his version just one year later and released it on the seminal Electric Ladyland, pretty weird for a cover version.

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower

It seems that one of the biggest fans of the cover version was Bob Dylan. He praised the the Jimi Hendrix Experience version on on a number of occasions

It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”

“I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way. – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – All Along The Watchtower

Senor Coconut and His Orchestra – Around The World – Daft Punk Cover Version

Today’s installmenet of #coverversion Friday is easily the most fun track I’ve uncovered yet. Below you’ll find a picture of a Japanse CD that shows a German orchestra doing a cover of a song by a French electro brand who used a sample from an American composer to create one of the best songs of the last 15 years. I would love to figure out how to drop this Senor Coconut Daft Punk cover version in a live set, just to see people’s faces.

Senor Coconut And His Orchestra – Around The World

Daft Punk – Around The World

Jerry Goldsmith – The Rec Room

A few years back I bought the Discovered album – it is a collection tracks that Daft Punk has sampled over the years. Some of the tracks are very distinct and easy to recognize, like Cola Bottle Baby from Edwin Birdsong.

COLA BOTTLE BABY [HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGET] by EDWIN BIRDSONG on Grooveshark

This track, however is one that really shows the Daft Punk sampling chops. I have no idea how they Gladwelled the sample from the Rec Room.

The Revelations – I Forgot To Be Your Lover #coverversion Friday

Today’s cover version is by The Revelations and is taken from the soundtrack to RZA’s “Man With The Iron Fists.’

The original was done by William Bell (not the character from Fringe) back in 1968. I connected with the record when Ludacris sample the hook on the track ‘Growing Pains’ back in the early 2000s, a track that I still love. Jaheim did a fairly decent cover of this as well, and of course Worst Come to Worst by Dilated Peoples also used this track as a base.

The Revelations – I Forgot To Be Your Lover

The Revelations’ cover version adds a little bit of pace and takes the track to a more bluesy place than the super soulful original and Tre Williams puts in a stellar vocal performance. When I gave this track a first listen, I immediately wondered what American Idol shouldacouldawoulda winner Joshua Ledet would do with a track this meaty.

Towards the end, the cover feels a little thin and I find myself prefering the the original’s rough in places feeling. Still a solid cover version of a great track.

Ludacris – Growing Pains

William Bell – I Forgot To Be Your Lover

Moonchild – Party (Beyonce Cover) #coverversion Friday

For me, the best way to watch a Beyonce music video is on a big screen TV with the sound off. It just makes more sense that way. Now, thanks to one of my new favourite Neo Soul bands ‘Moonchild’ I can even play a cover of one of her songs while I perv watch.

This is a cover version of Beyonce’s “Party” by Moonchild, and hot damn it if that keyboard bass doesn’t get me every time. I recently bought ‘Be Free’, Moonchild’s debut album, and you should too, it’s worth the tenner.

Mark Ronson ft Tiggers – Toxic #coverversion Friday

I never thought the day would come when I would post a Britney Spears song on this blog, but here we are. Today’s #coverversion Friday feature is Mark Ronson’s cover version of ‘Toxic’ by Ms. B.S.

it sounds like a sitar was fed in to a tree shedder


I’ve always held the opinion that this song is fantastic, and that the real tragedy is that she was the one who sang it. Produced by Bloodshy & Advant, the track was originally offered to Kylie Minoque who rejected it, and it sounds like a sitar was fed in to a tree shedder. Only in a good way.

Today’s cover version is by Mark Ronson featuring Tiggers take off the album ‘Versions.’ It’s a slowed down,funked up version with brass from the almighty Dap Band and a verse from ODB. Tiggers please, this track is the bidness.

And Here’s the original version of Britney Spears Toxic. As much as it pains me to say it, I love this song/.

britney-spears-toxic
P.S. For the record, I do think Britney Spears is capable of incredible feats – I mean, who else can make Vajayjay look bad just by getting out of a car. I’ve never looked at roast beef the same way since.

Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got the Love #coverversion Friday

I’ll be the first to admit it: most of the time disco remixes are shyte. This time however, we have an exception. Florence + The Machine deliver their take on the Candi Staton classic(circa 1986) and deliver a whopper for #coverversion Friday

I’ve heard of F+TM but never took the time to listen to any of their music because, well, it sounded like a girlie band. Just goes to show that the books and covers thing goes for bands and names too. Since listening to this fantastic cover version, I’ve become a fan.

 

A hat tip goes out to Rory21 for blogging about the Mark Knight remix. Classy late night progressive fare for the hands in air kids.

 

 

Who Is She (And What Is She To You) – #coverversion Friday

Let me start by saying that Bill Withers is the man. His ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation gets a helluva workout on my iPod on a regular basis. So it’s with this in mind that I can appreciate a tastefully done cover version of my favourite of Withers’ tracks – ‘Who Is He And What Is He To You’. Madelaine lends some Big Band flavour to one of the funkiest tracks I know and despite how cheesy the concepy sounds, it actually comes off pretty well.

For those who don’t know the OG version, here it is. Billy is a bad, band man on this track Dag gummit. Look out now!

 

Bill Withers