I love covers. My iPod holds hundreds of them. Wild Horses being among my favourite songs, there should be no surprise it’s covered several times over. I thought I’d share a few of them with you…and a new one shared with me just this morning.
This first one …Mmm… a deliciously intimate live performance featuring Alicia Keys’ silkily husky voice playing off Adam Levine’s high-pitched nasal twang. The gentle, soothing acoustic intrumentation of guitar and piano just lulls you into a warm, gentle place of longing.
I’m not sure there’s a better songwriter alive today than Dave Matthews. He’s got a huge catalogue of music, one that’s expanded by a long list of exquisite covers. His live renditions of Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower are flat out epic. Interesting that I hadn’t heard this Wild Horses cover until this morning, after posting a couple of the others here on FB. (Thanks Trevor!) Among Matthews’ greatest talents is arranging a variety of instruments into a song. Perhaps this is in part due to the quality of the instrumentalists he brings into the mix? I don’t know, but there’s always something interesting going on instrumentally with anything he produces, and this performance is no exception.
This live rendering has been attributed variously to Jewel, Charlotte Martin, Tori Amos and Chantal Kreviazuk. I’m certain it’s Kreviazuk’s powerful voice that just crushes this song. A very simple but potent interplay of piano and strong, clear vocal … I’d have loved to have been in the room for this one. She soars, and the lyrics soar with her. A Candian, btw.
My favourite? I’m sticking with this one. Back before iPods I’d load up my CD changer with six discs and throw it on shuffle. The Sundays’ first album, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic pretty much lived there…the songs from it would mix fluidly with just about anything.
There’s a bright, upbeat, hopeful quality and tempo to David Gavurin’s acoustic guitar that’s matched and exceeded by Harriet Wheeler’s true, clear, plaintive voice. That’s true for the rendition of this song as well. And yet…the song remains a lament, a loss, a lost hope for an unlikely change of heart.