We pick the best covers of songs that shine a new light on the originals, from Jimi Hendrix to the Happy Mondays
orig. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, 1975
It was camp enough to begin with, but Jimi Somerville and Sarah Jane Morris’s triumphant falsetto-basso profundo duet on this cover of the 1975 disco classic takes the phrase “row of tents” and flings it in the air like a glittery handbag on an underlit dancefloor. One suspects that the singers swapped voices for a laugh.
Key moment: The final, monumental “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah BABY!” just before the last chorus.
Going Back to My Roots – Richie Havens, 1980
orig. Lamont Dozier, 1977
Woodstock star Havens caused barely a ripple in 1980 with his impassioned rendition of a song first recorded by Lamont Dozier. But eight years on, it was rediscovered, becoming an arms-in-the air anthem to a million British ravers. As the battered Havens larynx pours out Dozier’s vision of the things that really count in life, the goosebumps take over.
Key moment: a truly storming piano intro.
Step On – Happy Mondays, 1991
orig. John Kongos, 1971
The Manchester baggy anthem, driven by a trademark acid house piano riff, is a hugely inventive remake of He’s Gonna Step on You Again by long-forgotten South African singer-songwriter Kongos. Shaun Ryder added his own inimitable lyrical touch, contributing a new saying to the British pop lexicon with his opening declaration: “You’re twisting my melons, man!”
Key Moment: When it all breaks down to reverb-drenched female backing vocals singing the spookily threatening chorus line.
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