I seem to have run out of clever names to title my blog entries about cover songs and their originals, but you get the idea. I was inspired to post this last night when my boyfriend, a Sonic Youth fan, told me he was listening to the deluxe edition of Goo and discovered that on the second disc contained a cover of the Beach Boy's song "I Know There's An Answer" from Pet Sounds.
Now, I've never gotten into Sonic Youth, so don't shoot me. I admit I've not really heard much of their stuff, but I've never been quite sure that they were my "type" of music anyway. That aside, when I heard their cover of the Beach Boys' song, I was pleasantly surprised. It still has the jangly whimsy and innocence of the original. The vocals and harmonies stay pretty true, but have a more raw and earnest tone than the Beach Boys' sweet, near-perfect harmonies. (PS - is it Thurston singing in the Sonic Youth version?)
I think what really ties Sonic Youth's version to the Beach Boys original is the syncopated tambourine that remains in both. I gotta say, I really like Sonic's Youth version - I love that guitar line in the second verse.
The original song:
Sonic Youth's cover: