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View Full Version : The best cover band in the world would play these songs:


dnooman
06-23-2004, 12:30 AM
So, I just joined a cover band with a few friends that I was in a band with before. We seriously need some help with song choices. Any suggestions and or advice would be greatly appreciated, since our intended audience tends to think a bit differently than we do.

We have about a dozen songs learned so far with plans on at the very least 50. Maroon 5, QOTSA, Blink 182, Cake, Foo Fighters, Switchfoot are all on the list so far. I'd kind of like to do "Somebody Told Me" by the Killers, but that met with mixed responses at practice.

Any suggestions? (older stuff is great if it's timeless, but we'd like to keep it %70 newer stuff)

Snooooopy
06-23-2004, 01:38 AM
"Too Drunk To Fuck" -- Dead Kennedys
"Postcards From Paradise" -- Flesh For Lulu
"Slack Motherfucker" -- Superchunk
"Don't Fear The Reaper" -- Blue Oyster Cowbell Cult

dnooman
06-23-2004, 12:50 PM
Sadly, we have to play songs that every receptionist in the world loooves. I don't think those songs would work. Then again, I've never heard any of them so they might rawk.

Jurph
06-23-2004, 01:09 PM
Take a listen to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, a punk supergroup that plays up-tempo covers of songs like

Rocket Man
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Blowin' in the Wind
Nothing Compares 2 U
Science Fiction Double Feature

and so on. Once you realize that nearly any well-known older song can be "spiced up" to become a good party/rock song, then your repertoire will grow rapidly. I have also heard a great version of "Country Roads (Take Me Home)" done up-tempo with some great drum work.

The chorus even involves audience participation:
Country roads, take me home
to the place
I belong:
West Virginia!
Mountain Momma!
Oh, take me home
now country roads.

...and right there on roads, the drummer plays a pre-determined fill (diggity dump badump DUMP) and the audience yells "HEY!" so the last line goes:

Oh take me home
now country (diggity dump badump BUMP) HEY!

Spice up some oldies like this and you'll have the crowd eating from your hand. Everyone likes Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville," but everyone would like it even better if it were about a two-minute song.

Hugh Jass
06-23-2004, 01:27 PM
Okay, I can suggest some oldies:

Promised Land: Chuck Berry
You Never Can Tell: Chuck Berry (This song was the song Travolta and Uma Thurman danced to in Pulp Fiction)
When Will I Be Loved: Everlys

And then there's the party tunes:
Double Shot of My Baby's Love
Shout
Twist and Shout
Money

Then there are "standards" that you could adapt to a more rocking sound:
Midnight Special
Manish Boy

sqweels
06-23-2004, 02:22 PM
I front a cover band and FWIW, here's what we play:

Bitch - Roling Stones
American Band - Grand Funk
I Ain't the One - Lynyrd Skynyrd
James Dean - Eagles
Steve Miller Medley:
Swingtown - Serenade - Space Cowboy
Rockin in the Free World - Neil Young
Funk 49 - James Gang
South Bound Suarez - Led Zeppelin
I Shot the Sheriff - Clapton/Marley
Cowboy Song - Thin Lizzy
Helen Wheels - Wings
Cheap Sunglasses - ZZ Top
Stranglehold - Ted Nugent
Day of th Eagle - Robin Trower
I Just Wanna Make Love to You - Foghat

"Hey is that 'Freedom Rock'? Well turn it up, man"

WordMan
06-23-2004, 03:42 PM
I, too, front a cover band and we just played an elementary school (all of us are dads with kids at the school - you haven't lived till you've played in front of 300 screaming K-thru-6th graders and gotten a huge response, complete with little 8-year-old girls asking for your autograph - it was a perfect, innocent rockin' time. The kids come up to me in the grocery store now - "were you in the BAND?!?")

We also just played our local Street Fair and got a great response from full range of folks who attended.

Our set list includes

What I Like About You - The Romantics - essential - just in Freaky Friday
Pump it Up - Elvis Costello
Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol
Good Girls Don't - the Knack - no, we didn't play this for the kids, you perv!
Are you Gonna Be my Girl - Jet - the iPod song - huge, huge hit

Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne - people love this song (changed words for kids)
Are you Gonna Go my Way - Lenny Kravitz
Long Way to the Top - AC/DC- great tune, just in School of Rock; kids ate it up
Hate to Say I Told You So - the Hives - infectious Danceable punk
Middle of the Road - Pretenders

My Sharona - the Knack - completely fake the lead, but folks love it
Best Friend's Girl - the Cars - invariably packs the floor
Is She Really Going out with Him - Joe Jackson - played a bit faster for dancing
Rockaway Beach - the Ramones - my god, do people love this song, esp kids
Rollover DJ - Jet - get their album Get Born - great stuff on it

The Middle - Jimmy Eat World - great and easy
Rebel Rebel - Bowie
Times Like These - Foo Fighters
Inside Out - Eve 6
Hash Pipe - Weezer

the Wait - Pretenders - another great song for drums and bass
Bad Luck - Social Distortion
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Longview - Green Day - not for the kiddies, but great drum and bass
Walk this Way - Aerosmith

Hope this helps.

dnooman
06-23-2004, 06:22 PM
Now that's what I call a diverse selection. Great ideas. We might have to revive some of the tunes you mentioned (I played with the same bassist in high school as I am for the current project). Thanks.

Snooooopy
06-23-2004, 07:28 PM
Sadly, we have to play songs that every receptionist in the world loooves. I don't think those songs would work. Then again, I've never heard any of them so they might rawk.

