I have maintained for several years the opinion that Sheryl Crow's cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine" is one of the worst covers ever done. Her stab at "Ring of Fire" on the Johnny Cash tribute show a couple of years ago was also a steaming pile of excrement. However, last night at the gym I heard something that was as bad if not worse than both of those. It was a techno-y sounding cover of The Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'."
I've come to find out it was this version. Holy fucking God, is it ever terrible. And that video makes me feel like I need a shower.
Doing a cover is so hit-or-miss. Another one that I absolutely cannot stand is Ginuwine's version of "When Doves Cry." There are probably more awful covers out there than good ones. But the good ones? Man, they kick much ass.
I absolutely LOVE Pete Yorn's version of "Suspicious Minds." Of course, he hasn't done it in Minneapolis the last two times he's played here. I'm hoping he busts it out when he's back in September opening for Crowded House.
Another cover I find oddly good -- and I'm totally not joking -- is Mariah Carey and Dru Hill covering Prince's "The Beautiful Ones." Seriously. If you're going to cover Prince, you'd better bring it. Picking a semi-obscure song is probably a good place to start. As good as that cover is, it cannot hold a candle to Elbow's cover of "Independent Woman," though. I do suppose the kittens playing the song helps. And it's Elbow. I mean, come on. South's cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" was excellent, too.
Just because it's the only show where I actually took good pictures, here's a shot from South's show at the Varsity Theater last spring: