As part of the grueling research methodology I employ to produce this blog, I just finished listening to 50 Rolling Stones covers. Results: The Italians win!
Gold: Italy (Franco Battiato, “Ruby Tuesday”)
Silver: France (Freedom Dub, “Emotional Rescue”)
Bronze: USA (The Folksmen, “Start Me Up”)

The Concretes, “Miss You”
Marianne Faithfull, “As Tears Go By”
Sky Cries Mary, “2000 Light Years From Home”

Honorable mention:
“Welcome to the Third World” by The Dandy Warhols, which is either a loving homage to “Miss You” or an outright rip-off.

I’ve heard this a million times, I can’t listen anymore:
Devo, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

What’s it all mean?
I don’t know, Mr. Subhead. The songs I’ve listed here are mostly psychedelia (“Ruby Tuesday,” “As Tears Go By,” “2000 Light Years From Home”) or disco (“Emotional Rescue,” “Miss You”). The two rockers, “Start Me Up” and “Satisfaction,” were redone as jokes: The Folksmen were a creation of the film A Mighty Wind, and Devo was, well, Devo.

Fifty sounds like a lot, but there are far more covers of The Beatles. There are even covers of entire Beatles albums: This Bird Has Flown, a tribute to Rubber Soul on its 40th anniversary (2005). Are The Beatles more open to interpretation? Are The Stones complete as they are? Who’s better? And can either band ever measure up to Right Said Fred?

  1. Clark says:

    Thank (insert deity of your choice) you are willing to subject yourself to such rigorous testing to ensure a quality product. Your fans appreciate the lengths to which you will go. I’m curious, however, to learn how the Cat Power cover of Satisfaction stacks up on your list …