From the creator of the popular website covermesongs.com comes the perfect book for music fans: the inside stories behind 20 iconic cover songs and the artists who turned them into classics.
A great cover only makes a song stronger — Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower"; the Beatles rocking out with “Twist and Shout.”; Aretha Franklin demanding “Respect.” Without covers, the world would have lost many unforgettable performances.
This is the first book to explore the most iconic covers ever, from Elvis’s “Hound Dog” and the Rolling Stones’ “Not Fade Away”, to Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused,” the Talking Heads’ “Take Me to the River,” and Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Ray Padgett, each of the 20 chapters investigates the origins of a classic cover and uses it as a framework to tell the larger story of how cover songs have evolved over the decades. Cover Me is packed with rockin' insight, photography, and music history.
About the Author
Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web, with 80,000 individual readers a month. His music writing has appeared in SPIN, MTV, Vice, Consequence of Sound, and more, and he's been interviewed as an expert on cover songs by the Wall Street Journal and the BBC. He lives in New York City and also works as a senior music publicist for Shore Fire Media, where his clients have included Ben Harper, Lana Del Rey, and Maxwell.
"One of the best multi-subject music books to come down the pike in years. . . . By taking a fresh and deeply informed approach to a project that could have been dismally predictable, Padgett has produced a book that even the most condescending music snob will find satisfying and illuminating." --Variety
"Ray Padgett . . . offers up the inside track on the stories behind the 20 most iconic cover songs of all time, and the artists who turned them into classics." --Parade
"Music publicist and blogger Padgett (covermesongs.com) delves into the world of the cover song by compiling interviews, archival photographs, and reproductions of disc labels to highlight 20 well-known tunes covered by artists ranging from Elvis Presley and the Who to Adele, giving each a chapter tracing the song's history, production details, and other versions when appropriate. His explorations of the reasons artists choose to record covers are astute, and while some of the original performers (perhaps more obscure to current listeners) were not always pleased to have their own versions superseded, others were honored that someone valued their work enough to take on this challenge. The especially useful bibliography cites both sources contemporaneous to the time of the first recordings as well as recent scholarship and relevant websites. VERDICT This engaging nostalgia trip is sure to appeal to discophiles and cultural historians. . . ." --Library Journal
"Fresh context and intriguing background to many of these songs. . . . Astute ruminations on evolving cultural perceptions of the cover's place in the music canon." --AV Club.com