Take Cover! The Beach Boys Vs. Frank Black

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Frank Black takes on the Beach Boys’ “I Know There’s An Answer” (a.k.a. “Hang On To Your Ego”). MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

Frank Black pumps Brian Wilson’s dreamy bedroom tune into a dance number. Later released as a bonus track for the Pet Sounds reissue, the original version of “Hang On To Your Ego” was changed to “I Know There’s An Answer” before the album’s final release over fears it would associate the band with LSD. Mike Love was behind the change: “The prevailing drug jargon at the time had it that doses of LSD would shatter your ego, as if that were a positive thing,” he said. “I wasn’t interested in taking acid or getting rid of my ego.” Check out the psychedelic video from Black:

The Cover:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQHmTwm5iik

The Original:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJqlTOQFeII

[poll id=”21″]

Take Cover! Sparklehorse And Thom Yorke Vs. Pink Floyd

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Sparklehorse And Thom Yorke take on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

This reverent rendition of the lonely stoner anthem appeared on the soundtrack for 2005 skater film Lords Of Dogtown. Thom Yorke adds something the original didn’t have: distance; the Radiohead frontman sings his part over the phone from a hotel room. The sounds you hear at the end? He’s switching the channels on his television.

The Cover:

The Original:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1moiym6-Nk

[poll id=”19″]

Take Cover! Neil Young Vs. The Shins’ James Mercer

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: The Shins’ James Mercer takes on Neil Young’s “Harvest.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

With a faithful take on the acoustic original, the Shins frontman shows the kids that the “New Slang” isn’t that new. Young should be used to people sounding like him by now. It started almost immediately. Fun Fact: 1972’s Harvest was knocked out of the number-one album spot by America’s self-titled debut on the strength of Young clone “Horse With No Name.”

The Cover:

The Original:

[poll id=”18″]

Take Cover! Dinosaur Jr Vs. The Cure

When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week: Dinosaur Jr takes on the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” MAGNET’s Edward Fairchild pulls the pin. Take cover!

In 1989, Dinosaur Jr speared the weepy original with a wah-wah pedal and a warm blanket of Big Muff fuzz. J Mascis told Musician magazine, “We recorded it for a compilation album, but when we finished it we liked it so much we didn’t want to give it to them.” Reportedly, it’s Robert Smith’s favorite version as well: “Mascis sent me a cassette, and it was so passionate. It was fantastic. I’ve never had such a visceral reaction to a cover version before or since.” Like the ending? Supposedly Mascis didn’t know how to play the end of the song, so he just stops.

The Cover:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opGVdOIeuUQ

The Original:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkeDzUVq1BM

[poll id=”16″]