Run For Cover


This week, The Guardian asked its readers to nominate their worst album sleeves and you can see the ones that made the final list here. Surprisingly, the one above didn’t make the final cut, but some truly awful covers did. I agreed with most of the choices, though I was surprised to see The White Album by The Beatles on the list. It’s certainly as simple a cover as you can get, but I think it’s become one of the most iconic sleeves in rock music. In fact, it made it to number three on a list of BEST album covers published by Rolling Stone magazine in 1991. The top five of that list also contains my two favourite albums by The Rolling Stones and my third favourite album by that band begins a list of six of my own least favourite album covers

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Not Fade Away

Buddy Holly’s music career lasted three years and he only released three albums during that time, but his legacy and influence still lasts to this day. Today is the 75th anniversary of the Texan singer’s birth and a couple of tribute albums have already been released this year to commemorate this event. Listen to Me and Rave on Buddy Holly are the titles of these two compilations and both feature a host of acts that have come along in the five decades since Holly’s death. Zooey Deschanel appears on both albums, singing It’s So Easy on the former and Oh Boy, as part of She & Him, on the latter. Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne and former Beatle Ringo Starr all appear on Listen to Me, while the only other surviving Beatle appears on Rave On Buddy Holly. McCartney also sings It’s So Easy and you can find Patti Smith, Lou Reed and over a dozen more contemporary artists on the album. Of course, many performers have paid tribute to Buddy over the years and today I’ll have a look at some of those

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Life is a Losing Game

Yesterday, Amy Winehouse became the latest member of the so-called “27 Club”, a group of singers and musicians who all died in their 27th year. The announcement of her death was certainly not a surprise and, in fact, was in some ways expected due to the singer’s fondness for drugs and alcohol. In this regard, she had much in common with the other members of the 27 Club, though she was also a talented songwriter and performer. However, she hadn’t released much original material over the last few years and her live performances had become increasingly more shambolic. I first encountered her music in 2004 at a time when I had little time for pop music. Then I came across her single Fuck Me Pumps and I remember being struck by the song’s witty lyrics as well as the brash delivery by its singer. This led me to her debut album Frank and its more consistent follow-up Back to Black. Unfortunately, interest in Winehouse’s private life overshadowed interest in her music and her slim body of work is unlikely to make her as important a member of the 27 Club as the other six that I present below

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This Summer He’s 69

Bob Dylan is about to go on the road again and over the next six weeks he’s going to perform 25 shows in 36 days in 17 countries all over Europe. He begins this Saturday in Greece and finishes up in Limerick on the Fourth of July. I presume Bob is still in the States at the moment as today he celebrates his 69th birthday. The picture above shows a younger Bob with an equally younger Mick and Keith from the Stones. Below, Mick Jagger does his best Dylan impersonation as The Rolling Stones take on Like a Rolling Stone. The other songs are performed by two of the guests on the final episode of this season’s Later with Jools Holland and I’ll put up a post about that tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s Tom Jones taking on a song that appeared on Dylan’s Oh Mercy (1989) while Metric from Canada make the grade with their duet on Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

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