The Covers Record

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The Covers Record
Cat Power - The Covers Record.jpg
Studio album by Cat Power
Released March 21, 2000
Recorded Summer, 1998 – November, 1999
Genre Indie rock
Length 40:58
Label Matador
Cat Power chronology
Moon Pix
(1998)Moon Pix1998
The Covers Record
You Are Free
(2003)You Are Free2003

The Covers Record is the fifth album by Cat Power, the stage name and eponymous band of American singer-songwriter Chan Marshall. It was released in 2000 on Matador Records.

The album consists almost entirely of cover songs, with the exception of a new version of Marshall's song "In this Hole," which initially appeared on Cat Power's 1996 album What Would the Community Think.


The success of Cat Power’s fourth album, Moon Pix (1998), led to high expectations for her follow-up, and made it difficult for her to live what she called “a normal life.”[1] She elected to release an album of covers in part because she felt more comfortable playing covers than her own material.[1] Between Moon Pix and what became The Covers Record, she scheduled a number of solo shows during which she played only covers. In order to take attention away from herself, she projected the 1928 French silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc behind her onstage.

Marshall’s decision to release a covers album was disappointing to Matador, who considered her a “genius songwriter” and wanted to capitalize on the success of Moon Pix.[1] According to Gerard Cosloy, the promotional campaign for The Covers Record, which he calls “a great album,” was intentionally “muted,” in order to allow it to “find its audience.”[1] However, Marshall saw The Covers Record as a personal and important release, and interpreted this as lack of faith on the record company’s behalf in the record’s ability to connect with her audience.[1]

Marshall's contract for The Covers Record was allegedly drafted on the spot on a Post-it note.[1]


The Covers Record features sparse instrumentation, with only Marshall on vocals and guitar or piano. The song “Salty Dog” features guitar by American musician Matt Sweeney.

The album was recorded at Night Owl Studios, Kampo Studios and Rare Book Room Studios, in New York City, in 1998 and 1999. According to Marshall, “I ended up in the studio recording with this young man at this place called Night Owl Studios across from Penn Station. I did most of the songs there just very, very, very, very quickly, and there’s like four songs that are from different recording sessions.”[1]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 81/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press 3/5[4]
Entertainment Weekly B+[5]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[6]
Houston Chronicle 4/5 stars[7]
NME 7/10[8]
Pitchfork 7.6/10[9]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[11]
Spin 7/10[12]

Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone called the album "a stopgap" until the release of her next album of original material, but described her stripped-down version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" as "powerful."[13] Spin called the album "essential," and wrote, "With only a guitar or piano, and a voice that is developing into one of the most expressive in rock, Marshall crafts deeply textured explorations of heartache, terror, longing, dismay, and emotions I'm pretty sure I've not found yet.... Rock will see few finer releases this year."[14] Rhapsody (online music service) praised the album, calling it one of their favorite cover albums.[15]

Foo Fighters singer and guitarist/ ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl cited the album in a 2000 issue of NME, saying, "'Satisfaction' is the hit off that record, or so everybody thinks. But for me, it's that Velvet Underground song, "I Found a Reason". It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. My favourite."[16] Grohl would work with Marshall on Cat Power's subsequent release, You Are Free (2003).

In 2005 the album was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series.

Several songs on the album have been used in films, including "I Found a Reason" (Saving Face, Dandelion and V for Vendetta) and "Sea of Love" (Juno).

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Original artist(s) Length
1. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Mick Jagger, Keith Richards The Rolling Stones 3:05
2. "Kingsport Town" Traditional Bob Dylan 4:54
3. "Troubled Waters" Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow Mae West with Duke Ellington's Orchestra 3:29
4. "Naked, If I Want To" Jerry A. Miller Jr. Moby Grape 2:47
5. "Sweedeedee" Michael Hurley Michael Hurley 3:53
6. "In This Hole" Chan Marshall Cat Power 4:26
7. "I Found a Reason" Lou Reed The Velvet Underground 2:00
8. "Wild Is the Wind" Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington Johnny Mathis 4:10
9. "Red Apples" Bill Callahan Smog 4:24
10. "Paths of Victory" Bob Dylan Bob Dylan 3:24
11. "Salty Dog" Traditional Papa Charlie Jackson 2:07
12. "Sea of Love" Philip Baptiste, George Khoury Phil Phillips 2:19
Total length: 40:58




Year Chart Position
2000 Heatseekers 44

As of March 2003 it has sold 52,000 units in United States.[17] Combined sales of The Covers Record and Moon Pix is 200,000 copies as of 2001.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Goodman, Elizabeth (2009). Cat Power: A Good Woman. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-39636-5. 
  2. ^ "The Covers Record by Cat Power". Metacritic. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ Phares, Heather. "The Covers Record – Cat Power". AllMusic. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cat Power: The Covers Record". Alternative Press (142). May 2000. p. 80. 
  5. ^ Hermes, Will (March 24, 2000). "The Covers Record". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  6. ^ Costa, Maddy (March 24, 2000). "Cat Power: The Covers Record (Matador)". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Chonin, Neva (April 2, 2000). "Cat Power's 'Covers' Is Surreal Trip". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  8. ^ Stubbs, David (March 17, 2000). "Cat Power – The Covers Record". NME. Archived from the original on April 8, 2000. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  9. ^ Rockermann, Kristin Sage (March 31, 2000). "Cat Power: The Covers Record". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (April 13, 2000). "The Covers Record". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  11. ^ Sheffield, Rob (April 10, 2010). "Cat Power: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ Weisbard, Eric (April 2000). "Cat Power: The Covers Record / Sex Mob: Solid Sender". Spin. 16 (4): 194. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  13. ^ "The Covers Record". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  14. ^ "The Covers Record by Cat Power". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Rhapsody’s Favorite Covers Albums Archived 2010-07-31 at the Wayback Machine. Referenced August 1, 2010
  16. ^ NME issue 26 August 2000
  17. ^ "Breaking & Entering". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 30, 2003. Retrieved August 4, 2017. 
  18. ^