Deb stole my all-time favorite Springsteen cover in her recent roundup of covers, the first in our series. I’ve gone through phases of being so obsessed with Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Dancing in the Dark” that I’ve almost forgotten what the original sounded like. She really makes the song her own and finds something in it that the listener may have missed in the original.
That’s generally my #1 criterion for a good cover, actually. I love it when an artist can take a song written by somebody else and, instead of just replicating the original, do something different with it and take the listener to a place they’ve never been with that song before. It can be jarring, especially if the original song is very familiar – but sometimes it’s good to be shaken up a bit, yes?