So here’s what I want, what I really really want: a computer program that will let you feed in the name of a song and the name of an artist, process for a few seconds, then spit out a believable cover version. For instance, I would like to hear Tom Waits doing “Joy to the World” (the Three Dog Night song, not the Christmas carol—can’t you just hear him croaking out “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”?), or Frank Sinatra singing the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning.” I would pay real money to hear the Sisters of Mercy covering “You’re So Vain” or the Pixies’ version of “I’m So Tired.” In fact, I would probably have the Pixies do the whole White Album, just to hear what it sounded like.
Can somebody out there in cyberspace make this happen, please?
Some countrified fantasy covers to add to the mix:
Johnny Cash doing Neil Young’s “Mellow My Mind” (not really a stretch, just that it would be beautiful)
Doc Watson singing “Y’all Are Brutalizing Me” (from Mr. Show)
Frank Sinatra singing a rare Prince song called “Another Lonely Christmas”
Is this a test? Are we supposed to answer seriously or is it a joke? You are straddling the line, as usual.
Elvis doing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Tiny Tim doing “Helter Skelter”
Captain Beefheart doing “MacArthur Park”
Kraftwerk doing “Funtime” (the iggy pop/bowie song)
Dusty Springfield doing Moonlight Mile (off stones’ sticky fingers)
Cecil: I’d like to hear a whole album of people doing “Y’all Are Brutalizing Me.” Tom Jones…Lou Reed…Aretha Franklin…Billie Holliday (or David Sedaris as Billie Holliday)…Johnny Cash too, what the hell. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with this song.
Haiku: Like most things in life, you can take it as seriously as you please.
Also, I’d like to add in one more I forgot, one that could actually happen: The Easy Star All-Stars, who did “Dub Side of the Moon,” need to do a full-length version of “Sergeant Pepper” called “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band.” I mean, they really do.
I’d like to see the Pixies cover Dandy Warhols’ “Cool as Kim Deal.” A natural. How about Southern Culture on the Skids doing “Pickin on a Chicken” by The Cramps? Spearhead doing “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron. Michael Jackson covering Sleater-Kinney’s “All Hands on the Bad One.” Jon Spencer doing Smashing Pumpkins “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.”
Here are but a few:
Elvis Presley – “Kiss You All Over” [Exile, 1978]
R. Kelly – “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)” [Rod Stewart, 1976]
Joy Division – “Slow” [My Bloody Valentine, 1988]
Usher – “Song On The Radio” [Al Stewart, 1979]
Eminem – “Shining Star” [Earth, Wind and Fire, 1975]
Snoop Dogg – “Tonight’s The Night” [Neil Young, 1975]
Strokes – “Whip It” [Devo, 1980]
Emmy Lou Harris doing “It Was a Good Day” (Ice Cube)
John Lennon doing “Does That Make Me Crazy” or whatever the Gnarls Barkley song is called
The Residents doing “Scarlet Begonias” (Grateful Dead)
OutKast doing “Menah Menah” (some Italian group and later the Muppets on Sesame Street)
Bob Dylan doing “The Hardest Button to Button (White Stripes)
Willie Dixon doing “I’m Gonna Dig Up Howlin’ Wolf” (Mojo Nixon)
Rickie Lee Jones doing “Right Place, Wrong Time” (Dr. John), actually possible
Nat King Cole doing “Green Eyes” Hüsker Dü
Jerry Garcia Band doing “Down in the Hole” (Tom Waits)
Beck doing “Time Passages” (speaking of Al Stewart)