It all started with Toto’s Africa (which is bloody brilliant). And now we have a whole album of cover songs from Weezer.
Weezer have selected 10 fantastic tracks to cover that span a wide range of genres. I think the best tracks are the non rock ones like No Scrubs and Stand By Me where they bring their trademark Weezer sound. Paranoid for example sounds too close to the original for my liking, not really the point of a cover song!
Of course, they aren’t the first rock band to create a whole album of cover songs.
Here are 10 of my favourite alternative cover albums that are better than Weezer’s Teal album.
From the Screen to Your Stereo part 2 – New Found Glory
80’s and 90’s pop songs in a pop punk nasally voice? Yes please.
They’ve made gentle romantic pop songs like Kiss Me by Six Pence None The Richer into something you can jump up and down to. Love Fool by The Cardigans is also one of my favourites.
And they have Lisa Loeb singing on her own song Stay.
Need I say more?
And if you’re reading this New Found Glory, hey! It’s been 10 years since you released this, where’s part 3?!
Explains It All – Four Year Strong
If you need your cover songs a little bit more hardcore, you’ll find it in Explains It All by Four Year Strong.
They’ve given Del Amitri’s Roll To Me crashing drums, Third Eye Blind’s Semi-Charmed Life crunching guitars and Nine Days’ Absolutely (Story of a Girl) a breakdown.
Stubbs The Zombie: The Soundtrack – Various Artists
Is this the best game soundtrack?
I really want this on vinyl!
I’m really glad they have this on Spotify at least. I discovered it via Death Cab For Cutie’s cover of Earth Angel, you know, the song from Back To The Future when they’re at the prom? I think it’s going to be my first dance at my (imaginary) wedding. Oh, you didn’t know I’m romantic? I have a whole If My Life Was a Rom-Com, This Would Be The Soundtrack playlist don’t ya know?
Anywho… Other favourites on the soundtrack are Ben Kweller’s Lollipop, Cake’s Strangers in the Night and Shakin’ All Over by Rose Hill Drive.
I’m hoping for a sequel game just so I can have another soundtrack!
Paupers, Peasants, Princes and Kings: The Songs of Bob Dylan – Various Artists
I still haven’t quite got “into” Bob Dylan. Same way Leonard Cohen and Elliot Smith just haven’t clicked no matter how many times I listen to them.
But this album has at least made me appreciate Dylan’s songwriting and lyrics.
Simple Twist of Fate by The Honorary Title, My Back Pages by Down to Earth Approach and The Man in Me by Say Anything are my favourites. Particularly Say Anything’s.
Punk Goes 80’s – Various Artists
If you still haven’t had your fill of 80’s pop covers, Punk Goes 80’s will definitely satisfy that craving.
They use the term “punk” very loosely, these bands definitely lean more to the side of pop rock than punk.
My favourites are Reliant K’s manic Manic Monday, Your Love by Midtown and Just Like Heaven by Gatsby’s American Dream which along with Death Cab’s Earth Angel is my all time favourite cover song. I love how they slowed and changed The Cure’s original dramatically.
Punk Goes Classic Rock – Various Artists
And if you’ve had enough of 80’s pop music, try some classic rock on for size.
It all kicks off with More Than A Feeling by Hit The Lights, while The Almost’s Free Fallin’ give’s Tom Petty’s soaring track some bite with some raspy vocals.
The Maine are no stranger to cover songs. They’ve tackled everything from You’re Still The One by Shania Twain to Akon’s I Wanna Love You.
On Punk Goes Classic Rock, The Maine tackle Pour Some Sugar On Me and do a fine job of it.
Devinyl Splits – Kevin Devine and Friends
Okay, I’m cheating here a little. It’s not just one album, but a series of EP’s. Each EP contains a track by my favourite artist Kevin Devine and one of his friends. And sometimes they cover songs.
Inside of Love by Nada Surf is already a beautiful song, but Kevin Devine gives it an even gentler rendition. In Between Days by Tiger Jaws is a super fun pop song that makes you want to bounce.
I adore David Bazan’s take on Thread originally by Now, Now. It’s naturally a poppy synth led song, but Bazan give it a slow burning feel before launching into a rock assault.
Motown Classics – A Loss For Words
I was so sad they removed this album from Spotify in the UK.
Again, if you’re craving something a little different from pop music, these soul and motown hits will make you realise they don’t make them like they used.
The pop punk style weirdly works somehow. I Want You Back by Jackson 5 for instance shouldn’t work with fast guitars and drums. Neither should the sped up chorus on My Girl.
Other favourites are You Can’t Hurry Love, All Night Long and an acoustic version of This Old Heart of Mine.
One reason these songs work is Matty Arsenault is a good singer, especially for a pop punk band.
Blow In The Wind – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
My girlfriend has picked this album. I once got them mixed up with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones…