Cheers to you, you scurvy knaves! That’s my belated St. Patty’s Day toast to you â€” and I’m well aware that saying “scurvy knaves” is more English than Irish, but maybe I’m ready for a bare-knuckle brawl. No, really.
Actually, I’m ready to mix some musical goodness for your ears!
“Beat It,” Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer
The fact that there’s seemingly a lack of humor in this version made me believe that Time magazine was right when they declared irony was dead. Then I saw a pic of John Mayer’s alter ego “Johnny Ballsac” in Rolling Stone and I realized Time was wrong.
“Baker Street,” Foo Fighters
The original was pure mellow gold â€” well, except for the lead break. This version completely turns all that mellow-gold goodness upside down in a way that makes me smile and wag my finger like those people in Mentos ads â€” or maybe it was a Foo Fighters video.
“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” Elvis Costello/The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and Confederates
When this album came out, I had one of those “What the hell is this!” moments after dropping the needle on the opening track. By the time this song came on â€” first made popular by the Animals â€” I’d had enough. Oddly enough, over time this has become one of my favorite Costello albums.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Tori Amos
Full disclosure: I’m not a Tori Amos fan. I don’t like her “I’m the American version of Kate Bush” persona. That’s right, I’m a Kate Bush fan. However, I appreciated this cover because it allowed me to understand Nirvana’s lyrics without consulting the lyric sheet.
“You Really Got a Hold on Me,” She and Him
Take one part Zooey Deschanel and one part M. Ward, throw them together, and you get … this. The album contains this cover of the Miracles’ original, and a Beatles cover that, truth be told, is pretty crappy. “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” however, has a sleepy quality that would work well in a David Lynch movie.
“How Long,” Donny Osmond
Right now, Ace/Paul Carrack fans around the globe are collectively saying, “Bring me the skull of Donny Osmond!”