MATTHEW SWEET and SUSANNA HOFFS Under The Covers, Vols. 1, 2 (Deluxe) & 3 + Bonuses (2006-2013)

Under The Covers, Vol. 1 (2006)
Under The Covers, Vol. 2 (Deluxe Edition) (2009)
Under The Covers, Vol. 3 (2013)
+ Bonus Tracks (from Completely Under The Covers) (2013)
Pure Fun

Speaking of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding”… As long as you’re not the terminally judgemental type, these two charming collections of cover songs from the great Matthew Sweet and Bangle Susanna Hoffs just might hit the spot. There’s nothing especially revelatory here, just strong, solid renditions of an (increasingly eclectic) array of tunes that focus on pop and rock, but can veer off onto side roads ranging from the Grateful Dead to the Buzzcocks. Sweet is his usual sweet, encyclopedic self. Hoffs shines on background vocals, as the pair routinely indulge in thick clusters of pleasing pop harmonies, easily navigating more complex, rarely covered animals like Yes’ “All Good People” (Yesman Steve Howe appears) and Queen’s “Killer Queen.” A straight-up folk/pop song like “Monday Monday” is a no-strainer for these two. I’m not as enamored with some of Vol 3 underHoffs’ lead vocals, as she can occasionally get nasally and a tad ‘Nicks-ian’ for my tastes. But, she simply shines on Little Feat’s “Willin'” – raising the question… Why hasn’t she dipped her toe deeper into the country genre? Dhani Harrison shows up for the cover of dad’s “Beware Of Darkness.” While putting this post together, I kept catching myself singing along, song after song. 41 tunes, 2-1/2 hours of music… the track list tells the tale. Find them HERE and HERE at Amazon. ADDITION: 5 bonus tracks from Completely Under The Covers box (thanks to Maxxx) and the 48 page booklet (thanks to Brtdth).

VOL. 1
I See The Rain (3:43) – The Marmalade
And Your Bird Can Sing (2:08) – The Beatles
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (3:43) – Bob Dylan
Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (5:50) – Fairport Convention
Cinnamon Girl (2:45) – Neil Young
Alone Again Or (3:33) – Love
Warmth Of The Sun (3:07) – The Beach Boys
Different Drum (2:50) – The Stone Poneys w/ Linda Ronstadt
The Kids Are Alright (2:48) – The Who
Sunday Morning (3:25) – The Velvet Underground
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (2:25) – Neil Young
Care Of Cell #44 (3:54) – The Zombies
Monday Monday (3:25) – The Mamas & The Papas
She May Call You Up Tonight (2:22) – The Left Banke
Run To Me (3:07) – The Bee Gees

VOL. 2
Sugar Magnolia (3:33) – Grateful Dead
Go All The Way (3:33) – The Raspberries
Second Hand News (3:14) – Fleetwood Mac
Bell Bottom Blues (5:03) – Derek & The Dominos
All The Young Dudes (3:52) – Mott The Hoople
You’re So Vain (4:22) – Carly Simon
Here Comes My Girl (4:23) – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
I’ve Seen All Good People (7:30) – Yes
Hello It’s Me (3:51) – Todd Rundgren
Willin’ (3:00) – Little Feat
Back Of A Car (2:33) – Big Star
Couldn’t I Just Tell You (3:28) – Todd Rundgren
Gimme Some Truth (3:27) – John Lennon
Maggie May (5:33) – Rod Stewart
Everything I Own (3:10) – Bread
Beware The Darkness (3:38) – George Harrison

Dreamin’ (2:52) – Blondie
Marquee Moon (10:49) – Television
I Wanna Be Sedated (2:11) – The Ramones
Baby Blue (3:43) – Badfinger
You Say You Don’t Love Me (2:55) – Buzzcocks
(What So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding (3:59) – Nick Lowe
You Can Close Your Eyes (2:35) – James Taylor
Melissa (4:14) – The Allman Brothers Band
Killer Queen (2:57) – Queen
A Song For You (4:39) – Gram Parsons

