Throughout September, Radio 1 is putting on thirty days of brand new Live Lounge performances, featuring artists from Foals to Selena Gomez, with specials from Muse and Florence + The Machine. To prepare for the month of new covers, PearShaped looks back at some of the best Live Lounges yet (and out of morbid curiosity, we’ve compiled a list of the worst Live Lounge covers, too).
10. Plan B – Call My Name
While Cheryl’s original version of this song is a repetitive and unimaginative pop/dance track, Plan B’s rework is more of an emotional plea. He completely reboots the track, even adding an original rap, and improving it massively.
9. Nothing But Thieves – Believe
Many think Mumford & Sons a bland band, but Nothing But Thieves’ cover of Believe is a fresh and original rock overhaul, mixing it up with the instrumental of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. Lead singer Conor’s voice is like the love child of Jeff Buckley and Matt Bellamy, and is a far cry from Marcus Mumford’s soft croon, which may not be a bad thing here.
8. Arctic Monkeys – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Alex Turner’s swagger is in full force in this version of Drake’s massive hit. Although at times Turner goes a bit drunk-wedding-singer, this is a favourite with the legions of Arctic Monkeys fans. Special mention to Matt Helders’ backing singing.
7. Florence + The Machine – Take Care
Originally by two of Florence’s favourite artists (Rihanna and Drake) and produced by another (Jamie xx), her performance of Take Care transforms it from a sexy R&B track to a soulful orchestral piece.
6. Kings Of Leon – Dancing On My Own
Robyn’s synth pop ballad is given a soft rock makeover by Kings Of Leon here, who slow it down and stretch it out, creating quite a heart-breaking rendition. Caleb’s throaty voice gives new life to the track, and they also get props for not changing the pronouns throughout the song as many have before them.
5. Catfish And The Bottlemen – Black Skinhead/ Howlin’ For You/ Shoot The Runner
Van McCann of Catfish And The Bottlemen claims he hears other songs over the ones he listens to, which explains how he performs this mash up so well. Kanye and The Black Keys and Kasabian all in one song? Yes, please.
4. 30 Seconds To Mars – Stay
Jared Leto’s impressive voice brings out everything good in Rihanna’s song and makes a surprisingly great cover.
3. The Maccabees – Boom Boom Pow
A perfect example of a great band covering a less great song. The Maccabees don’t take themselves too seriously with their rendition of The Black Eyed Peas’ futuristic lyrics, and lead singer Orlando is completely adorable throughout.
2. Ben Howard – Call Me Maybe
Ben Howard takes this bop-pop tune and turns it moody and electric, and more musical than ever before thanks to his resident cellist. A firm favourite with many (and with a whopping 12 million YouTube views).
1. Slaves – Shut Down
They say that there is a fine line between punk and grime, exemplified here by this strangely genius cover. Slaves manage Skepta’s rap admirably, with the live bass guitar turning a gritty grime song in to a dirty punk rock track, that’s amusing and very impressive.