Monday, March 25, 2013

Cool cover song of the week...

I first heard the amazing Louis Armstrong sing What a Wonderful World when I watched the movie Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987. While the song came at a pivotal time in the film, I remember it utterly moved me, even giving me the chills. And while the movie had a terrific soundtrack, it was that song I came back to over and over again.

Probably one of the most well-known cover versions of this song is by the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, whose 1993 medley of What a Wonderful World and Somewhere Over the Rainbow can still provoke some of the same emotions Armstrong's version did.

But the version of this song I'm featuring is by the late Joey Ramone, best known as the lead singer of The Ramones. While his version of the song isn't quite as ethereal as Armstrong or Kamakawiwo'ole's, it has an added poignancy when you realize it was released posthumously in 2002, on his solo album, Don't Worry About Me. (Ramone died in April 2001 after a seven-year battle with lymphoma.)

No matter which version of the song you like best, you can't beat the way it makes you feel. Here's Ramone's version:

Here's Kamakawiwo'ole's medley:

And here's the original that spawned it all, which still holds up after all this time:

Check out my previous Cool Cover Songs of the Week:

Borderline by The Counting Crows

How Deep Is Your Love by The Bird and The Bee

Life in a Northern Town by Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Jake Owen

I Don't Want to Talk About It by The Indigo Girls

Only You by Joshua Radin

Pure Imagination by Maroon 5

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Blake Stratton

What a Fool Believes by Neri Per Caso

Poker Face by Daughtry

Back to Black by Ronnie Spector

I Will Survive by Cake

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by The Stereophonics

Rolling in the Deep by John Legend

Go Your Own Way by Lissie

Winner Takes it All by McFly

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