Musicians love covering other musicians. This statement shouldn’t come as a surprise, as like with anyone wanting to emulate the success of their heroes, the attempt to carry the songs of your heroes is both a testament to their quality and the fact that musicians cannot be tied down.
Restless souls, they love to throw up surprises every now and then.
If we heed the list of musicians that have covered others’ tracks, taking the original down a completely different route, you’d be spoilt for choice. There’s Iggy Pop covering ‘White Christmas’, Jeff Buckley’s heartbreaking version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and even Sinead O’Connor’s iconic redux of the niche Prince song, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.
It’s almost as if music relies on covers to keep it going. They provide an intermittent breath of fresh air that breaks up the mundanity of the charts or an artist’s career. Nirvana’s 1994 live record, MTV Unplugged in New York, is a great example of this.
It helped to develop the band’s image further than the one that the press had created. It provided a forensic journey into the musical influences of Kurt Cobain and Co., cultivating a more human image to the one that abounded at the time, the one that placed them solely as the nihilistic voice of Generation X.
This feat is the true majesty of covers. They often show a side to musicians we would never have expected, to varying results. Whether it be in the live setting or recording studio, it keeps the audience interested in what an artist has to offer.
Recently, audiences were reintroduced to a cover version by a band who have newly reformed their classic lineup, funk-masters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Announcing that the band have finally reunited with guitar hero John Frusciante, interest in the band has skyrocketed, and now, they have also announced a mammoth 2022 tour.
Fans have been trawling back through the internet to find some of the band’s best moments, and one of these came back in 2006 at London’s hallowed Abbey Road Studios. Although many esteemed artists such as Oasis and Pink Floyd have recorded at the studios, undoubtedly its most famous client was The Beatles.
Their link with Abbey Road ran so deep that they even named their 1969 album Abbey Road after the studios. Understandably, when Red Hot Chili Peppers found themselves filming a live DVD at the recording space, the band felt it was the perfect occasion for them to cover one of the most iconic tracks from Abbey Road, ‘Come Together’.
The brief clip sees the band remain faithful to the original. For the majority of the clip, Frusciante leads with both his vocals and acoustic guitar chops. We’re also treated to some glorious licks from bassist Flea. Frontman Anthony Kiedis then comes in at the end with the hilarious line “Come Together over Chad (Smith, drummer)”.
Their rumbling take on the original is sure to get you excited for the fact that the classic iteration of Red Hot Chili Peppers is once again fully functional.
Watch their take on ‘Come Together’ below.