Welcome to the final Monday of Summer! Just like the most overrated season of the year, the countdown that has kept you entertained since the days when there was still snow on the ground is also about to
mercifully come to a conclusion. It’s time for the next to last entry in The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown! We’ve made it all the way up to #2, and thus far, my tribute to pop song recycling has largely been dominated by the decade of my youth, the 1980’s, and the immediate years surrounding it. We haven’t seen a single song from the current century since the first half this series… so wouldn’t it figure that DJ Scratchy and the Sponkies will get to press play on a more modern CD this time around rather than another dusty old vinyl record…
#2. “Love Is Alive” – Joan Osborne
In 1975, an artist by the name of Gary Wright released an album titled “The Dream Weaver” which the following year would spawn the two biggest hits of his otherwise anonymous career. Gary took us to an astral plane in the album’s title track, which made it all the way up to #2. That was followed up with “Love Is Alive,” which also made it up into the first loser position of the Billboard Hot 100 a few months later. Wiki credits Wright with helping give the synthesizer a more prominent role in rock music, and that makes him practically a hero to me… I don’t care what those so-called music purists think about synth pop.
Joan Osborne is perhaps one of the most star-crossed pop artists to ever try and find success in the music biz. Not only did she manage to slot herself as a one-hit wonder, but most people wrongly attribute that one hit to a more popular artist who never even recorded it! Joan’s only Billboard entry, her 1995 #4 hit “One of Us,” came out the same year Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” was taking the country by storm… and since Joan kinda sounds like the angsty little YCDToTV alum, a lot of people just assume it was Alanis wondering what it would be like if God was one of us…
Poor Joan needs some love, and she’s going to get it from The Nest! The countdown committee of Me, Myself And I ranked her 2000 rendition of “Love Is Alive” as the second best cover song of all time. Even though I totally love Gary Wright’s original, Joan managed to somehow make it even insanely better!
I would have never, ever known this song even existed had it not been a staple of Mecca Radio during the first half of the 2000’s. What a totally kickass, funky, soulful take on what was already a pretty damn good song to begin with! Rather than hold that love for the original against Joan in ranking this song, I instead gave her immense credit for finding a way to somehow improve on it! Even if we can’t all agree it trumps the Wright version, I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there who would dislike the Joan Osborne take.
Twenty-nine songs down, just one more to go! Are you ready to find out what cover The Nest has ranked as its number one of all time? Let’s put 168 hours on the clock and return next Monday for the countdown’s thrilling conclusion….