Mixtape Primer: Essential and Under-Rated Cover Versions

For an art form that so mythologizes rebellion, rock ‘n roll has developed its fair share of orthodoxy over the years. If you go with the canon, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album ever, while cover versions started and ended with Jimi Hendrix’s take on “All Along The Watchtower.” Happily, Flavorpill doesn’t really buy into any of that. With a (god-awful) cover of Biffy Clyro’s “Many of Horror” taking the coveted Christmas No. 1 slot across the Atlantic, it seems an auspicious time to look back at some unsung excellent cover versions. Listen to them all after the jump — and for convenience, we’ve also embedded a Grooveshark playlist of the whole lot at the end.


1. John Cale – “All My Friends” (7:38)
Originally by LCD Soundsystem

Remarkably, Cale somehow manages to make LCD Soundsystem’s already masterful portrait of middle-aged party fatigue and alienation even better, investing it with a relentless motorik beat and ever more manic vocals that still manage to convey real emotional depth.