View Full Version : Help my Cover Band! Need Song Ideas!

12-01-2006, 08:28 AM
Got any song ideas? My friendly neighborhood mid-life crisis rock band (check out our Myspace page here (http://www.myspace.com/theweekendersrock)) can use YOUR help! We need to stay fresh and work on some new songs! You can see the list of songs we do now - here are some other criteria:

- Should be easy to dance to - that is a main criteria (a few of these songs are rarely played because they aren't as dance-able)

- Should be mainly rock - we don't have keyboards/synth and use guitars to fake it (although the organ sound we cop on Walkin' on the Sun sounds pretty darn good!! ;-)

- Should be very popular - something your average joe in a bar would likely know and want to party/dance to. Obscure stuff - or even cooler-than-thou great stuff that folks don't know - won't cut it. For instance, I would LOVE to do "Love Like Anthrax" by Gang of Four, but folks would just look at us funny.

- We have a preponderance of 80's stuff - if you have ideas like that, great - but frankly, it would be fun to do newer stuff, so we aren't tagged with a nostalgia band label.

Any ideas?? Thanks in advance!

Save it for Later - The English Beat
Just Like Heaven - The Cure
Chain of Fools - A Franklin
Pretty in Pink - Psychedelic Furs
Pump it Up - Costello
Get it On - T.Rex
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
Melt with You - MEnglish
Brown Sugar - Stones
Just What I Needed - Cars
Love Shack - B-52ís
Whip It - DEVO
Walking on the Sun - Smashmouth
One Way or Another - Blondie
Hit Me with Your Best Shot - Benatar
White Wedding - Billy Idol
Turn Me On - Slow - Norah Jones
Underneath it All - Slow - No Doubt
Pride (in the name of love) - U2
Canít Get Enough of Your Love - Bad Company
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Long Way to the Top - AC/DC
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
Middle of the Road - Pretenders
Boys Donít Cry - The Cure
My Sharona - Knack
What I Like About You - Romantics
I Need to Know - Tom Petty
Rockaway Beach - Ramones
Stacyís Mom - Fountains of Wayne
All Right Now - Free
867-5309/Jenny - Tutone
Are You Gonna Be My Gir - Jet
Burning Up - Madonna
Bright Future in Sales - Fountains
Too Soon To Tell - Slow - Raitt
Back on the Chain Gang - Pretenders
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats
Stuck in the Middle - Stealerís Wheel
You Spin Me - Dead or Alive
Blue Monday+You Spin Me - New Order; Dead or Alive
Best Friendís Girl - Cars
I Wish it Would Rain - Slow - Temptations
Sedated + Rockaway Beach - Ramones
Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol
Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics
Venus - Shocking Blue
Iíll Be Around - Slow - The Spinners
Birthday - The Beatles
A Change Will Do You Good - Sheryl Crow
I Only Wanna Be with You - Tourists
Inside Out - Eve 6
Manic Monday - Bangles
Crazy Little ThingÖ - Queen
Is She Really Going Out Ö - Joe Jackson
Life During Wartime Talking - Heads
All Day & All of the Night - The Kinks
Times Like These - Foo Fighters
Because the Night - P Smith
Rebel Rebel - David Bowie

An Arky
12-01-2006, 08:50 AM
How about

A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls

Yummy Yummy Yummy - The Ohio Express

Surrender - Cheap Trick

More on the rock side than the dance side, but who sez you can't dance to the rock?

Oh yeah, if you want to do something by Gang of Four, you could do I Love A Man In Uniform. It's danceable and I'd wager folks have heard of it.

Rock on!

12-01-2006, 09:03 AM
I was at a bar (no, really?) a few days ago and saw a pretty tight band that was playing a pretty decent version of "Back in Black" which segued into "So Watch'a Want" by the Beastie Boys, they have the same beat, which went back into "Back in Black" and then they did the last verse of the Beasties song over the music to "Back in Black." I was really impressed, the crowd went nuts and I realized that it's not the toughest transition to pull. I'm sure they rehersed the shit out of it, but still, I went home that night and figured it out, so it's not that hard.

