Covered In Glory Day 1: Johnny Cash, The Leather Nun, G n’R, Sinead O’Connor, Muse & Housemartins

Covered in Glory LogoRichard: 

Some of my upcoming choices in our celebration of the cover version will be obscure, other may be highly contentious, but I suspect my opening choice is neither. 117,290,966 plays on YouTube disqualifies it as a forgotten gem, whilst Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails admits that although he wrote it, Johnny Cash now ‘owns’ Hurt with this performance.

At times almost painful to watch and listen,  Cash suffuses a lyric ostensibly about self harm with the melancholia of ageing and regret  A quite stunning track.  To start a career with the equally challenging Fulsom Prison Blues and end it 47 years later with this is just incredible. Arguably only Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’ rivals it as a piece of music that knows that the end is in sight. A self-aware epitaph.

Roy:

Thinking about this theme, I’ve either gone for songs I love which have been given a whole different interpretation ; or songs I previously had no opinion of and/or never liked much that have been given a major overhaul. This track by The Leather Nun from 1986 is firmly in the latter category.

Anne:

A big hullo from the beleaguered U.S. of A. All I can say is We are so so sorry. And doing our very best to RESIST these morons as quickly as possible! I chose today’s selection to warm you all up for the summer festival circuit (and because I figure you don’t have 9 minutes to humor Axl and Slash during the week). Some of you were probably in attendance — enjoy the memories!!

Here’s the link:

Ian:

Perhaps late to the party, I wasn’t planning to make my first post until Monday (which it is now in NYC so I’m now underway. I love Richard’s opener. Great tune, great version and on a related issue, the use of “Hurt” in the trailer for “Logan” a couple of years ago was, for me, one of the most inspired pieces of film marketing I have seen in ages.

My first selection represents a personal favourite which I did not realise until six months after its initial release was in fact a Prince composition: I present Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2U”.

Andy:

My first choice is a song that has been covered by everyone from Michael Buble to the recently departed Avicii, via various X factor contestants over the last decade. Originally brought to worldwide attention more than half a century ago by The High Priestess of Soul herself, Nina Simone, it didn’t really prick my conscientousness until the Teignmouth rock trio covered it on their “Origin of Symmetry” in 2001. I do hope that the title has the desired effect and your general demeanour is much-improved…

 

Philip

Hi Richard. Hope all well. Can I suggest the Housemartin’s version of Caravan of Love as better than the Isley Brother’s original. (you might have guessed I’d choose a Housemartins or Beautiful South song ..). The fact this is sung acapella makes it the more “better” for wont of a better phrase – and it is now an integral part of Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot’s live shows. And I’m sure in one chart it was No.1 for Christmas!

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11 thoughts on “Covered In Glory Day 1: Johnny Cash, The Leather Nun, G n’R, Sinead O’Connor, Muse & Housemartins

  1. A big hullo from the beleaguered U.S. of A. All I can say is We are so so sorry. And doing our very best to RESIST these morons as quickly as possible! I chose today’s selection to warm you all up for the summer festival circuit (and because I figure you don’t have 9 minutes to humor Axl and Slash during the week). Some of you were probably in attendance — enjoy the memories!!

    Here’s the link:

    1. Great to have you onboard Anne, look forward to your choices! I think I have managed to get the link to work ( see above). Lone Justice’s cover of Sweet Child Of Mine would have been in my ten, but I can’t find it anywhere online.

  2. Great choice – I suspect you chose this first to beat the rest of us to the punch – easily one of the top 10 covers of all time

  3. Thinking about this theme, I’ve either gone for songs I love which have been given a whole different interpretation ; or songs I previously had no opinion of and/or never liked much that have been given a major overhaul. This track by The Leather Nun from 1986 is firmly in the latter category.

  4. This is so good, that I even started to like the original – a major litmus test for a great cover. Also they are Swedish so there is a certain amount of homage involved.

  5. Hi Richard. Hope all well. Can I suggest the Housemartin’s version of Caravan of Love as better than the Isley Brother’s original. (you might have guessed I’d choose a Housemartins or Beautiful South song ..). The fact this is sung acapella makes it the more “better” for wont of a better phrase – and it is now an integral part of Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot’s live shows. And I’m sure in one chart it was No.1 for Christmas!

    Thanks

    Philip

  6. Perhaps late to the party, I wasn’t planning to make my first post until Monday (which it is now in NYC so I’m now underway. I love Richard’s opener. Great tune, great version and on a related issue, the use of “Hurt” in the trailer for “Logan” a couple of years ago was, for me, one of the most inspired pieces of film marketing I have seen in ages.

    My first selection represents a personal favourite which I did not realise until six months after its initial release was in fact a Prince composition: I present Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2U”.

  7. PS Still on Johnny Cash, there is a great article in the July edition of Uncut about the role that “At Folsom Prison” played in creating and perpetuating Cash’s reputation as an outlaw. As the article notes, “The record company were also happy to encourage the rumour that Cash was a convicted felon himself. In fact, he only ever spent one night in jail – for drunkenly picking flowers in a stranger’s yard.” – you’ll have to buy the magazine or subscribe online to see the full article, but there’s a pointer to it at http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/truth-behind-johnny-cashs-folsom-prison-105575

  8. Fascinating – thanks! I still find it amazing that the single was released, given the prevailing moral attitudes in the mid 50s. I was flicking through the channels a couple of weeks ago and stumbled upon a 70s episode of Columbo in which Johnny Cash was the guest villain playing a preacher who had faked a plane crash to cover up a murder. At least that’s what I assume, I didn’t hand around for the end!

  9. My first choice is a song that has been covered by everyone from Michael Buble to the recently departed Avicii, via various X factor contestants over the last decade. Originally brought to worldwide attention more than half a century ago by The High Priestess of Soul herself, Nina Simone, it didn’t really prick my conscientousness until the Teignmouth rock trio covered it on their “Origin of Symmetry” in 2001. I do hope that the title has the desired effect and your general demeanour is much-improved…

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