Top Cover Songs of 2011

Categories: Best of 2011

Charles Bradley
Welcome to another installment of Up on the Sun's 2011 Review. We've been counting down our favorite songs, shows, national and local releases of 2011. This installment takes a look at 2011's top cover songs. Enjoy!

The idea of The Beatles, The Pixies, Tom Waits, and Elton John sharing a stage is a pretty awesome one -- though a little chronologically challenged.

You can still pretend, though, tomorrow night at Crescent Ballroom as Dry River Yacht Club, Born Loser and the Hangers On, Colorstore, and Painted Faces will take on songs from each, respectively, as part of Cover the Crescent.

As our year-end coverage winds down, we thought these ten examples of great 2011 cover songs would be of service to the bands and fans attending Cover the Crescent.

Tennis, "Tell Her No" (The Zombies)

Not everyone at Up on the Sun loves Tennis, but the band's take on this Zombies classic is just perfect. The band plays it safe, mimicking the band's original arrangement, which I saw the band perform back in September.

Low covers Toto
Low, "Africa" (Toto)

Slowcore rockers Low released a pretty great album this year, (C'mon) though it got lost in my year end shuffle. The band stopped by Onion A.V. Club's offices for an entry in the site's Undercover series, taking on Toto's infamous "Africa." The 1982 prog-pop jam turns out to a be a perfect showcase for Mimi Parker and Alan Sparkhawk's haunting, close harmonies.

Anthrax, "New Noise" (The Refused)

From my interview with drummer Charlie Benante: "I remember when that record [Refused's The Shape of Punk to Come] first came out in 1998; it was immediately one of my favorite records. I never stopped playing it. Sometimes at sound-check we would joke around playing that song. I said we should cover that song when it comes time to make a record."

Vocalist Joey Belladona:
"I wasn't familiar with the song at all. I was, like, if you want [intense vocal screaming], it's not me. So I had to do my own thing."

And the "own thing" works.

Sade, "Still In Love With You" (Thin Lizzy)

Sade proved her endless class this year, and to top things off, turned in this gorgeous Thin Lizzy cover for her latest best of. Maybe she could tackle "Running Back" next? The Boys were pretty rough and tumble, but they sure had a soft spot.

Ty Segall, "Buick MacKane" (T.Rex)

Ty Segall topped my favorite 15 of 2011 with his album Goodbye Bread, but his collection of T. Rex covers, Ty Rex, was nearly as worthy. Get blown out with this one.

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Check out "Goin Out West" by colorstore tonight. You will not be disappointed.

Jason P. Woodbury
Jason P. Woodbury

Yeah, "Downtown Train" is a Waits song. "Downbound Train" is a Springsteen song, from "Born in the USA."


Isn't "Downtown Train" a Tom Waits song?

Jason P. Woodbury
Jason P. Woodbury

Yeah, "Downtown Train" is a Waits song. "Downbound Train" is Springsteen, though. From "Born in the USA."

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