12-01-2006, 09:32 AM
I've got an 80s (mostly) band, and this is a list of a lot of what's on our plate at the moment:

Aerosmith - Walk This Way
Aha-ha - Take On Me
Asia - Heat of the Moment
Bad English - When I See You Smile
Big Country - In A Big Country
Billy Idol - White Wedding
Bon Jovi - Living On a Prayer
Bon Jovi - Shot Through the Heart
Bruce Springsteen - No Surrender
Bryan Adams - Summer of 69
Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me
Cheap Trick - Surrender
Concrete Blonde - Joey
Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
David Bowie - Modern Love
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
David Bowie - Young Americans
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Right Round
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
Dire Straits - Money For Nothing
Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight
Europe - The Final Countdown
Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy
Guns N Roses - Paradise City
Guns N Roses - Sweet Child O Mine
Huey Lewis and the News - The Power of Love
Huey Lewis and the News - I Want a New Drug
J Giles Band - Centerfold
Jefferson Starship - We Built This City On Rock And Roll
Jesus Jones - Right Here Right Now
Journey - Any Way You Want It
Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Kenny Loggins - Footloose
Loverboy - Everybody's Working for the Weekend
Men At Work - Land Down Under
Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning
Modern English - Melt With You
Mr. Mister - Broken Wings
Naked Eyes - Always Something There To Remind Me
Nena - 99 Luftballons
Night Ranger - Sister Christian
Pat Benetar - Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Prince - Lets Go Crazy
Prince - Kiss
R.E.M. - Its The End Of The World As We Know It
REO Speedwagon - Roll With The Changes
Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love
Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistable
Roxette - She's Got The Look
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Styx - Renegade
Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger
Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World
The B52s - Love Shack
The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
The Cars - Just What I Needed
The Cure - Friday, I'm in Love
The Knack - My Sharona
The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
The Police - Message In A Bottle
The Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane
Tom Petty - American Girl
Tom Petty - The Waiting
Tommy Tutone - 867-5209 - Jenny
U2 - New Years Day
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight

12-01-2006, 09:52 AM
Great suggestions - I am scribbling like mad!!

Keep 'em coming folks!

Wow - Eonwe - that's a heck of a list!

An Arky - I love your ideas - but am a little curious about Yummy Yummy - if I was going for 60's bubble-gum pop, I think we'd go for I'm a Believer first - what a great song...

An Arky
12-01-2006, 10:24 AM
I dunno...my old band covered it many moons ago. It sounds good roughed up.

Small Clanger
12-01-2006, 10:28 AM
Tie Your Mother Down, Fat Bottomed Girls, We Will Rock You - Queen

I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Get Your Hands Off My Woman - The Darkness (though the vocals may give you some trouble :))

The Boys are back in Town - Thin Lizzy

Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon - The Police

Bring Me to Life - Evanescence

Would any Smiths songs work? This Charming Man maybe? How Soon is Now, if you have the technology.

I suppose System of a Down is right out? Great fun to play tho'

For Monkees songs there's also Last Train to Clarkesville, Stepping Stone and the Monkees Theme*

*we're the young generation, and we've got something to say - Hey Hey we're the Monkees

12-01-2006, 10:40 AM
I see that 'I Want You To Want Me' has been mentioned. Cheap Trick has another song called just 'I Want You' that kicks ass all over IWYTWM. It isn't all that well known but it rocks and people get into it. Or at least they did when I used to cover it.


An Arky
12-01-2006, 10:43 AM
Heh, that reminds me, I've also covered Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) by the Monkees, plus, we reworked the Monkees Theme into the Yell County Theme: (we only played it live once, though)

Here we come, walking down the street
We never get any looks from any girls we meet

Hey, hey we're Yell County
People say we're too fucking loud
But we're too busy flailing
To turn our volume down

We're just trying to be famous
But no one comes to see us play
We're just self-flagellatin'
And we've got nothing to say

12-01-2006, 11:09 AM
"500 miles" by the Proclaimers is incredibly fun to play AND listen to. Plus, everyone knows it and will sing along. We played it a few Halloweens ago and, to our surprise, it went over really really well. Plus, you get to sing "Da-dalalaldada!" a lot. Always fun.

