10 of the Best Covers Albums in Music History

The Sailor Jerry Presents concert series sails on, and the most recent addition to its roster has been most excellent Detroit garage stalwarts the Dirtbombs. We nominated the band’s latest album, Party Store, as one of the most underrated of 2011 during a mid-year wrap-up, and our opinion hasn’t changed — if you haven’t heard it, it’s a collection of covers of old Detroit techno tracks reinvented as garage-rock tunes. It’s also a fantastic and original piece of work, and still gets a regular workout on the Flavorpill stereo. Plus, it catalyzed various discussions about other great covers records from over the years, inspiring us to round up ten of our all-time favorites, starting with Party Store itself.

The Dirtbombs — Party Store

The idea of a rock band covering techno tunes may sound counter-intuitive, but it shouldn’t — really, all you’re doing is taking a bunch of great instrumentals and furnishing them with different instrumentation. And generally, Party Store works a treat — the live arrangements give the tracks a looser, more organic feel than their original electronic incarnations, and the result is definitely interesting listening. The band has previous experience here, too — its second album, Ultraglide in Black, applied the same treatment to a bunch of old soul and funk songs, with similarly excellent results.