Cover Me

Here’s something I’ve been cooking up the last little bit: songs I’ve heard live both as cover versions and by their original artist. If you’re looking for an explanation as to why “get out of debt” continually appears on my annual challenges, you’ve likely found it.

Two immediately observable trends:

  1. Everyone covers Neil Young
  2. Pearl Jam covers everyone

(A couple notes. 1, I didn’t include songs I’ve heard at solo shows by the singer of the band that originally wrote them. For instance, I’ve heard both Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder perform “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” but didn’t include it. However, I’ve included solo songs the full band’s also performed; see, for example, “Black Black Heart,” a David Usher solo song I’ve also seen played by Moist. 2, I included “tags,” or song snippets, that were longer than a couple lines. For instance, I’ve heard Bono sing the opening line to “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones during the “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” intro. That doesn’t count; Pearl Jam singing a verse of “Bad” during the outro to “Daughter,” does.)

Title Original Artist Covered By
1969 The Stooges Moist
A Day in the Life The Beatles/
Paul McCartney
Chris Cornell
Baba O’Riley The Who Pearl Jam
Bad U2 Pearl Jam
Because the Night Bruce Springsteen &
Patti Smith
Patti Smith & Bruce Springsteen
(“Because a Night”‘s an unusual one: it was actually co-written by Springsteen and Smith and I’ve heard both of them perform it separately)
Black Black Heart David Usher Moist
Blowin’ in the Wind Bob Dylan Neil Young, Social Distortion
Call Me a Dog Temple of the Dog Chris Cornell
Cinnamon Girl Neil Young Pearl Jam, Wilco (with My Morning Jacket and Feist)
Dear Mr. Fantasy Traffic/
Steve Winwood
Big Sugar
Fortunate Son Creedence Clearwater Revival/
John Fogerty
Pearl Jam
Forty-Six & 2 Tool I Mother Earth
Fuckin’ Up Neil Young Pearl Jam
Growin’ Up Bruce Springsteen Eddie Vedder (9-12-05 pre-set)
Hallelujah Leonard Cohen U2
Harvest Moon Neil Young Pearl Jam (with Sleater-Kinney)
Head Like a Hole Nine Inch Nails Econoline Crush
Heart of Gold Neil Young U2
Helpless Neil Young Eddie Vedder
Hunger Strike Temple of the Dog Chris Cornell
I Won’t Back Down Tom Petty Eddie Vedder
I’ve Got a Feeling The Beatles/
Paul McCartney
Pearl Jam
Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan The Tragically Hip
Love Reign O’er Me The Who Pearl Jam
Masters of War Bob Dylan Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder
Miss You The Rolling Stones Foo Fighters
Modern Girl Sleater-Kinney Pearl Jam
My Generation The Who Oasis
(The second time I heard Oasis cover “My Generation” their drummer was Zac Starkey–who also plays drums for the Who)
Old Man Neil Young Eddie Vedder
Paint It, Black The Rolling Stones The Tea Party, Gob
People Have the Power Patti Smith Pearl Jam
Rockin’ in the Free World Neil Young Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Music Without Borders Live
Say Hello 2 Heaven Temple of the Dog Chris Cornell
Setting Forth Eddie Vedder Pearl Jam
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) U2 Chantal Kreviazuk
Suzanne Leonard Cohen Wilco (with Feist)
Sympathy for the Devil The Rolling Stones The Headstones
The Needle and the Damage Done Neil Young Eddie Vedder
The Real Me The Who Pearl Jam
The Seeker The Who Pearl Jam
Tweeter and the Monkey Man The Travelling Wilburys/
Tom Petty
The Headstones
Yahweh U2 Pearl Jam

Anything I’m missing, J-What?


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