COVER WARS 2: BRUCE VS. THE STONES: FINAL ROUND

Posted: January 11, 2008 by dillion in Covers, Uncategorized

I think I’ve done a nice job for you here and I deserve a pat on the back. Instead, though, I can’t rest. There’s a war on! And right now, Bruce Springsteen is neck-and-neck in this barfight with the great Rolling Stones. Can America beat Britan? We’ll find out today, by the end of this post.

Cocksucker Blues/Honky’s Ladder-The Afghan Whigs

I’m On Fire-Jim James of My Morning Jacket

The crudest Stones song versus the crudest Bruce song. Okay, “I got a bad desire” is nowhere near as graphic as, “When’ll I get my ass fucked,” but Bruce is too vanilla, too serious, to ever have the kind of fun Mick is talking about. Clear winner in the some-things-are-better-left-unsaid category: The Stones.

I’m On Fire-Chromatics

Stray Cat Blues-Soundgarden

This matches up a light electronica version of Bruce with a grunge metal version of the Stones. Neither artist has ever ventured into these styles, so we have a chance now to see how their work fairs in a disparate genre. I’m giving this one to Bruce because although the Soundgarden cover kicks ass, the Chromatics cover kicks ass and balls.

Next:

My Hometown-Everything But the Girl
vs.
Gimme Shelter-Merry Clayton

Merry Clayton brings a soul-y, R&B version of the classic Stones tune Gimme Shelter that is fantastic. Any soul versions of Bruce out there? The closest thing I’ve got is Tracey Thorn’s sultry voice in Everthing But The Girl’s cover of one of my favorite Bruce tunes, “My Hometown.” She manages to turn a political song about labor and the middle class into a weeping love song. She takes it. That means after taking two rounds in a row, Bruce is in the lead.

Stray Cat Blues-Smashing Pumpkins
vs.
I’m Going Down-Britt Daniel (of Spoon)

Purely on performance, Bruce takes this one, too. Billy’s cool and all, but Britt is almost a God to me. As for writing, though, the Stones have the edge. Stray Cat Blues is a classic, one of my favorite songs by any band, any year, any time. The Stones win, but they’re still down by one. They’ll have to win this next one, or it’s all over.

Dead Flowers-eels
vs.
The Veils-State Trooper

And it’s over. Dead Flowers is one of the most-covered tunes in history, but State Trooper is similarly popular. And this Veils version is too good not to get the vote.

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Bruce, take your garland, tiara, and make a speech.

P.S.: Make sure you check back here tonight or tomorrow: Something VERY COOL is coming, on the same topic of Stones and Springy. I promise, it’s awesome.

Comments
  1. joe says:

    I like your list, but Tracy Thorn is only the (almost hidden) backing vocals in the “My Hometown” cover. I don’t know if it is truly transformed into a love song. ‘Course, I’m an idiot… but I like these covers a shitload. So, ummm if that’s like, I dunno, any consolation for my previous dissent, that’s good…errrr, and stuff… and like, yeah. Anyway, thanks.

  2. Helen says:

    Very nice Afghan Whigs track — alas, one I do not have.. Can you tell me where I can get it?

  3. Darryl says:

    Whatta great fuckin’ idea. Saw The Veils perform this excellent version of State Trooper in Vancouver last year. Other Bruce covers for another Bruce vs. ? to take into consideration: Stars doing Hungry Heart live, Arcade Fire performing State Trooper, Tegan and Sara covering Dancing In The Dark…nicely done…I’m glad I stumbled across this, made my day. Huge SPOON fan myself.

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