Terrible Classic Rock Covers
British artist Joe Jackson’s timeless 1978 classic, ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him?,’ may be one of the greatest jilted-lover story songs of all time. It’s got that universal theme of a guy, down on his luck with women, seeing his ex-girlfriend with another man -- and actively imagining what she’s doing with him.
Jenny Lewis is one of the most talented female singer-songwriters out there in the indie rock world today. As the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, she found an adoring fan base; and when the band split, she went solo and put out this genuinely great (and well-received, critically) solo record, ‘Rabbit Fur Coat,’ with the Watson Twins (identical twin sisters singers). Everything on the debut was just fantastic -- except for her cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ classic, ‘Handle With Care.’
Tribute albums often sound great in theory, but the problem with most of them is that they're assembled using performances from bands that happen to be popular at the moment, most of whom happen to be signed to whatever label is curating the tribute, and the results tend to be fairly random.
Dobie Gray’s classic rendering of Mentor Williams’ ‘Drift Away’ back in 1973 is pretty much the epitome of a hit song, top to bottom. It’s got that great little Stephen Stills-esque guitar lick in the intro and one of the most memorable, sing-along-able choruses ever written (“Give me the beat, boys and free my soul / I wanna get lost in your rock and roll / And drift away”). It also made Gray a superstar, with the record selling over a million copies and going all the way to No. 5.
One of the brightest, catchiest albums of the alt-rock ’90s, the Lemonheads’ ‘It’s a Shame About Ray,’ came out in 1992. It spawned a pair of Modern Rock Top 10 songs in the title track (which went to No. 5) and an amped-up cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s super-popular ‘Mrs. Robinson’ (which hit No. 8).
Not for nothing, but Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch scored a No. 1 single in 1991 on the Billboard Hot 100 (‘Good Vibrations’). For those of you that don’t know, ‘Marky Mark’ was the alias of Mark Wahlberg -- who ended up recasting his career as an actor and, somewhat surprisingly, a really good one at that (see his roles in ‘The Departed’ and ‘The Fighter,’ among others).