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Under the Covers, Vol. 1

74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 18, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What do alt-rock/power pop heroes like Susanna Hoffs ( The Bangles) and Mattew Sweet do on their time off? They get together in Mattew's comfy home studio and record a stunning album of their fovorite '60s pop hits ans rarities,of course! Columbia. 2006.

Sid (Matthew Sweet, after his character's name in the Austin Powers band Ming Tea) and Susie (Susanna Hoffs, who joined him and Mike Myers in belting out "BBC" on the soundtrack) are in as fine voice as ever on Under the Covers, Vol. 1, a 15-song collection of tunes first made famous by the likes of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Who. And man, were they born to sing this stuff. Both the Bangles and Sweet discographies are derivative--in the best possible sense--of late-'60s pop-rock, and who didn't love the Merry-Go-Round, Grass Roots, Simon & Garfunkel, and Big Star covers Hoffs and company scattered among their originals? Recorded at Sweet's home studio in the Hollywood Hills, the album opens strong with "I See the Rain," a Marmalade song from 1967 that Jimi Hendrix called the year's best British single but was a hit only in the Netherlands. Maybe Sweet's stinging, ringing fretwork (he plays most of the non-percussion instruments on this disc) and Hoffs's throwback vocals will rectify that, nearly 40 years later. The two proceed to nail the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing," one of the high points on Revolver, and score similarly with Fairport Convention's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" (Hoffs in full ballad mode), the Stone Poneys' "Different Drum," the Who's "The Kids Are Alright," Love's "Alone Again Or," and a pair of Neil Young numbers, "Cinnamon Girl" and "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." Some of the selections do miss the mark--Hoffs's smoky-sweet backing vocals seem a little misplaced on Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," and "The Warmth of the Sun" was probably the wrong Beach Boys track for Sweet to attempt (Brian Wilson himself strains at those high notes nowadays). But by and large this is a delightful power-pop excursion. Van Dyke Parks's liner notes, keyboards, and string arrangements make it that much better, as do Sweet collaborator Ric Menck's drums, Ed Fotheringham's illustrations, and Henry Diltz's photographs (Hoffs looks as stunning today as she did when laying down All Over the Place). --Benjamin Lukoff

More Sid & Susie

Different Light

The Bangles

Doll Revolution

The Bangles

Austin Powers

Original Soundtrack

Greatest Hits

The Bangles


Matthew Sweet

Time Capsule: The Best Of

Matthew Sweet

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1. I See The Rain (The Marmalade)
2. And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles)
3. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)
4. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (Fairport Convention)
5. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young And Crazy Horse)
6. Alone Again Or (Love)
7. Warmth Of The Sun (The Beach Boys)
8. Different Drum (The Stone Poneys, featuring Linda Ronstadt)
9. The Kids Are Alright (The Who)
10. Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground)
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young And Crazy Horse)
12. Care Of Cell #44 (The Zombies)
13. Monday Monday (The Mamas And The Papas)
14. She May Call You Up Tonight (The Left Banke)
15. Run To Me (The Bee Gees)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B000EQ5QFE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Burnette on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Under the Covers" is a solid album covering '60s and '70s pop tunes. Sweet and Hoffs have the talent and production chops to put together convincing remakes of some well known songsand some exciting obscurities. Mostly it works well, although Sweet should never again attempt early-period Beach Boys (he just can't sing up there effectively). The album is more a celebration of Sweet and Hoff's great taste (and Sweet's guitar prowess) than an album with anything urgent or fresh to say. It's a pleasant listen and a good way of getting lots of great tunes in one place. But it doesn't really do anything all that innovative or moving.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hoffs and Matthew Sweet are clearly having a whopping good time with this album of covers from the 60's which includes well-known and not so well-known songs. The song selection offers an intriguing mixing of obvious choices such as "Monday, Monday" with surprises like the Beatles' rarely played guitar masterpiece, "And Your Bird Can Sing." The arrangments are slavish to the originals, but the material is played and sung with more than enough gusto to compensate for the lack of originality. Hoffs' voice shows a surprising vigor not evident in her Bangles work, especially on "Different Drum" on which she goes toe-to-toe with the original version by the Stone Ponys featuring the classic vocal from a young Linda Ronstadt (although Hoffs' version does lack the charm of the distinctive Southern twang of Ronstadt's voice). Hoffs' voice is well complimented by Sweets', and the two provide some surprising harmonizing on songs like "Different Drum. This is a feel good album if there ever was one and as such it delivers the goods.
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Format: Audio CD
Run to me whenever you're lonely.

