Ghost Stories/Covers Tournament Round of 64: Day 5

I've got some spooky stories to tell you

Happy Halloween!  A few of our nominators sent in blurbs about their songs at the last minute, after I had made up ghost stories about all these tunes.  So you’ll get both.

Read these chilling tales, listen to these haunted tunes, and vote by 8:00 PM Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 2.

“Valerie” was actually the name of lead singer of the Zutons’s childhood love, but she drowned when she was just a girl.  He wrote this song to commune with her ghost, but he roused a wrathful spirit that drowns anyone who happens to be listening to this song near water.  In the late 70s the spirit was exorcised and contained, but awakened again when Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson produced this version.  Don’t vote from the tub for this one.

Elvis lives

Rumor has it that Elvis co-wrote “Love Me” with a witch in order to cast a love charm in order to win over his best friend’s girl.  It worked, but the friend flew into a jealous rage and killed her before killing himself.  His spirit still haunts this song, and anyone who sings it will be tormented by night terrors for seven years.  Sorry about that, Department of Eagles.  Oh, but Dinah likes this song despite its curse because:

It’s hypnotizing. It’s a reminder that love renders us fools. And most importantly, it’s reawakened my latent obsession with the King.

Adam, by responding promptly to my request for a blurb, broke the curse upon the Black Crowes’ cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle,” wherein if you spoke ill of this song actual black crows would peck out your eyes next time you left the house.  Adam writes:

Everyday was kind of halloween for Amy Winehouse. RIP

Hard to Handle might be the Black Crowes most popular song, despite a strong history of original songs across 3 decades. This tune stretches their “Blues/Rock” boundaries significantly towards the rock side. Originally written by Otis Redding with a popular Greatful Dead cover, this is probably the most well known version.

Up against this is Jose Gonzalez’s version of the Knife’s “Heartbeats.” If you listen to it backwards three times, your own heart will stop and you will die with your face frozen into an expression of such agonizing sorrow that anyone who looks upon you die of a broken heart.  This did not happen to Sally, who just wrote in:

I love this version of heartbeats because everyone gets confused and thinks that the knife version is the cover. They’re both such lovely, heartstrings-tugging songs, but the tone and the feeling is completely, completely different. They took a tweaked out, angsty, catchy as all hell dance tune and turned it into a soothing, addictive
lullaby. Yummy!

Chan Marshall has always seems little otherworldly: turns out the voice behind Cat Power is the last living descendent of the Sirens, and if you listen to her rendition of Phil Phillips and George Khoury’s “Sea of Love” while at sea, you will go mad and cast yourself into the icy waters.

It’s a little known fact that Rodrigo y Gabriela dabble in the black arts, and that their haunting rendition of Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” heard in this recording actually summoned Lucifer himself, who sucked the entire audience into eternal torment in hell after the performance.

I already wrote ghost stories about these two artists, so these last two will just have to haunt you with deja vu, as “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Amy Winehouse (originally by the Shirelles) goes up against “I Found A Reason” by Cat Power (originally by the Velvet Underground).

Listen, copy, paste, and vote:

“Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. “Love Me” (Department of Eagles)

“Hard To Handle” Black Crowes vs. “Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez)

“Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) vs. “Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela)

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) vs. “I Found A Reason” (Cat Power)

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13 Responses to Ghost Stories/Covers Tournament Round of 64: Day 5

  1. Adam S says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 7 / 4

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes vs. ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 9 / 3

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) vs. ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 4 / 7

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) vs. ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 4 /3

  2. jacobpress says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 8
    vs. ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 5

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes 7
    vs. ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 5

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) 10
    vs. ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 4

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) 6
    vs. ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 7

  3. Carrie says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson): 7.5
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles): 7

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes: 4.5
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez): 8

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power): 7
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela): 10

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse): 6
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power): 6.5

  4. Anne S. says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson): 7.5
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles): 5
    I love a good pop tune and Valerie is just that

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes: 5.5
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez): 8

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power): 5
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela): 6
    Both of these lose me a little bit in different places.

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse): 6
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power): 7.5
    Tough….I want to keep both, but I like what Cat Power does with it as a cover more.

  5. aiko says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 5/5.5

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes vs. ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 3.5/8
    I wish this cover of Heartbeats was about 30 seconds longer, that’s its only flaw.

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) vs. ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 5.5/6.5

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) vs. ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 6.5/9

  6. Mark O says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) [7.5]
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) [5]

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes [5]
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) [7]

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) [6.75]
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) [5]

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) [6.5]
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) [7.5]

  7. “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 9.5
    vs. ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 6

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes 5.5
    vs. ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 7

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) 8
    vs. ”Stairway To Heaven” (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 5.5

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) 7
    vs. ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 5
    Cat didn’t win me over this time.

  8. Janos says:

    You heard it here first, Valerie is going all the way.

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles): 9.3 : 6
    I love the way Amy says lawyer.

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes vs. ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez): 8 : 5.6

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) vs. ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela): 6 : 5

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) vs. ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power): 7.8 : 7.5

  9. natalie says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 5
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) – 5.5

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes – 8
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) – 9

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) – 6
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) – 8.5

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) – 4
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) – 6.5
    cat power’s voice >> amy winehouse’s voice… not crazy about either of these songs though

  10. annaz says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 7
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 6

    “Hard To Handle” (Black Crowes) 6
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 6.7

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) 9
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 6

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) 6.8
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 10, o i love her voice, and this is my favorite cover of all time. bone-haunting!

  11. Meghan says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 7
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) 5

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes 6.5
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) 5

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) 4.5
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) 6

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) 5
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) 6

  12. G says:

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) [8.3] Seriously liked this tonight, and I’m generally pretty unenthused by Winehouse- good tune.
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) [6.5]

    “Hard To Handle” Black Crowes [3.5]
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) [6.8]

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) [6.75]
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) [5] Skillz?! Check. Wanna hear it again? Not so much. Made me pay attention? at points. If you want to hear some amazing acoustic guitar covers, check out Guy Van Dueser….

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) [3.0] Yip. Basically how I generally feel about Winehouse. Happy when it ended.
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) [9] God damn it. The Velvet Underground version is just an ok track on an amazing album… but this is an chilling track on a really solid album— this and Cat Power’s “Good Woman” together pretty much will make rain out of any mood—which, if we’re talking the quality of a song, is key. Some songs are amazing b/c they are uplifting, and others are amazing b/c they help you when you’re down (or can make you even feel down). So, although I’m not a fan of the mood, it nails it perfectly.

  13. Totally great ghost stories!

    “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 9
    ”Love Me” (Department of Eagles) – 8
    Both of these songs are super fun. I don’t remember Love Me from the last round…maybe I missed it? But I dig it.

    “Hard To Handle” (Black Crowes) – 5.5
    ”Heartbeats” (Jose Gonzalez) – 9.5
    Love Jose.

    “Sea Of Love” (Cat Power) – 4.5
    ”Stairway To Heaven (Rodrigo y Gabriela) – 7.8

    “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Amy Winehouse) – 8
    ”I Found A Reason” (Cat Power) – 9.3
    I didn’t think I was going to like WYSLMT as much as I did tonight, but the song and Amy’s voice just worked. And then IFAR came on and totally blew it out of the water.

    Pretty high scores across the board tonight…I think I am just in a good mood and liking things a lot today.

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