The Scrivener
12-01-2006, 03:07 PM
Go! -- Tones on Tail

Very bouncy, energetic early-'80's postpunk New Wave number, but you need a way to substitute for that ascending xylophone-ish arpeggio. (Does your drummer have a full set of cowbells or wood blocks?)

[Disclaimer: I'm still a prisoner of the whole British punk/postpunk/New Wave/Ska Revival period. So sue me. Your Brit/Kiwi bandmates will appreciate these, though.]

Do the Dog -- The Specials

The slightly naughty ska-revival classic. Compulsively danceable, and it would be hugely fun for your drummer to play, too. Admittedly benefits from a singer with a British accent (and if your band has a baritone, he can chime in too)... lyrics include a prominent "bullsh#t," so it might not be appropriate for all your gigs.

Neat Neat Neat/Smash it Up -- The Damned

"Neat" is a straightforward thrashing 4/4 mosher with a machine-gun staccato title lyric for a hook. The lyrics make no sense, but with that rhythm and energy, who cares? As for "Smash," the original recording clocks in at under 5 minutes but feels longer, due to its rambling structure and key/time sig changes. (It's like a mini rock opera, or more accurately, a British music hall show.) A nice showcase for your bassist, and it would definitely be something different for your fans! The lengthy instrumental intro is definitely a dance break, though. There is a prominent synth part, but it doesn't carry the melodic lead (as in "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians) and isn't essential.

Life Begins at the Hop/Real by Reel -- XTC

The faster your band can manage this one, the better. How fast can your lead guitar manage the punishing solos? "Real" has fun, retro "ooh-ooh!" vocalise.

More recent tunes:

Song 2 -- Blur

Don't worry about crowd recognition; if anything this has been used as a backdrop in too many sports shows, etc. It's real brief, though, so it'd be best used as a segue piece or in rehearsed "no-huddle" transition to the next song.

In a Funny Way -- Mercury Rev

I apologize in advance. It's utterly unfair to lay down a Mercury Rev challenge to an 80's-oriented cover band, let alone one without a keyboardist, but I have faith that you guys could manage a stripped-down version of this, and that your fans will take to it, as relatively obscure as it is. Just ignore the symphonic washes of sound; all that typically Merc Rev Spector-ish wall-of-sound stuff is irrelevant. (A female singer can cover a lot of the harmonic washes with pure vocalise, anyway.) The main energy is sustained through the rhythm section and the chiming lead guitar lines. Focus on the Tamla-style drum riffs (how often to you hear those 60's-style drum rolls nowadays?) and rapid-pulse basslines, so McCartney-esque in their churning melodicism... and revel in that double-length bridge section.

12-01-2006, 03:32 PM
Great suggestions Birdmonster and Scriv - and my favorite usual music posters, Small Clanger and slee - all good stuff and noted. At this point, my job as quasi-manager is to collect the ideas and prep them to run past the band - I find it works better if I don't pre-judge and we work it out together; no one thinks I am playing favorites (although I usually get 'em to try out a song or two they don't think will work, but does!)

Oh, and one update: the Westchester County chi-chi magazine just voted our usual gig spot as having the best live music! Very cool - since we are one of the "house bands" there (there are a couple of other regulars, too) I am choosing to take as much credit for this as possible!!! :D

12-01-2006, 05:05 PM
You got a cool sound :)

What about:

- Creep by Radiohead
- Have A Cigar by Pink FLoyd (listen to the Primus' version for inspiration)
- Boom Boom Mancini by Warren Zevon
- Walk this world by Heather Nova

Off the top of my head...

12-01-2006, 09:26 PM
I heard a cover band do an acoustic version of The Notorious B.I.G's "Hypnotize" that brought down the house. The crowd loved it.

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