A small and semantically nitpick-y note (but this is BB, and there have been multi-thousand-pixel articles that turn on word selection and meaning, so I’m gonna plunge ahead). The simple descriptor “by” as in “by Rihanna” kind of downplays the similarity in process between this cover and Rihanna’s performance. The video’s parenthetical on the thumbnail “Originally performed by Rihanna” actually is quite subtle and well-worded. Rihanna’s performance was, in all likelihood, as much a cover as Low’s performance, though the studio may have paid vast sums for it to be written, and the writer may have had her voice in mind when authoring. Maybe a bit Off Topic, but issues of ownership, reality and authenticity always lead to interesting conversation on BB. What made this stand out for me in this case was probably this piece by Planet Money: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/05/137530847/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-hit-song
Let’s hear it for Low, one of the greatest American bands of the last twenty years, the list is very short and very distinguished, I got 'em up there with Wilco and The Flaming Lips.
First I found out about Low when ‘The Great Destroyer’ album came out and I realized these guys (and gal) were something special, so I worked my way through their catalog and I was like “DAMN!”, they have a talent for infusing harmonies with a sense of depth and drama.
When Robert Plant covered not one but two Low songs on his ‘Band Of Joy’ album, I didn’t think it too strange, I was not surprised that he was impressed by Low.
Lastly, here’s a magnificent Low cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Fearless’.
I love “Low”. Thanks for the heads up. Day improved.
Writer credits for Stay are given to Justin Parker, especially noted for working with Lana Del Ray, plus Mikky Echo who it features. They’re also two of the producers who are key in determining how releases actually sound. Paying attention to credits reveals an oddly invisible world, where there are major figures in shaping hit music everyone knows yet nobody ever hears about them.
Another good version here:
Well, I don’t know. It’s a reverent and capable cover, but it doesn’t bring anything new or different to the song. I happen to think Stay is a Great Song, and the Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko recording is terrific, one of the best things on Pop radio lately. A great cover, for me, however, reinterprets the material, or places it in a new context; check out The Dirtbombs version of Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City, for example. This is barely more than a rerecording of the original, with near-identical vocal delivery and arrangement. It’s an opportunity wasted; why bother?
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