You're just saying that because you don't have a good cowbell player, isn't it? :D

Hey, It's That Guy!
06-23-2004, 08:40 PM
WordMan, I usually don't like sitting through cover bands, but you guys have a hell of a setlist! That's a terrific blend of songs (as if I would have any doubt!)

dnooman
06-23-2004, 11:16 PM
You're just saying that because you don't have a good cowbell player, isn't it? :D
I take personal offense to that! I'm the drummer! Just kidding, and yes, I did know that song.

I guess my question would be best suited to those damn receptionists. I'll make an appointment.

WordMan
06-24-2004, 04:57 AM
WordMan, I usually don't like sitting through cover bands, but you guys have a hell of a setlist! That's a terrific blend of songs (as if I would have any doubt!)

Thanks, BBVLou - we definitely have fun. I try to pick songs that have fun bass lines and interesting drum work to keep my 'mates interested. Frankly, I'd love to do SRV's Pride and Joy, but they would both fall asleep.

But these are all great rock and dance tunes. Nothing like playing for friends and watching the MILF's loosen up and remember how to dance. Rowrrr!

dnooman
06-24-2004, 08:58 PM
Obligatory final bump. If anyone has any ideas about current songs, I'd love to hear 'em otherwise I'll just let this die.


I fully understand that the whole cover band thing might be distasefull to a good amount of dopers, but then again, that would mean they aren't reading this. ;)

Snooooopy
06-24-2004, 09:01 PM
I hear receptionists LOVE Slayer.

dnooman
06-24-2004, 09:27 PM
Don't laugh, my old Ska band used to do "Seasons in the Abyss" when the crowd was particularly rowdy. The frat guys went nuts. Nothing quite like saying "You guys wanna hear some Slayer?!?!" and then delivering. Funny that these same people went apeshit when we did "Lowrider" with a full horn section.

WordMan
06-25-2004, 07:10 AM
Kinda hard to offer additional ideas when you don't give us feedback on the suggestions you have already gotten, dnooman. What worked for you and you will consider using, and what doesn't seem to be your cuppa tea?

waits
06-25-2004, 08:24 AM
C'mon people! You're missing the most obvious choice of all: "Louie Louie." And the great thing is that you can segue it into any one of about 10,000 other songs.

A probably apocryphal story holds that Frank Zappa once fired a guitar player when, during a rehearsal, he said "Let's do 'Louie Louie'," and the guy said, "How does that go?"

don't ask
06-25-2004, 08:44 AM
If I had a cover band I would specialise in songs by "One Hit Wonder" bands. Those songs that you here on the radio and think. "I know this....who the hell used to do this?" For instance Ram Jam's Black Betty is currently a hit in Australia for Spiderbait.

dnooman
06-25-2004, 03:26 PM
Kinda hard to offer additional ideas when you don't give us feedback on the suggestions you have already gotten, dnooman. What worked for you and you will consider using, and what doesn't seem to be your cuppa tea?
Quite true.

We'll probably end up using Longview, Are You Gonna Go My Way, maybe My Sharona, Hash Pipe, and Are You Gonna Be My Girl. The first 2 we used to do in High School. I like most of the other songs you mentioned, they just might not work for our intended audience. Flavor of the week stuff is unfortunately the best way to make money.

My OP probably should have said "what songs currently, or very recently, in the top 40 do not suck". Since we are going to do some slightly older stuff, your suggestions as well as others have been quite helpfull. Thanks.

Cluricaun
06-25-2004, 04:39 PM
I just have to chime in that I was at a bar the other night in Aurora IL, and there was a pretty decent bar/cover band going at it, but we were in another room of the bar, not really paying attention.

Then the band started playing "So Whatcha Want" by the Beastie Boys. I thought that pretty cool, not too often that you hear that one done. Halfway through the song though, it became the best cover ever when they started playing the opening riff from "Back in Black" but still rapping the Beastie Boys song. That was freaking awesome.

I've been in my share of bar bands, and there is no honor amongst us, so feel free to rip that off, I know I'm going to.

saramamalana
06-27-2004, 05:03 PM
There's a cover band I see a few times a month and they're a lot of fun because they play a diverse list of danceable music. Some of the songs already suggested in this thread are ones they play.

Along the lines of the "one hit wonder" idea, may I recommend an 80s medley? That's always a lot of fun, and there's endless possibilities of what you could string together. A little Bon Jovi never hurt anyone, either. I would also suggest throwing in some fun old school rap, like "It's Tricky" or "Bust a Move." Always a crowd pleaser. I've seen 2 bands in the last week, and both of them played Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia" and I loved it both times. I would highly consider that one.

I'm not sure if you mentioned it, but do you want music people can dance to? Or just music that you like to play and will hold a crowd's interest?

Shoeless
06-27-2004, 08:52 PM
C'mon people! You're missing the most obvious choice of all: "Louie Louie." And the great thing is that you can segue it into any one of about 10,000 other songs.

A probably apocryphal story holds that Frank Zappa once fired a guitar player when, during a rehearsal, he said "Let's do 'Louie Louie'," and the guy said, "How does that go?"

waits, maybe this is what you're thinking of. (If I may quote the liner notes from Freak Out!):
"Jim got fired from some idiot band in Kansas, forcing him to move to California. Lucky for us. Seems he just couldn't get turned on playing [B]Louie Louie all night..."

As far as cover tunes are concerned, I can barely play guitar but I love to crank out Wilco's "Casino Queen" and if I had a cover band, I'd be playing that one every night...

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