COVER ME: Fellow blogger Jim Henley is collecting lists of great musical covers. I don't know if I can answer his call properly, in part because I'm not sure where the boundary lies between covering someone else's song and simply performing a standard. Still, here's a baker's dozen of my favorites -- not a top 13, but a coven of tunes that might form the core of a longer list, if I had the time and inclination to write one:
Wilson Pickett: "Sugar Sugar" (this is what the Archies would sound like if Archie weren't a virgin)
Charlie Rich: "Hey Good Lookin'" (Hank Williams gets da funk)
They Might Be Giants: "Why Does the Sun Shine?" (a faithful homage to a children's educational record)
Tom Waits: "Heigh Ho" (Snow White's little friends are in hell)
Finally, an honorable mention of sorts goes to Brave Combo for "Tubular Jugs." I don't know whether to think of this as a cover version or a full-fledged original song, but the sheer inspired madness required to combine "Tubular Bells" with "Little Brown Jug" deserves our respect, our love, and our fear.