Run to me if you need a shoulder

Now and then you need someone older,

so darling, you run to me.

These are some of the memorable lines of the song entitled "Run To Me' by The Bee Gees at the end of this CD; and like the rest of this CD the effect really packs a punch-the message all throughout this CD that Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs want to give us is that some songs are just plain too good to ever be forgotten. Under The Covers is a great album of `60s songs as well as a tribute to these songs. Of course, the amorous hint of being "under the covers" lends a distinctive romantic and nostalgic flavor to the entire album.

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs have teamed up as a fictional couple named Sid and Susie to produce this awesome album of great 1960s music. Indeed, even the title of the album shows what the CD is really all about: great songs from the 1960s being covered (sung) by Matthew and Susanna. Matthew and Susanna not only sing passionately throughout this album; their complete emotional involvement cries out to you to really pay attention and to relish every single minute of it.

The CD starts out with a great track by The Marmalade entitled "I See The Rain." The guitars really rock and Matthew and Susanna really let their hair down for a great rendition of this song. Keeping up the great momentum is the next track written by none other than The Beatles, "And Your Bird Can Sing." It's a beautiful song that will move you; and the musical arrangements are very well done.

Other great songs that I particularly enjoyed and found moving were "Monday Monday" by The Mamas and The Papas and "Alone Again Or" by Love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor on July 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
What do you get when you take two power-pop masters and put them in a room. A great pop record celebrating some sweet music.

Matthew Sweet has always been a sucker for a good cover it seems. He's turned up on more comps than anyone I know.

Under The Covers has been in constant rotation in my car for the past two weeks. Some of my favorite tracks are "Warmth Of The Sun", "Baby Blue", "Sunday Morning", and by far the most favorite track is The Bee Gees "Run to Me". Susanna and Matthew harmonize so beautifully on this track. It gives me chills. and I have to say Susanna Hoffs is HOTTER than ever! Doesn't she age? She's the sexiest woman in rock-n-roll.

By the way, check out High School Reunion - a tribute to those great 80's films! Matthew covers Tom Petty's classic "American Girl" on this CD comp. The guy just doesn't stop. When's Austin Power #4 coming out??? I need more Matthew in the movies. LOL
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Ettinger VINE VOICE on April 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's a great premise. A disk of 60s covers by two people who have based their careers, on some levels, doing retro-60s music. The duo also appeared as two-fifths of Ming Tea (the band that is featured in the Austin Powers movies). Oh yeah, and Hoffs was/is in the Bangles, which took many early ques from the Beatles and such.

They don't just tackle obscure material which could have been the easy route. But they cover some heavyweights and popular material. Personally, I'd have voted for the unknown material - b/c how could you really screw it up? ("I See the Rain" "She May Call You Up Tonight", "Run to Me" and "Alone Again Or" for me, are the stand out cuts). Luckily their vocals harmonize well, so even when they are out of their element the results aren't horrid.

The duo does admirably on the Beatles "And Your Bird Can Sing", Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and oddly enough, the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning".

They don't come off as well doing Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" or Fairport Convention's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?".

Then there is the material they had no chance at matching or surpassing - like the Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun" or "Monday Monday" by Mamas and the Papas. And there really was no way to best the Stone Poneys "Different Drum" - and they don't. Again, their harmonies save them from being bad covers.

They both come from backgrounds where they harmonize well w/just about anyone (Bangles for her, Thorns for him). Their work here surpasses both the Thorns disk and the last Bangles CD. The disk is lighthearted and fun - with nothing really to prove. It's at least worth a spin.
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"Who Knows Where the Time Goes" really wasn't a Fairport Convention...
True. It shows up on the Strawbs first album.
Apr 21, 2006 by P. PITTMAN |  See all 9 posts
Different Drum was written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees...
True, when Mike was with The First National Band, way back when. But as the other poster mentioned it was Lindas' breakthrough hit. NOW, did you know The Stone Poneys went on to become The Eagles?
Apr 11, 2006 by Dave C |  See all 7 posts
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