Okay, so this is a follow up to my review of Prince’s new double-release, Lotus Flower etc., a very strong album set. Doing an A to Z of Prince covers is like herding cats: There’s only a few I’m reallly gonna get. There’s a whole universe of his stuff. What I’ve tried to do here is post only indie songs, and a wide variety of both the song covered and the genre of the cover, showing how his brilliant songwriting crosses barriers. Z will be for zip, so don’t have a heart attack that not all songs are individually linked.
Prince: Great musician, or the Greatest Musician of Our Generation?
A is for When Doves Cry-The Afghan Whigs.
B is for The Beautiful Ones-Besnard Snakes. I love this kinda-creepy version of a just-mediocre Prince original.
C is “c”ouldn’t find a C that was really up to par, so I’m going with a second “B.” But before you start bitching, know that it is Clash related. So, maybe “C is for Clash Related”! 1999-Big Audio Dynamite
D is for When Doves Cry-Ani Difranco. The angry folk version. Really hot.
E is for If I Was Your Girlfriend-eels.
E is also for Manic Monday-Ephemera. If you thought this was a Bangles original, you need to go back to school. He actually wrote it for Vanity 6, one of his original girl groups from the ’80s. I really like this version because it’s slightly slower and focuses almost exclusively on the vocals, which truly drive this song.
F should be for the Foo Fighters’ take on Darling Nikki, but it was released on a major label. Someday, maybe Dave’ll do the Radiohead thing. He seems so perfectly disposed to be independent.
G is for Kiss by Garaj Mahal. A bluegrass Prince cover!
H is for Rasberry Beret-Hindu Love Gods. Re-released on Rhino’s independent label, “Encore,” this band was basically Warren Zevon fronting R.E.M. A truly amazing album, eponymous, which all of you should run out and get right now. Destroy anyone in your way. In fact, I don’t usually sponsor a link to a store–I think you all should populate brick-and-mortar facilities–but for this record, I’m making an exception. Go buy it right now. Serioussly.
I is for I Feel For You-Izbella. A Prince original that was done better by Chaka Kahn. It’s strange how the only people who can do Prince songs better than Prince are females. First Chaka on this one, then Sinead on “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Of course, those ladies are such extraordinary vocalists, I’d listen to them sing the phone book. (Not really.)
J is for Purple Rain-Jarflys.
K is for Love Bizarre-Keller Williams. My absolute favorite Sheila E tune.
L is for Little Red Corvette-Pete Thurston.
M is for I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man-My Morning Jacket. One of the best Prince covers ever. Hands down.
N is for Starfish and Coffee-Matt Nathanson. This is definitely my favorite of Prince’s lesser-known songs. It’s sweet, sexy, cool. Off his Sign O’ The Times record, his second best release.
O is for Of Montreal–two covers: Rasberry Beret and Baby I’m a Star. Such a fun live band.
P is for Pac! Pac’s Life-Tupac.
R is for When Doves Cry-Damien Rice. An amazing acoustic version that will break your heard.
S is for the S part of Tegan and Sara, and their brilliant cover of When U Were Mine, which actually trumps Cyndi Lauper’s, which actually trumped Prince’s own version.
T is for All the Critics Love U In New York-TR3. A live version that I included for two reasons: It’s so bizarre, and it’s a song that rarely gets the props it deserves. Jazzy as hell.
U is for unable to find a good U, so here’s another B:When Doves Cry-Be Good Tanyas.
V is for very near the end, which is where we’re getting.
W is for Alex Westerberg. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man-The Replacements. The 1980s indie/garage rock version.
X is this spot, to remind you to Digg, Stumble, and do whatever else to this post. Come on, guys, don’t I deserve as much hits as MOKB? (Answer me yes or don’t answer at all. And clap if you believe in fairies.)
Y and Z are for Your Zipfile. Here it is. Dig it.