In honor of their big 40 year birthday bacchanalia, first BBC Radio One staged that Beatles coverfest back in July, and this week they’ve released an ace double-disc collection chock full of Heather’s Favorite Things – more cover songs! Radio One, Established 1967 pulls 40 hits (one from each year) and pairs them with often unlikely artists. Most of these are ones I’ve never heard before — Hard-Fi covering Britney Spears’ Toxic? The Fray take on R.E.M., Lily Allen does her best sassy Chrissie Hynde, Keane rhymes with Queen & David Bowie under pressure, Kasabian play the Specials. It’s fresh and fun for the most part; even if there are some horrific failures, I appreciate the relative inventiveness in the choices here –
Band On The Run (Paul McCartney/Wings cover) – Foo Fighters
This starts out pretty mellow and faithful to the original — all Laurel Canyon sunsets and lots of weed. But stay tuned to a 1:16 mark that made me yelp a little in delight when the Foos kick in with all their ferocious glory. I cannot wait to drive somewhere, fast, listening to this. LOVE IT.
You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate cover) – Stereophonics
As if Kelly Jones didn’t already strike me as enough of a wee sexy bastard, hearing the playful charm and come-on camp of this cover, where he sounds for all the world like he’s channeling his inner Rod Stewart, does it for me.
All That She Wants (Ace of Base cover) – The Kooks
The original version of this song evokes a reaction in me that is akin to stabbing a razor blade into my eye. Hate it, hate the Swedish ’90s pop of Ace of Base and have been subjected to this story-song of our unmoored heroine (trying to . . . get pregnant on a one-night stand?) way too many times. The Kooks, however, do elicit a few begrudging props from me for trying to salvage it, and doing so in a winsome way. But ugh — too little, too late. This song is beyond salvation.