Monday, 31 July 2017

Fantasy Cover Version #1 - if Nick Cave covered "No Surprises"...

In which I attempt to start a blog series that you can contribute to...

Here's the gist. I want to hear about your fantasy cover versions. No, not that sort of fantasy, perve. But if fantasy football can continue to be a thing, why not this? Simply make the case for the cover version that you'd love to hear but, fairly obviously, does not actually exist. And send me that case, here. By case, I mean explain why artist X covering song Y would be good, don't just send me their respective names. If you want to include supporting evidence in the form of links to embeddable content, that's fine. All such evidence will be considered! But note I won't be linking to MP3s - I've had too much DMCA grief in the past, thanks.

I'll get things started, shall I? I'd like to hear Nick Cave cover Radiohead's "No Surprises". Members of the jury, I present these facts.

Witness the original, a peerless slice of peak Radiohead, with a delicate lullaby tune and heart-squeezing lyrics:

Add Cave's proven ability to reinterpret a much-loved song of similar classic status, with his waltz-timed take on Pulp's Disco 2000...

...and previous convictions for making beautiful songs with depressing themes...

...and you have a winning combination (and no, that wasn't just an excuse to feature peak indie-Kylie, honest guv).

The case against? Well, would Cave have any appetite for singing such a bleak song, after what happened to his son? I think the album Skeleton Tree tells us that he might. Either way, I submit that Cave's rich baritone and understated delivery is perfect for this beautiful, skewed take on the pain of millennial life and, as such, have no hesitation in making it Fantasy Cover Version #1.

So what about you? What's your fantasy cover version? Tell me and, as long as you're not suggesting that Psy and Crazy Frog cover Especially For You, there's a good chance it will appear as a future post in the series. Don't forget, to qualify the cover must not actually exist!


  1. What a great idea. Have often mused over these things but now of course I've gone blank. So I'll get back to my squirrels and ponder this intriguing subject while I do (will try and be back here later to listen fully to above too and imagine the cover...)

    1. Excellent! Will be particularly interested to hear what you think of Cave's Pulp cover, above. I've yet to meet anyone else who likes it...

    2. Well, I do actually like Nick's take on this - he makes it sound rather Jacques Brel-ish, particularly given the lyrical style, and I do have a soft spot for that particular sound. I can well imagine his version of No Surprises and I think it would work...given an even more spoken-style vocal and perhaps a change of tempo too. Oh Nick, I hope you're reading this! Go on, go on Nick, record it.... just for us... please? (I once saw you - nearly rubbed shoulders with you- in the Notting Hill Gate Record & Tape Exchange, ooh back in the '80s, you were looking good, I always wondered what you'd bought!)
      As for my own fantasy covers, Martin - I'll get back to you!

    3. Then welcome, C, to an exclusive society, the Cave 2000 Admirers Club. By joining, you have doubled the membership! And oh, if only Nick Cave was reading this humble blog! Still, you never know, I've just featured Kylie so that might be enough to draw him in...

      Love your recollection of nearly rubbing shoulders in the Record and Tape Exchange - such an evocative name, so 80s.

      And yes, am looking forward to your fantasy cover - no pressure, but am expecting great things!

  2. I just sent you mine.

    Great start to the series too... I think Nick might well improve on the original, which would be an amazing achievement.

    1. Cheers Rol, I'll pencil your (excellent, by the way) submission for next Monday.

      And improving on the original - a tough assignment! Not sure that's possible... though the original was "my eternal jam" back in the days of TIMJ, so I'm biased on this.

  3. A splendid idea. I've somehow managed to miss out on Nick's fine Pulp cover until now and as a non-fan of this period of Radiohead's oeuvre, for me he could only improve on the original of 'No Surprises'.
    As for a suggestion of my own, I'll have a think.......

    1. Ah, welcome to the Cave 2000 Admirers Club; with you, membership now stands at three.

      I look forward to your suggestion.