“First We Take Manhattan” by R.E.M.
(Words/Music: Leonard Cohen, Album: I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, Atlantic 1991)
Perhaps my favorite cover song of all time, R.E.M., at the height of their popularity during the Automatic For the People era, bring some grit and attitude to the Leonard Cohen song originally recorded by Jennifer Warnes (oh, and Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar on the Warnes version). Particularly of note is the dual vocal track with Michael Stipe speaking and singing the lyrics which gives it a somewhat more haunting feel.
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
One of my favorite covers of all time.
Pixies | Hang On To Your Ego
A Beach Boys song that Frank Black would go on to record a cover of in his solo work “Frank Black” ( in 1993), this early Pixies version being forgotten and shelved, never to be released.
Video of Blondie’s Clem Burke recording guest drums for the Melvins’ cover of the Kinks’ “Attitude.”
Rise Against cover Nirvana’s “Sliver” for the Onion A.V. Club in 2010.
The Melvins (feat. J.G. Thirlwell) cover David Bowie’s “Station to Station.”
Natalie Maines’ cover of “Without You” by Eddie Vedder. It’s the first single off the Dixie Chick’s solo debut, Mother, out May 7.
Hear the Melvins’ take on Tales of Terrors’ “Romance,” from the forthcoming covers album Everybody Loves Sausages.