So what do I think then? Song comments plus opinion on better or worse than original below:
1. The Breeders: Happiness is a Warm Gun = better, much better. Oh, so it’s a clever song about sex is it, with Mother Superior being a nickname for Yoko Ono and the warm gun Lennon’s dick – well how utterly clever and fantastic… That actually makes me feel rather ill apart from anything else. No The Breeders have it sussed here, they give it some real oomph and succeed where the beatles, generally, fail.
2. Lambchop: This Corrosion = better. Did I need to say anything about that? The Sisters of Mercy are not exactly the most awe-inspiring band, whereas Lambchop, on their day, are absolutely brilliant. I have played this song so so much, and I can’t even remember how the original sounds, just that I don’t like it much.
3. Johnny Cash: Hurt = better. The original is okay, and Cash just blows it away. The words apply to Cash more and it really is one of those tracks where you wonder which is the actual original. I was reluctant to put this on, seeing as 99.9% of you have already heard it but hey, it’s a winner!
4. Stina Nordenstam (with U.N.K.L.E.): People are Strange = probably better. Her cover is sublime and is definitely better than the original (even though I love The Doors) and both her versions kill the god awful one used on The Lost Boys by Echo and the Bunnymen. It’s got a lot to it this one and is much more than the sum of its parts.
5. Sparklehorse (featuring Thom Yorke): Wish you Were Here = worse. It’s a gorgeous attempt at one of the greatest songs of all time and is only listed as worse due to the absolute quality of the original. The tone works for this and Sparklehorse made the right decision in getting Thom Yorke of Radiohead along, as he adds to the song beautifully.