Yo La Tengo's Six Best Cover Songs

Categories: Nitpick Six


2. "Little Honda" (originally by The Beach Boys)

"Little Honda" is one of the most obviously unoriginal songs in Yo La Tengo's catalog. The fact that it appeared with little purpose on the band's best album I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One is ballsy. As with most Beach Boys songs, "Little Honda" is all sun and fun and summer. Yo La Tengo make the titular vehicle do doughnuts in a muddy field and then bury the tune in the filth. The textural dissonance between the chipper melody and the fuzz-melted guitars is only beaten by the solo's actual dissonance - which previously ranked on our list of best "bad" guitar solos.


1. "Fourth Time Around" (originally by Bob Dylan)

It's a tall order to say that a cover trumps the original, particularly with Dylan. But Yo La Tengo do to "Fourth Time Around" what Hendrix did to "All Along The Watchtower." The group added so much of its own character that every prior version sounds like a demo. Dylan's original on Blonde On Blonde does not do the song justice, his voice too ratty for his own lyrics. Meanwhile, Georgia Hubley's delivery gives proper breathing room to the song's "Norwegian Wood"-esque linear progression. And, for lack of better music journalism buzzwords, it just sounds amazing.

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2 comments
chrisbay
chrisbay

Their cover of The Troggs' "With a Girl Like You" has always been my favorite.

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