Who doesn’t love a good cover song? Some of music’s biggest hits have been covers. Whitney Houston turned Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” into a power ballad. Soft Cell took the Northern Soul tune “Tainted Love” and transformed it into an iconic new wave track. (However, let’s just all try to forget Jessica Simpson’s rendition of “Take My Breath Away.” Some songs are better left untouched.) One musician who has perfected the art of the cover song is Chan Marshall, the woman who is Cat Power. From her 2000 release The Covers Album to this year’s Jukebox, she knows how to take a song, massage it, love it, torture it, and nurture it until it is undeniably her own. Yesterday, she released a 6-song EP, Dark End of the Street (Matador), continuing her memorable interpretations of her favorite songs.
One track we can’t stop listening to is her rendition of the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Fortunate Son.” Through her interpretation, the soulful southern rock song has metamorphosed into a moody blues -- a thumping drum, a piano, a hypnotic violin -- that leaves you still. The main instrument, of course, is her voice and when she croons out “it ain’t me” over and over again, it’s enough fodder for us to seep into the nostalgia of past heartaches. To quote the great John Mellencamp: it hurts so good.
So, what we’re saying is: go out and buy this album so you can listen to this song, get it on iTunes, and though we totally don’t encourage pirating music, do what you will to obtain this song. Happy -- or angst-filled -- listening!