My mate Nic used to run a regular segment over at his blog called "Cover Thursdays". He's since put his musings on the back burner a bit, but I really like what he was trying to do with that... And so, in trying to keep the spirit alive, here are two covers that deserve your listening pleasure:
1) Radiohead's The Reckoner by Gnarls Barkley
Now, I know that Radiohead fans[*] can be a sensitive bunch, but anyone who tells me that Ce Lo Green wasn't borne to sing this song is a filthy liar. I haven't been this aroused by an overweight black man since Solomon Burke was in his prime.
And -- in what may be the most un-PC segue of all time -- since we're on the subject of "large-ish" singers that have got it where it counts, I hand you over to Beth Ditto and co. ...
2) Wham!'s Careless Whisper by The Gossip
So much better than the original, I honestly don't even know where to start. I wish more bands understood this remarkably simple concept; that a good cover isn't just inserting a new vocalist to exactly the same music. I'd hit the karaoke bars if that's what I wanted, thank you very much.
[*] I take it most people have seen the reaction to The King of Limbs? I've only listened to a few times and, look, it's certainly no In Rainbows (which was also by far the best thing they've done for over a decade IMHO). So, yes, disappointing after all the hype, but I've still got time for a few tracks. E.g. For all the controversy that surrounded the music video -- I mean, it's Radiohead... What did you expect, a love story? -- I think Lotus Flower is a great tune.