Monday, June 11, 2012

100 Cover Versions #39: Florence & The Machine cover 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac

Earlier this year I went to see Florence & The Machine in concert in the 02 here in Dublin with my sister Jane. There is always something great about seeing a music artist right in the middle of their big success. They have two or three full tours done and everything that they do from then on will contain just a selection of the songs from the albums that made them famous. Florence and the Machine are like a band who know how stadium and festival songs work. I think bands like  them and also Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas write and produce songs thinking ahead of thousands of people being part of the song. 
Almost every Florence song is a big song. When I saw them in concert in Dublin I remember thinking that she had sang certain songs already but she hadn't, it was just the structure and sound of the songs were the same.

Florence is very like Adele in that she loves pop. It is obvious that pop and rock are her influences, that she constantly listens to both older songs and ones in the chart right now. Any Youtube search will easily find you Florence covering songs by Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Madonna, En Vogue and more.

Here is Florence and the Machine and their live in concert cover of a very big song. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac is one of those songs that not only does Florence have to sing well but the band equally have to be at least on the level of the original. When you hear very famous songs being covered you can't help but think of the original but they do a really great version. I love the idea that some of her younger music fans may have bought and discovered Fleetwood Mac's album Rumors after hearing it. it is one of those albums that you have to listen to in one sitting. 

Here is Florence and the Machine and their cover version of The Chain which was performed at Glastonbury in 2010.

100 Cover Versions #38: En Vogue cover 'Yesterday' by The Beatles

This year the album Funky Divas by En Vogue is 20 years old. Released in 1992 it is today one of the great albums of the 1990s. It featured the iconic singles My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) and Free Your Mind which their fans and MTV loved so much in the day. There were five singles released from it. Remixes of Love Don't Love You were some of my listened to songs back in the day. When my sister Emma went to America on holidays in 1992 it was that album that she brought me back as a present and it's still one of my most favourite albums of that decade. 

From that album here is En Vogue and their cover of Yesterday. The clip below is from a TV show and is sung completely acapella. Every time I listen to it I only remember at the end that there was no musical instruments in their performance, just their voices, amazing.

100 Cover Versions #37: Chaka Khan covers 'My Funny Valentine'

My Funny Valentine is one of those songs that many people have their own particular favourite version of. I have a couple of favourite versions of it and over the next few weeks I am going to post two or three of them. My Funny Valentine was written in 1937 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and was featured in the musical Babes in Arms where it was first introduced to audiences by Mitzi Green. According to the wizard that is Wikipeia it has to date been recorded by over 600 music artists since 1937.

The first cover version of My Funny Valentine that I would like to highlight is by Chaka Khan. Her version was featured on the soundtrack for Waiting to Exhale. Of the various cover versions of the song that I have been listening to again this is the version that I have been most addicted to. Listen to how her vocal builds in the second part of the song and just is pure smooth jazz and soul.