02 March 2012

Mixtape Madness #14 - Boss Covers

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

Boss Covers
After several Mixtape Madness columns focusing on the past, this next one was supposed to be a bit more current. But then Late Night with Jimmy Fallon decided it was Springsteen week and the National Constitution Center opened a Bruce Springsteen exhibit, and plans changed. Since plenty has been written about the Boss and the E Street Band and their amazing catalog of music, this article will instead focus on some stellar covers of Bruce tunes.

1. "Back In Your Arms" by Marc Broussard - I actually had not heard of this song until it was covered by Broussard, who was billed as the "Bayou Bruce" earlier in his career. 

2. "Dancing in the Dark" by John Legend and the Roots - This cover is the song that led to this article. Legend teamed up with Philly's own Legendary Roots Crew for this jazzy, understated version of "Dancing in the Dark" on a recent episode of Late Night. It's no big secret that Jimmy Fallon is a huge Springsteen fan, so we will be seeing his influence again later in the mix.

3. "Because The Night" by 10,000 Maniacs - Originally recorded by Patti Smith, this song is probably most popularly known from the Maniacs' MTV Unplugged performance. This is one of many songs Bruce wrote and gave to other artists early on in his career. 

4. "I'm On Fire" by Lady Antebellum - This song was asking for a little country twang, and Lady Antebellum nailed it in this radio performance. The group has performed it live a couple of times, but the best version I have heard is the one linked to here. 

5. "Born To Run" by Melissa Etheridge - Etheridge's acoustic performance of this epic song at the Concert for New York brought the house down. She has performed it plenty of times since, but it is that one from 2001 that is the best. 

6. "Glory Days" by the Avett Brothers - Usually the best cover songs are when the covering band makes it their own while still paying tribute to the original artist. The Avett Brothers do that brilliantly with their re-imagining of "Glory Days."

7. "Fire" by Babyface & Des'ree - Another Boss tune that was given away to another artist, in this case, the Pointer Sisters. In the 90's Des'ree teamed up with Babyface for this great cover, leading to a resurgance of the song's popularity.

8. "Blinded By The Light" by Manfred Mann - First, this song is not about a douche. The often misheard lyric is "revved up like a deuce." At any rate, this cover went on to be more popular than the E Street Band's original take.

9. "Streets of Philadelphia" by Marah - A Philadelphia band covering a song about Philadelphia originally done by a musician whose star was launched in Philadelphia, and yet it has a bluegrass feel. Pretty cool. 

10. "Thunder Road" by Chris Cornell - With his incredible voice, Cornell is probably the artist most suited for covering this Springsteen gem.

11. "Born in the USA" by Arcade Fire - This cover was performed at an event for President Obama in 2009. A clever way of thumbing it to those birther movement simpletons.

12. "10th Avenue Freeze Out" by Matt Santry - Philadelphians love Bruce Springsteen stemming from WMMR being the first station to play his music in the 1970's. So here's another local musician covering a E Street tune on a local morning show. 

The most famous photo of a white guy's ass. Ever.
13. "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" by Ben E. King - When someone on the level of King, famous for "Stand By Me," covers your song, you know you're big time. 

14. "I'm On Fire" by Johnny Cash - Now we get to the part where I repeat all of my favorite Bruce tunes. The Man in Black nails it with his version of "I'm On Fire."

15. "Born To Run" by Jimmy Fallon & His Glee Club - Watch this entertaining video of Fallon with Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, Jorge Garcia, John Hamm, Kate Gosselin, Lea Michelle, Amber Riley, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Randy Jackson, Nina Dobrev, and Joel McHale rocking out at the 2010 Emmys.

16. "Because the Night" by Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe, and the E Street Band - Technically not a cover, but I'm pretty sure that Michael Stipe was born to sing this song.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!