On the next Echoes we go Undercover. It’s an entire show of cover tunes from Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin, King Crimson to New Order and more. Songs you know by artists who aren’t known for playing them.
The best cover tunes reinvent a song and my standard for that will always be Jimi Hendrix’s take on Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” He took Dylan’s understated song with its biblical implications and turned it into a storm from the heavens. Even Dylan began playing it with Hendrix’s arrangement (sans raging guitar) afterwards.
I don’t know if anything we’ll hear tonight on Echoes reaches those heights, but I think several songs see some serious reinvention, like Pat Metheny’s meditation on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence,” Geigertek’s luxurious interpretation of John Foxx’s “Underpass” and George Winston’s highly underrated interpretation of The Doors.
One interesting trend is whole album covers. I think this began in the mid-nineties when Blue Note Records launched their “Cover Series” in which one artist covered an entire album by another artist like Charlie Hunter’s take on Bob Marley’s Natty Dread. It took a while to grab hold, but the new millennium has seen several albums covered from beginning to end. Mary Fahl re-imagined all of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as did The Flaming Lips. Japancakes recorded a gorgeous and raging version of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless with cello and pedal steel guitar in the lead rolls and Icebreaker made an album from their live performance of Brian Eno’s Apollo, an album that was a studio creation, never intended for live performance.
We’ll hear selections from some of them and more as we get undercover tonight on Echoes.
~John Diliberto (((echoes)))
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