Weekly Wildcat playlist: Old hits revived as new covers
This week's Wildcat playlist is all about mixing the old with the new. These popular covers revive the best hits from pop, soul, rap and alternative genres. The artists bring a fresh take to some of the most beloved songs in history. Who says an oldie can’t be a goodie all over again?
You may recognize this song from the “Catching Fire” soundtrack as it was covered by Lorde for the sequel of “The Hunger Games.” The original song was released in 1985 by British pop duo Tears for Fears. The first version of the tune is upbeat despite its lyrics centered on the desire for power. Lorde decided to pair the lyrics with a darker and more haunting version of the melody, and her version has also been featured in commercials and video games.
Jeff Buckley released his version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in his 1994 debut album Grace, but the song has been a popular choice to cover for other artists as well. Rufus Wainwright recorded a version for “Shrek,” introducing the song to a younger audience. This classic was even recently featured twice on Saturday Night Live, sung first by Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and then by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.
Elton John might have written and immortalized the song, but it was actually first released in 1970 by Three Dog Night for the album It Ain’t Easy. Later that year, John released his rendition, and it became his first hit. In 2010, Ellie Goulding released a bonus track of a softer cover of the song in her re-released debut album, Bright Lights.
Robert Palmer recorded the song in 1985 as a typical upbeat 80s tune. In 2009, Florence Welch recorded a more experimental version that featured indie and pop beats on a B-side to the album Lungs. This song is a popular choice for covers, and versions have been featured in Revlon commercials and the 2014 romance “Endless Love.”
One of Whitney Houston’s most memorable and beloved songs was actually a cover. Dolly Parton released “I Will Always Love You” in 1974 as a country ballad. In 1992, though, Houston released a soulful rendition for the film “The Bodyguard.” There have been many covers of Parton’s hit, but no one sang it quite like Houston.
This girls’ anthem wasn’t actually by Cyndi Lauper. The original was written by Robert Hazard, who released it in 1979 with his band Robert Hazard and the Heroes. In an interview with “Rolling Stone,” Lauper explained that she altered the lyrics of the song to fit her. Her rendition is used widely for commercials, movies and television shows.
Lesley Gore released the original track about a woman who demands her independence from a man in 1963. Her version was featured in “American Horror Story: Asylum,” but it became popular in Australia after Grace released a rendition in 2015 with American rapper G-Eazy. The song was revived again last year when it was featured in the trailer for “Suicide Squad.”
Who can forget Amy Winehouse’s moving vocals in her 2011 hit “Valerie?" The Zutons, though, released the song long before Winehouse and Mark Ronson slowed down its tempo. The Zutons’ lead singer Dave McCabe said he wrote the song about a friend he met in America who had gotten into trouble while drinking and driving.
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Elvis Presley released the original song in 1961 for the movie “Blue Hawaii.” It was one of Presley’s most renowned love songs, rising to No. 2 in the United States and No. 1 in the United Kingdom. Haley Reinhart, who placed third on American Idol in 2011, recorded a cover that was featured in a commercial for Wrigley’s Extra gum. The commercial and song both went viral shortly after.
Jermaine Stewart released the original track in 1986 as part of his album Frantic Romantic. The song has been covered multiple times. Ella Eyre, English singer and songwriter, covered the song in 2015. She is best known for her collaboration with U.K. group Rudimental on their hit single “Waiting All Night.”
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