1. Naive Melody-Arcade Fire (Talking Heads cover). Canada’s The Arcade Fire are the reason I got into blogging. When I first heard “Funeral” I thought was so new, so different, so vastly separate from anything I was listening to at the time that I thought people had to know about this record. Then I realized it really wasn’t so different, once I heard this cover. All AF did was take The Talking Heads’ sense of paranoia and love of all things human, and bring it into the far more complicated, far scarier 21st Century.
2. Crown of Love-This is Ivy League. Nothing Arcade Fire does is small. They make arena songs–big, soaring, important things. But this cover flips that on its head.
3. Maps-Arcade Fire (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover). One of my all-time favorite cover songs ever. I wish someone would blend it with the original version, and with Ted Leo’s version that also has that Kelly Clarkson song mashed in.
4. All the Umbrellas in London-Arcade Fire (Magnetic Fields cover). Not great quality, unfortunately.
5. A Change is Gonna Come-Arcade Fire (Sam Cooke cover). Also not great quality, but this is such a sweet song for them to cover. It’s perfect for Winn’s soul cracking voice.
6. No Cars Go-Final Fantasy. One of the earliest AF singles, redone and remixed for their Neon Bible album. This cover is so minimalist. So sad.
7. Hump My Tunnel-Arcade Fire vs. The Black Eyed Peas. I’m including this to show that even the most chilling, powerful songs can be made to sound like shit by adding Fergie.
8. Born on a Train-Arcade Fire (Magnetic Fields cover). An amazing cover that is as good as the original, in its own way.
9. Ocean of Noise-Calexico. Lots of you have probably heard this cover before. But it’s worth restating.
10. Intervention/I’m So Bored With The USA-Arcade Fire (Clash cover). It’s hard for me to stop at 10, but if I’m gonna limit myself, this is the perfect spot to do it. Arcade Fire have declined offers from major labels, preferring to keep complete control. Joe and Mick accepted an offer from a major and spent the rest of their careers fighting for control, but if there had been the kind of distribution systems for indie artists that are around today, that might have been different. Today, Mick is a self-distributing musician, with his band Carbon/Silicon having released almost 30 songs on free internet EPs.