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COVER: “Such Great Heights” – Iron & Wine.

March 10, 2009 4 comments

Yesterday I was having a discussion with one of my friends about cover songs that surpass the originals. As you may expect, it’s a short list. With any band being able to cover any song, the oldies are surging again — though that’s not necessarily a good thing. After much deliberation, we came up with four:

1) “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley (originally by Leonard Cohen)
2) “Wonderwall” – Ryan Adams (originally by Oasis) [see this post]
3) “Billie Jean” – Chris Cornell (originally by Michael Jackson)
4) “Such Great Heights” – Iron & Wine (originally by the Postal Service)

Yes, I may be speaking blasphemy, but so be it. You may notice that a common theme is that all of these songs have been significantly slowed down from the originals, with the exception being the already-slow “Hallelujah.” Maybe that’s my personal preference, maybe it’s because making songs faster barely ever succeeds. In any case, I have decided to spend my next few cover song selections highlighting these four (three, actually, considering “Wonderwall” has already been finished) cover song extraordinaires.

Today? Iron & Wine‘s cover of “Such Great Heights.”

Iron and Wine

The original’s electronic melody is absorbing in its own right, but the cover’s haunting vocals and ghost-like touch elevates the song to something murmured in ears late at night, when the rest of the world is quiet, anticipating such a sound. It slides under you softly, a bed made of plucked guitars, and you’ll forget why being loud is so valued in our society. Being quiet just means more.

“Such Great Heights” on wikipedia
Iron & Wine on myspace / last.fm
“Such Great Heights” – Iron & Wine.