VOL. 3
Sitting Still (3:18) – R.E.M.
Girls Talk (3:32) – Dave Edmunds
Big Brown Eyes (1:54) – The dB’s
Kid (3:03) – The Pretenders
Free Fallin’ (4:18) – Tom Petty
Save It For Later (3:27) – The English Beat
They Don’t Know (3:02) – Kirsty MacColl
The Bulrushes (2:44) – The Bongos
Our Lips Are Sealed (2:54) – The Go-Go’s
How Soon Is Now (5:45) – The Smiths
More Than This (4:08) – Roxy Music
Towers Of London (4:55) – XTC
Killing Moon (4:23) – Echo and the Bunnymen
Trouble (3:43) – Lindsey Buckingham

BONUS TRACKS (from Completely Under The Covers)
Vol. 1
Village Green Preservation Society (2:57) – The Kinks
I Can See For Miles (4:14) – The Who
Vol. 3
Train In Vain (3:02) – The Clash
You’re My Favourite Waste Of Time (2:30) – Marshall Crenshaw
I Would Die 4 U (2:54) – Prince


  • Willard
    August 25, 2011 - 16:10 | Permalink

    Search HERE

    • Lee-Anne Griffin
      July 7, 2013 - 15:54 | Permalink

      Thanks! Got me hooked on oldies now! :)

  • Shriner
    August 26, 2011 - 08:58 | Permalink

    These are great, great albums that I spin all the time (and Hoffs has recently said they are working on a “80’s” collection as well.) I am so looking forward to the new Bangles album as Matthew Sweet is apparently playing bass on some of it.

  • August 26, 2011 - 13:17 | Permalink

    Capt. Willard,

    Thank you for Sweet & Hoffs, Thank you for The Dude, Thank you for Leiber & Stoller and Thanks for all you do for the internet music community!!!

    Long Island Steve

    • Willard
      August 26, 2011 - 14:28 | Permalink

      Gee, thanks Steve.

  • August 26, 2011 - 23:23 | Permalink

    Thanks again for the Deluxe disc of Vol. 2, listening to it now, neat!

  • August 27, 2011 - 18:21 | Permalink

    There is already a country Susanna Hoffs.. she’s called Kelly Willis.

  • jbull49
    August 27, 2011 - 21:21 | Permalink

    Inspired by recent Rainy Day/Guy Debord post about the ‘Net to turn my old RD LP into MP3s; this will make a nice companion. I’m a sucker for a pretty girl (and Matthew Sweet does have some small measure of talent, must admit). Thanks!

  • Leon
    August 27, 2011 - 22:08 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard! I bought both of these but didn’t have the bonus cuts from disc 2.

    I hope they do a volume 3, although that would take them into the years where they were both actually making new music themselves…

    • Willard
      August 27, 2011 - 22:40 | Permalink

      Should be interesting. It’s cool they continue with these, too. They’re not huge moneymakers (nothing is these days) and there’s zilch to be made on publishing, so it kinda falls into the ‘labor of love’ category.

  • Vaughn Abbott
    August 28, 2011 - 14:32 | Permalink

    I’m not criticizing the posting of these records just the records themselves. As I sit here, with Bryan Ferry’s 1st solo album playing in the background, I have to say that these two albums add nothing to the originals with their way-too-faithful cover versions. Why bother with them? I am sorely disappointed at a miss opportunity to hear Sweet and Hoffs voices do something imaginative with the material.

    • Willard
      August 28, 2011 - 15:32 | Permalink

      You know how it all works…. if covers are too faithful, it bores half of us, and if they’re too eclectic, it infuriates the other half. Striking that balance is a musician’s greatest juggling act. Don’t get me started on Beatles covers.

