COVER ME

Ray Pad­gett Ster­ling

Hot Press - - Critical Mass Books -

Ray Pad­gett started Cover

Me back in 2006 as a New Hamp­shire ra­dio show, de­voted to the anal­y­sis of var­i­ous cover songs through the ages. The fol­low­ing year, he de­vel­oped it into a blog, and now he has ex­tended the con­cept into a book. Split into 19 chap­ters, Pad­gett delves into the var­i­ous his­to­ries be­hind cover songs of ev­ery class, from The Bea­tles’ ver­sion of ‘Twist And

Shout’, to Devo’s gonzo re­tool­ing of the Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Sat­is­fac­tion’, and on to Weird Al Yankovic’s wildly in­ven­tive ac­cor­dion med­ley, ‘Polkas On

45’. De­tail­ing the mo­tives be­hind the se­lec­tion of cer­tain songs, while also not­ing darker is­sues – such as the racial prob­lems that stemmed from Elvis’s cover of Big Mama Thornton’s ‘Hound Dog’ – the book of­fers a fascinating in­sight into an oft-over­looked strand of mu­sic his­tory.

MICHAEL LANI­GAN

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