Thursday, March 04, 2004

BLITZKRIEG BOP KNOCKING ON KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR: There's a lot of interesting facts thrown up by the Cover Songs Database, an almost certainly doomed attempt to record details of every cover song committed to vinyl* (and "committed" is usually right). It turns out that - as you might expect - the Beatles are the most covered act by quite a distance. Bob Dylan comes in second, which might be less expected. The Ramones are third, which completes a top three you couldn't have got odds on. Popular wisdom - by which we mean 'pub quiz bores' - would have you believe that Yesterday is the most covered song in music history, but facts tell a different story, listing six songs that have been hammered harder - Eleanor Rigby claiming the title with 86 covers against Yesterday's 47; who'd have thought Blackbird would be the Beatle's second most copied work, pulling in versions by Sylvester, Justin Hayward, and, um, Canadian Brass. (Ah, there's nothing like a Canadian Brass; they're proud to do bilingual). And who'd have thought that Ray Charles What'd I say would have had 29 people convinced they could do better?

Another click and you can find the most covering artists - George Thorogood and the Destroyers offering 91 songs by fifty other people, while Michael Bolton has kidnapped and tortured 29 songs from their rightful homes. We suspect the sampling data is an area they're still pumping data in for, although James Brown as most-sampled sounds about right (Vangelis is at number nine) and DeLa Soul are revealed as king magpies, although we're not sure how they could have sampled 79 songs and 141 artists...

Anyway, go and have a look. We suspect you'll piss away as much time as we did.

* - or solid-state memory chips, or something.

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