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!
Taken off the soundtrack to the hard nosed chick flick “Sucker Punch.”
It’s not often that you see the lead in a movie performing on the soundtrack (unless said lead is a used to be pop star *cough* Timberlake *cough*) and even less often that the result is actually something worth listening to.
Fortunately, this track is an exception. Emily Browning plays Baby Doll in the steam punk style flick but also delivers on the soundtrack, including this hauntingly beautiful rendition of The Eurythimics 1983 (!) cult hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
‘Sweet Dreams’ has been covered, remixed and sampled many times by everyone from Nas to Marilyn Manson, so I guess you could say that there’s a version to satisfy everyone’s taste.
‘Sucker Punch’ also has one of the best looking typographic posters I’ve seen in a while. Excellent work byt the designers.
Other cover versions
Soul Rebels Brass Band covered the song on their Rounder Records debut record, Unlock Your Mind, released on January 31, 2012, and they performed the song on Later with Jools Holland in 2011.
Italian-based Croatian singer Sharon C. covered the song for her same-titled debut single released in 1997, and since then it has been featured on many compilations including Dancemania 8.
Polish band Moonlight covered the song for their 1999 EP Flos.
French electroclash duo Miss Kittin & The Hacker covered the song for their 1999 EP Intimités.
Actress Maria Bello performed the song in the movie Duets (2000), which is included on the soundtrack.
“Sweet Dreams” was partially covered by Geri Halliwell as a medley with her song, “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster” in late 2004.
Finnish a cappella group Club for Five recorded a cover of the song.
Brazilian singer Badi Assad covered the song for her 2006 album Wonderland.
Brazilian singer Danni Carlos covered the song for her 2006 album Rock ´n´ Road Movies.
German singer Thomas Anders (formerly of Modern Talking) recorded a jazzy, lounge music cover of the song for his 2006 solo album Songs Forever.
Australian girlgroup Girlband recorded a cover of the song for their unreleased debut album.
Tanghetto, the neo-tango band based in Buenos Aires recorded and released the song as part of their El Miedo a la Libertad album in 2008. Their cover is an instrumental version, where the bandoneon takes the “role” of the lead voice.
American Christian rock singer Krystal Meyers covered the song on the 2008 Japanese release of her third album Make Some Noise.
Ukrainian pop/rock band Lama covered the song as “???? ????” (“World of Dreams”) for their 2008 album ?????? ? ???? (Light and Shadow).
The German Underground rapper Frauenarzt covered the sample of this song as “Feuchte Träume” on Feuchte Träume (Gastparts 3) in 2008.
The melody was featured in the U96 featuring Das Bo single “Mr. DJ, Put on the Red Light” and was sung by Tryna Loules, who released it in 2006.
Sylvie Vartan covered it in French (1983) under the title “Déprime”, famous for its deep rhymes.
In a 2002 episode of The Simpsons, “Half-Decent Proposal”, at the end of the episode, Artie Ziff (Jon Lovitz) begins to sing the song through a speaker, culminating with the lyrics “I am watching you through a camera!”
Doctor Steel covered the chorus of “Sweet Dreams” in the end of his song “Lullaby Bye”.
French singer Emily Loizeau covered jazz version of “Sweet Dreams” on her album Pays Sauvage (Track 15).
The German/Greek a cappella band Five Live covered “Sweet Dreams” on their album Five Live live (track 4).
Delta Goodrem covered ‘Sweet Dreams’ on her 2008 Believe Again Tour . The cover was later released on the CD/DVD release of the tour.
Tori Amos covered the song live in Boston, MA while on her Original Sinsuality Tour in 2005.
The German pop-singer Judith Hildebrandt performed the song live on 23 April 2009 in the Ultimative Chart-Show.
Japanese musician Tomoyasu Hotei covered it on his 2009 cover album Modern Times Rock’N’Roll.
Allison Crowe recorded a stripped-down acoustic version of “Sweet Dreams” for a Hollywood movie project in mid-2010
A Korean girl group Girls’ Generation made a cover of this song on a music TV show in 2010.
Singer Kitty Brucknell covered the song on the fourth live show in the Eighth series of the UK X Factor.
Grup Vitamin, was Turkish comedy band used the music of the song and sang as “Balta” (“Axe” in Turkish) in Yand?k Desene album in 1992.
We’re keeping things in the eighties for this week’s #coverversion Friday with a rework of Prince’s 1984 hit “When Doves Cry” by one of my current favorite artists, Alex Clare.
I’m not really sure which genre to classify this cover version under. It seems to have emerged from the current wobble bass/ Dubstep phoneme but it’s so much more than that, with amen breaks and organic piano swirling around with synths to create a very modern rework.
Alex Clare’s strong, soulful vocal performance rides easy over production from Diplo and Switch. It’s an upbeat, high energy cover that won’t be out of place on a dance floor but still satisfies when listening only to Clare’s bluesy voice. In other words, a winning combination.
Keep and ear out for this one at all the trendy parties, hipsters are going to love it. Retro and Dubstep, it would like discovering a vintage iPhone.
This week’s cool cover version comes from the fuzzy haired Abel Tesfaye, or as you probably know him The Weeknd. Today being Friday and all, it seemed appropriate.
The track being covered is Michael Jackson’s iconic bitch slap track Dirty Diana. The Weeknd launches in to it with a surprisingly accurate rending of MJs vocal – no mean feat. I love this version, which he’s entitled D.D.
It’s not perfect though, things get pitchy in spots and MJs range takes him to task at the end. But the massive (massive) beat driving it along and the sheer ambition of this track make it a worthwhile cover version.
I came across this gem on the Gilles Petersen WorldWide show a few weeks back. It’s Icelandic singer Ragnar Bjarnason teaming with latin musos The Millionaires for a slow and smooth rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” There’s no way you can’t dig it. Now I need a rum and a cigar to go with this cover version
Smells Like Teen Spirit – The Millionaires featuring Raggi Bjarna
A lot of different kinds of people love hip hop. Gone are the days when you could spot a hip hop fan a mile off by their baggy jeans and football jerseys. This is a list of hip hop tracks covered by acoustic bands and artists, and some of it’s pretty impressive and original.