Music covers are tricky. I feel that most of them suffer a similar fate as that of movie sequels: They rarely measure up to the original. However, there are a lucky few music covers that manage to pay homage to the original, but add a fresh twist which almost make them feel like “new” songs.
Mr. ShuGar and I are music lovers. In fact, this was one of the first things I noticed about our chemistry when we first met. We both enjoy discovering new music and we welcome any chance to experience live music, especially at the Hollywood Bowl. This is why LA is a perfect home for us – it brings musical talent from all over the world right to our backyard. I love that Mr. ShuGar appreciates harmonies, instruments, composition etc. It makes me love him ten times more!
Recently, Mr. ShuGar and I had a conversation about the “best music covers” and, of course, we agreed on most of them. What I found interesting was that we both gravitated to covers of either The Beatles (of course!) or The Beach Boys.
For this Memorial Day weekend, I present to you my five favorite music covers in no particular order.
Regina Spektor’s Real Love (John Lennon)
I definitely have a girl crush on Regina Spektor. She embodies a songstress. I just adore what she does with John Lennon’s Real Love. Mr. ShuGar and I actually chose this as our first wedding dance as a married couple. The lyrics are simple, yet they tell the profound story of our love and devotion. We were lucky enough to see her in concert at the Greek a year ago. She’s even more breathtaking in person!
Fiona Apple’s Across the Universe (The Beatles)
Fiona Apple’s voice adds a new dimension to this Beatles classic. It’s alluring, enchanting and a bit melancholic. The perfect formula for a touching song! I just dig Fiona’s style and her take on the original version. Plus, this just happens to be one of my fav Beatles song and I think I might like her cover more than the original! (Read about my Top Beatles songs here.)
Karina Denike’s The Lonely Sea (The Beach Boys)
I credit Mr. ShuGar with discovering this cover by Karina Denike. He is a huge Beach Boys fan and I am learning to appreciate Brian Wilson’s genius thanks to Mr. ShuGar. The original is so beautiful, but this cover by this female trio is amazing! Their harmonies blend so well and they definitely add their own style to this song. I love to see female vocalists embrace the power of their voices in this way. I hope more people discover Karina Kenike’s talent!
She & Him’s I Should Have Known Better (The Beatles)
Is there anything Zooey Deschanel can’t do? I love this band and I especially like her quirky style. This duet works so well and I think they really create their own version of this Beatles song. I still really like the original, but this one works so well. It has a softer, breezy tone and I appreciate them embracing this “Hawaiian” style, while still staying true to the song.
Matt Pond’s Holiday Road (Lindsey Buckingham)
Does anyone remember National Lampoon’s Vacation? I seriously don’t know how many times my sister and I watched this movie – maybe 1,000! I grew up hearing this Holiday Road song so I have it memorized. When I heard Matt Pond’s version I fell in love again! It’s at a different pace than the original, but it’s so rad. It has a deeper feel and I think it’s especially apropos for this holiday weekend.
I know there are a million covers out there, but these are some of my favs.
Hope you are having a happy Memorial Day weekend!