Refried Music

A Selection of Cover Songs

Tom Jones – If I Only Knew

The Lead And How To Swing It

Song: If I Only Knew
Cover Artist: Tom Jones
Album (Year): The Lead And How To Swing It (1994)
Original Artist: Rise Robots Rise


Rise Robots Rise was a little known experimental hip-hop group from the early 90’s that I discovered on a record store promo compilation that included this song. It was catchy as all hell and I immediatly picked up the full album which did not dissapoint. They never got any radio play near me, and as far as I was concerned noone had ever heard of them but me. They were my own little secret.

Then in 1994 pop/soul/lounge singer Tom Jones covered the song on his album ‘The Lead and How To Swing It.’ The song started getting mad radio airplay and I found myself constantly pointing out to people that the song was actually a cover, and that while Tom Jones did a great job on it, the original was excellent as well. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which you like better.

Tom Jones – If I Only Knew

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Rise Robots Rise – If I Only Knew

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Reloaded: Greatest Hits (mp3) on Amazon
The Lead and How to Swing It (CD) at Amazon


Tool – No Quarter

Salival

Song: No Quarter
Cover Artist: Tool
Album (Year): Salival (2000)
Original Artist: Led Zeppelin


This post is guaranteed to offend a good friend of mine who seems to believe that Led Zeppelin is not allowed to ever be covered. Never mind the fact that Plant and company have covered their share of songs over their career. Since I believe that no band should be declared a cover-free zone, here is my all time favorite cover of a Zep classic.

Tool does such a great job with this song that if you didn’t know any better you might think they wrote it, and they still manage to maintain everything that is awesome about the Led Zeppelin original. Salival is no longer in print however, so good luck getting a legitimate copy of it without paying through the nose for it.

Tool – No Quarter

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Led Zeppelin – No Quarter

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Salival (CD) on Amazon


Coal Chamber (w/ Ozzy Osbourne) – Shock The Monkey

Chamber Music

Song: Shock The Monkey
Cover Artist: Coal Chamber (w/ Ozzy Osbourne)
Album (Year): Chamber Music (1999)
Original Artist: Peter Gabriel


Keeping with the theme from the last post, here’s another original song by a Genesis vocalist gone solo. Peter Gabriel recorded this song for his fourth album in 1982 and it became his first US hit. Just as strange lyrically as anything Gabriel wrote before or since, it nonetheless is a genius piece of 80s rock.

Goth Metal group Coal Chamber hooked up with Ozzy Osbourne to record the song for their 1999 album Chamber Music. Fuzzed out guitars and Ozzy’s distinctive vocals give this synth rock masterpiece a new feel while still retaining the essential sound of the original.

Coal Chamber (w/ Ozzy Osbourne) – Shock The Monkey

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Peter Gabriel – Shock The Monkey

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Chamber Music (CD) on Amazon
Chamber Music (mp3) on iTunes


Nonpoint – In The Air Tonight

Recoil

Song: In The Air Tonight
Cover Artist: Nonpoint
Album (Year): Recoil (2004 )
Original Artist: Phil Collins


I’ve always been a fan of Genesis’ and Phil Collins’ darker songs. Domino from Genesis’ Invisible Touch album has always been one of my favorites, as is this Phil Collins masterpiece from his 1981 debut solo album, Face Value. There’s just something about a generally poppy artist doing songs about rivers of blood and drowning victims that I find fascinating.

Nonpoint takes Phil’s atmospheric detachment, gives it a bit heavier crunch, and ultimately just nails a picture perfect cover version, complete with the awesome drum fills that have always brought out the air drummer in everyone who’s ever heard this song.

Nonpoint – In The Air Tonight

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Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight

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Recoil (mp3) on Amazon
Recoil (CD) on Amazon
Recoil (mp3) on iTunes


Anberlin – Mother

New Surrender

Song: Mother
Cover Artist: Anberlin
Album (Year): New Surrender – Deluxe Edition (2009)
Original Artist: Danzig


I love this song. It’s one of the few songs my band in college covered mostly because the deep bass vocals are just so much fun to sing. Danzig recorded this song on their 1988 eponymous debut as a response to Tipper Gore & the PMRC, who at the time were busily trying to vilify artists for corrupting America’s youth, and ultimately were the cause of the Parental Advisory stickers which allowed kids to have a much easier time identifying albums they wanted to buy.

Anberlin recorded a much tamer version of Mother for the deluxe edition of their album New Surrender. The bitterness and anger are gone from this version. Honestly, given a choice between Glenn Danzig or Stephen Christian dating my daughter (and ignoring the crazy age differences), I think I’d have to go with the Anberlin vocalist, he just doesn’t scare me enough. Sorry Glenn.

Anberlin – Mother

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Danzig – Mother

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New Surrender (Deluxe Edition) on iTunes