Am I the biggest Fleetwood Mac fan ever? Definitely not. I’m pretty much a Rumours and Greatest Hits guy, although I can get into Tusk now and then. Still, everyone’s gotta recognize that Rumours is one of the greatest rock albums ever, and most of their hits are solid. Plus, lotsa indie folks have covered them. So, they get an A to Z.
Their most covered song, by far, is “Dreams.” In this A to Z, I’m gonna rate the Dreams covers against the original, which rates an A+ as a pop song. I’ll rate the other songs, too. Just ’cause its fun to rate shit.
A is for Sunny Side of Heaven-Animal Liberation Orchestra. Leave it to the always interesting ALO to pick and esoteric tune to cover. Original: B-/Cover: B-.
C is for The Chain, a solid tune off Rumours. I’m giving the original a B+. The first cover I’m offering is by the Pat McGee Band. Pat adds a little bit of country flavor, but otherwise this is a pretty standard version. Cover: B-.
D is for Think About Me-The Decemberists. Not familiar with the original, not a fan of this band. Giving the whole package a C. They also did Dreams, and did a much better job on it. B for that one.
F is for Dreams-Fleet Foxes. I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of this band, despite all the hype, and the sound quality here isn’t great. C+.
G is for Go Your Own Way-Death Cab for Cutie and The Decembrists. A pretty good rendition, especially since it’s clearly just an impromptu sing-a-long. Between this version and The Meat Puppets one, below, I’m getting a sense that this is a more complex song than it appears at first. And sadly, my version of this song is cut off. Original: A-/Cover: C+.
H is for The Chain-Ari Hest. Cover: B-.
K is for Dreams-Kevin Kinney. Cover: C+.
L is for Little Lies-Ari Hest. I am emphatically not a fan of this song, but I do like what Ari does with it. Original: C+/Cover: B-.
M is for Oh Well-Monks of Doom. This song sounds like it shouldn’t be hard to cover, but MOD really leave their own impression on it. Original: B+/Cover: B.
M is also for Go Your Own Way-The Meat Puppets. I love my Puppets, but this one is strained. They sound like they can’t get it together to cover this, the Bill Clinton fight song. Cover: C-.
N is for Dreams-The New Pornographers. They take that dream-like guitar cry at the beginning and turn it into a cat’s meow. They also giggle throughout, making it sound like they’re making fun of the song. Still, it’s pretty well done. I’m giving this version a B. N is also for Walk a Thin Line-New Pornographers. I don’t know the original, but I dig this one. I’ll give it a B-.
O is for another cover of Oh Well-Rockets. It adds an ’80s Skynyrd-style guitar solo and some good piano work. I’m giving this cover a B+.
P is for Dreams-Sandro Perri and Friends. Incredibly slow–almost dirge-like. C.
R is for Rhiannon/Illusions-Georgia Avenue. . A dreamlike, slowed down version of Rhiannon. I dig it when upbeat pop songs are slowed down. This reminds me of The Afghan Whigs’ cover of “Come See About Me.” Original: B-/Cover: B-.
Q is for Oh Well-Quasi. Cover: C+.
S is for Landslide-Smashing Pumpkins (acoustic version). I love this song, even when The Dixie Chicks do it. And Corgan’s voice is perfectly suited for it. Original: A+/Cover: A+.
T is for The Chain-Throwback. This is an interesting, laid back, kinda jazzy version. Cover: B.
V is for Vampire Weekend’s cover of “Everywhere.” One of the lamer FM hits, from later in their career, it’s bounce is perfect for the unashamedly happy Vampire Weekend. Original: B-; Cover: A-.
W is for Dreams-Whiskeytown. One of my favorite versions of this song, it stays true to the original but adds country flavor and Ryan’s great vocals. An A+ cover.
X is for XIP FILE!// All the songs that aren’t direct links to the archive. Dig it.
Y is for Dreams-Yo La Tengo. Take the basic melody but make it hard rock. Great interpretation. A-.
Z is for Oh Well-Zach Ernst. Zach does a fair job. B-.