Bruce took round one. The Stones took round two. Who’s gonna win this? Well, we won’t find out today. But we will get treated to lots of great rock bands covering our heroes.
First, Pearl Jam:
Waiting on a Friend is a lame song, and nobody’s gonna argue that “No Surrender” is Bruce’s best, and between these two covers, I just can’t pick. It’s a good thing, then, that Bette Midler covered Beast of Burden. Totally soured me on it. So Pearl Jam pulls it out with Atlantic City. Score one for Bruce.
Next: Warren Zevon.
Stop Breakin’ Down-Warren Zevon
Warren is probably my personal favorite songwriter, so I’m never all that stoked to hear his covers. But he worked with Bruce a lot, and manages to take the silly Cadillac Ranch and add the bittersweet irony of his raspy snarl. I’m not as hot on what he did with Stop Breaking Down. And although it’s a good blues song (and not a Stones original, I know), how much can you do with three bars and a sad mood? So, score two for Bruce.
Before They Make Me Run-Steve Earle
Steve is a great performer, and I really dig his State Trooper, but for his Stones cover he chooses Mick over Keith in my favorite Keith tune (yeah, I dig it more than Happy). The Stones get a point here, but it’s too late to matter.
Round 3 goes to Bruce!
And here’s one to grow on: