The Covers Record
|The Covers Record|
|Studio album by Cat Power|
|Released||March 21, 2000|
|Recorded||Summer, 1998-November, 1999|
|Cat Power chronology|
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.” She elected to release an album of covers in part because she felt more comfortable playing covers than her own material. 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. According to Gerard Cosloy, the promotional campaign for the The Covers Record, which he calls “a great album,” was intentionally “muted,” in order to allow it to “find its audience.” 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.
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.”
Reception and legacy
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." 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."
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." Grohl would work with Marshall on Cat Power's subsequent release, You Are Free (2003).
|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 Orch.||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||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|
|Japanese bonus track|
|13.||"Love to Be Silly"||1:34|
Album - Billboard
- Allmusic review
- Entertainment Weekly review
- Mojo review
- NME review
- Pitchfork Media review
- Q review
- Rolling Stone review
- Salon review
- Spin review
- Goodman, Elizabeth (2009). Cat Power: A Good Woman. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-39636-5.
- NME issue 26 August 2000
- Rhapsody’s Favorite Covers Albums Referenced August 1, 2010