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by Eddie Sayago
There is a chance that you have come across a song (or two, or so many more) that you enjoy and did not realize that it's either been covered by someone else or is a cover itself. We hope that this series allows you to appreciate both the original and the covers they have inspired, and to seek out and enjoy new music in the process.
From the album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006, Domino)
The world (especially music) was very different in 2006 when Arctic Monkeys released their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. YouTube debuted the year before, occupied by abstract and weird humor, home movies, and music videos and live performances. The best selling album of the year was the High School Musical soundtrack. (Olivia Rodrigo, of “Driver’s License” fame and who began her career on a TV series based on the musical, was three years old at the time.)
One of the first music acts to become popular thanks to the Internet (primitive music blogs, Myspace, non-creepy chat rooms, file-sharing sites), Arctic Monkeys were led by Alex Turner, who at age 19 revived a dismal indie rock scene in the U.K. with 13 rambunctious rock songs on Whatever People Say.... Their debut single, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor,” is a homage to the punk rock of the late 1970s, a short, catchy dance song that can be played at both Sweet Sixteens parties and dive bars where only sixteen people can sit inside.
From the album Baby Charles (2008, Record Kicks)
A soul revival group from Brighton, it took a couple of listens to make sure this was a cover and not an obscure jam session from the late ‘70s. For a moment, I thought the Arctic Monkeys were the ones who did a cover. The best addition to this version is a trombone that accompanies lead singer Dionne Charles’ strong, sultry howl of Turner’s sharp witty lyrics. If the original song is being played at the dive bar, this is at home at a big, sweaty dancehall, late at night, just before the lights go up and everyone slowly heads home.
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