“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.
I wrote a short piece for the new issue of Rolling Stone (out today) about Moving the Still, the first-ever large-scale exhibition of animated GIFs (in Miami through Monday). I interviewed Michael Stipe, one of the open-call show’s judges, for the story. The above submission was his top pick.
Artist: Vlad Lunin
The Butthole Surfers’ live cover of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”