Friends of mine and I have discussed ‘the most perfect cover.’ That is to say, a cover version of a song that stands on its own as excellent without simply being a better version of the original. There are three that Fox, Jeb and I have forwarded, and I present them here for your viewing pleasure.
Jeb offered Willie Nelson’s Rainbow Connection.
Fox suggested Green Day’s I Fought the Law.
And I posit that it’s this specific take on I’m A Believer by Smash Mouth.
I unironically love all three of these. Willie’s lilting softness and sadness echoes of an older man than Kermit reflecting on things past rather than on things to be. Green Day take a song made for the ultimately commercial rationale and imbue it with their own jangly discord. And I’m a Believer is one of the most famously hollow songs ever, being performed by a band renowned for being hollow, rendered in this slow, dazed, creeping musical intonation.