  • Polk Salad Tranny
    August 29, 2011 - 23:05 | Permalink

    Like, an ultra-hip Holiday Inn act. But seriously folks, I would not walk out. I really liked Vol 1 a few years back, never knew about Vol 2 bonus tracks: Buzzcocks, Nick Lowe, Dreamin’ and Markey Moon covers outstanding! All the Sweet And Hoffs tunes are better than a lot of covers products like Duran Duran and Rod’s 70’s Songbook. And ‘Nicks-ian’ ?!! I’ll take Susanna’s rasp/sweet harmonies over Stevie’s bray any sunshine or rainy day!

    • Willard
      August 30, 2011 - 09:00 | Permalink

      Hoff’s harmonies? Everytime. A couple of those leads, though, venture towards the bray.

  • zappahead
    July 17, 2013 - 09:10 | Permalink

    Volume 2 with the extras are brilliant…have the 1st one already and if its anything like that one…should be great….thanks once again.

  • moi
    August 20, 2013 - 18:37 | Permalink

    thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • Indiana Scott
    November 12, 2013 - 08:20 | Permalink

    Hey Willard! I want to thank you for posting these two since it got me back into my roots. I’ve always been a fan of both artists and of the songs they covered. FYI: Sid & Suzi just released a third volume of “Under the Covers,” and they cover some terrific jangle pop gems from the 80s. To me, this is right in their wheelhouse and knocked it out of the park. I hope you have checked it out.

    • Willard
      November 12, 2013 - 08:36 | Permalink

      Now added, thanks.

  • Francvania
    November 27, 2013 - 05:43 | Permalink

    Thanks a million Willard! I was looking for Vol. 1 and didn’t knew about the extra tracks on vol. 2. Great stuff! Much appreciated!

  • December 22, 2013 - 09:20 | Permalink

    hi ! is there any possibility to upload the bonus tracks from vol. 3
    I Would Die 4 U , You´re My Favorite Waste Of Time and Train In Vain i could not
    download this track in Sweden.
    best regards Bengt

  • SoCal Steve
    April 1, 2014 - 16:56 | Permalink

    Volume 1 of this brilliant trio of covers: is squirrely. If you don’t install software, you don’t get the download. Nevertheless… How I got the download to my hard drive WITHOUT installing software, I have no clue, but it did end up on my Desktop.

    • Willard
      April 1, 2014 - 17:19 | Permalink

      Mega IS squirrely, but you don’t need to (or have to) install any software. You only need to use an approved browser. They like Chrome, Opera and a few others. They don’t like Safari and a few others. You just need to experiment.

  • Anonymous
    August 7, 2015 - 10:39 | Permalink

    Thank you Willard. I think that you’re right about this being preferable to Wilson Phillips.

  • Bret
    October 29, 2015 - 20:06 | Permalink

    Seeing there is a Volume 4 of this now …
    Disc 4
    01. Sitting Still
    02. Girls Talk
    03. Big Brown Eyes
    04. Kid
    05. Free Fallin’
    06. Save It For Later
    07. They Don’t Know
    08. The Bulrushes
    09. Our Lips Are Sealed
    10. How Soon Is Now
    11. More Than This
    12. Towers Of London
    13. Killing Moon
    14. Trouble
    15. Train In Vain
    16. You’re My Favorite Waste of Time
    17. I Would Die 4 U

    • Willard
      October 30, 2015 - 17:43 | Permalink

      Actually, except for a couple of Bonus Tracks (going up now), the titles you mentioned are on Vol. 3 (see comment #1). I’ve added the titles to the post to avoid any more confusion.

  • LeoRattans
    January 7, 2016 - 11:28 | Permalink

    Extra brownie points to Brtdth for the booklet. CD-art works best on a screen.

  • February 10, 2016 - 15:33 | Permalink

    One more:
    “Got To Get You Into My Life”
    from the Imagine That Soundtrack (2009)

    • Willard
      February 10, 2016 - 15:50 | Permalink

      It never ends…

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