We’ve been having more fun than ever with our PropertyOfZack Friday Discussions lately with The Best Album Openers and Closers, so we thought we’d throw one more rad category out there with The Best Cover Songs. Covers can be tough; Some fans like the covering band to spice up the original’s song in their own way, and some fans don’t. To each their own. We put a list of covers from bands in our scene that we love in an Rdio Playlist to listen to as you read the Discussion as well (though not all covers were present). Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your favorite covers!
The Ataris - “The Boys of Summer (Don Henley)”
Okay: raise your hand if upon hearing The Ataris’ cover of “The Boys of Summer” back in 2003, you thought it was actually their own song. You can’t see me, but my hand is definitely up. In fact, I had no idea it was a cover for a whole two years, until one fine morning when I was in eighth grade and my mom made a comment about how much better it was than the original. Without question, it absolutely is.
Everything from the sped-up tempo, to the progressive, much-improved instrumentals, to Kris Roe’s smooth-to-rough vocals, sounds like this is an Ataris original. Even though So Long, Astoria also boasted “In This Diary,” another mega-hit, this cover certainly did the album and band an entire world of good, receiving oodles of radio air-time and even making it to the top of the ever-infamous MTV music video countdown TRL (R.I.P. childhood). This song is a pop-punk classic, and by far outdoes its original not-so-pop-punk predecessor’s classic status. It’s hard to even think that someone before this band uttered, “My love for you will still be strong/after the boys of summer have gone” into a microphone. No offense, Don Henley, but this cover is so good that it pretty much puts the original out of existence. - Brittany Oblak
All Time Low - “Umbrella (Rihanna)”
It can be a little hard to remember nowadays, but there was a time when All Time Low brought the pop and the punk in equal measure, and they never did it better than on this cover of Rihanna’s mega-hit “Umbrella”. Marrying snarling guitars with sticky-sweet vocal harmonies that only soar bigger and brighter as the song progresses, “Umbrella” is such a natural fit for All Time Low’s strengths that you’d be forgiven for thinking Terius Nash helped pen it with the clown princes of pop-punk in mind. It’s a prime example of what can happen when a great song finds its way to a band at the peak of their creative powers. - Jesse Richman
Bayside - “Be My Baby (The Ronettes)”
Bayside has always produced good covers – so good, in fact, that the songs are sometimes mistaken for originals by less knowledgeable fans (see: “Megan” by The Smoking Popes). With their first covers EP, the band stepped into new territory, choosing to cover songs they had grown up listening to, and perhaps introducing a whole new generation to the likes of The Ronettes, Elvis Costello, Del Shannon, Van Morrison, and Billy Joel.
Of the five tracks on the EP, “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, is the only one originally performed by a female band. However, between Anthony Raneri’s distinctive vocals and Jack O’Shea’s gripping guitar solo, the transition into a Bayside song is all but impeccable. Though Bayside has never been particularly known for love songs, the harmonies and vocal overlays that give this track its old school, swoon-worthy feel suggest that maybe the band should try it more often. - Becky Kovach
The Early November - “The Power Of Love (Huey Lewis & The News)”
I’m a sucker for cover versions that are truly transformative, and I’m not sure I can think of one that flips the script as radically as The Early November does on their cover of Huey Lewis & The News’ bombastic pop-cheese classic, “The Power Of Love.” By trading the skronking synths and pulsing drums of the original for laconic, hypnotically repetitive acoustic arpeggios and whisper-thin vocals, Ace Enders and company gingerly excavate the love that’s long been buried underneath all that power. I’ve written about it before, and I’m sure I’ll write about it again; it’s an obscure gem that deserves to be heard. - Jesse Richman
Kevin Devine – “Holland, 1945 (Neutral Milk Hotel)”
“The only girl I’ve ever loved was born with roses in her eyes / But then they buried her alive.” If I didn’t know any better, the cinematic lyrics to “Holland, 1945” could have been written by Kevin Devine. It’s no surprise that Devine chose to cover this Neutral Milk Hotel song, but what is slightly surprising is how he could change so little about the arrangement and still offer a completely different spin on the tune. Devine has a knack for making woeful songs sound like a celebration, and this cover is far from being an exception. - Alyssa McKinley
Rihanna grabbed the top spot on the Billboard charts this week with nearly 240,000 copies of Unapologetic sold. Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Phillip Phillips also filled up the top spots on the charts. fun.'s Some Nights increased sales by over 20% but managed to drop to the 49th Billboard spot due to a strong sales week across the board. Check out the top 25 Billboard spots this week below by clicking “Read More.”
Green Day will be playing the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas, NV in late-September. Check out who else is playing below by clicking “Read More.”
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There are often stories that get buried and are impossible to find after a busy day of news and great content pieces. Today we’re trying a Morning Recap feature to catch viewers up on some of the day before’s most interesting stories. Check out some of the biggest stories below before you get your day started in this hot summer heat!
- Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong confirmed that the direction the band is heading in with at least one of their trilogy albums features a power pop sound that fits in somewhere between “AC/DC and The Beatles.” This unsurprisingly left fans with many questions and doubts about the band’s next series of records.
- Texas Is The Reason, one of the great 90’s emo bands, seem to be reuniting at a Revelation Records New York City anniversary show. This would be the band’s second reunion since their split in the late-90’s.
- After nearly a year of silence, Fred Mascherino is bringing Terrible Things back with a new lineup and shows planned with The Company We Keep. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything from Fred, and we should all be quite excited.
- Make Do And Mend commented on fans perceiving the band as “sell outs” following their signing with Rise Records and a change of sound in their new album. Definitely worth a read, so check it out here!
The Cab recently did an acoustic session backstage at their show and performed “Angel With A Shotgun” mixed with a cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Check out the video below by clicking “Read More.”
New Acoustic Performance: ”We Found Love (Originally by Rihanna)” // The Cab (ft. Alexander Deleon)