On February 3rd 1959, a plane crashed in Iowa, killing rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson. Subsequently, Don McLean memorialised this event as ‘The Day the Music Died’, in his song American Pie.
Others- myself included- might argue that this harrowing event can be pinpointed to a number of more recent occasions: February 1992, perhaps, when Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy got to #1, or even as late as October 2011, when Pop Idol was first televised.
Regardless of how and when it happened, modern music has taken a turn for the worse in recent years. Talented artists are overlooked in favour of attractive, wholesome- albeit not for long- prepubescents who are able to reel out a few bland, mediocre tunes before they hit their expiry date at the age of twenty-two.
The music industry has become increasingly focussed on image. If you disagree with this, watch the latest video of any girl band in pop music. The cameraman, as it seems, has been instructed to spend the duration of his time filming shots down the ‘fit one’s’ top, all the while neglecting the three or four equally talentless members, who might as well be glorified backing singers. Arguably, Hollywood casting agents have also began to favour a bland, expressionless beauty over the distinctive, sparkling quality that actors were once celebrated for.
Amidst these ruins, there are still a handful of artists knocking about who really know their stuff. Artists who, in addition to releasing some praiseworthy songs themselves, also know the importance of reviving the great songs of the past few decades, and paying homage to the artists that came before them. So here we have it…
The Top 10 Covers of the Noughties
Never Tear Us Apart– Paloma Faith (originally INXS)
Gangsta’s Paradise– James Morrison (originally Coolio)
To Make You Feel My Love– Adele (originally Bob Dylan)
Across the Universe– Fiona Apple (originally The Beatles)
Clothes Off– Gym Class Heroes (originally Jermaine Stewart)
99 Red Balloons– Goldfinger (originally Nena)
Comfortably Numb– Scissor Sisters (originally Pink Floyd)
You’ve Got The Love– Florence + The Machine (originally Candi Staton)
Jolene– The White Stripes (originally Dolly Parton)
Bohemian Rhapsody– Newton Faulkner (originally Queen)