Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs: Completely Under The Covers

Probably the best covers band in the world.

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There’s a sigh from Susanna Hoffs during her rendition of Bell Bottom Blues which could make grown men weep – and admit they secretly liked the Derek & The Dominos chestnut all along. Of course, the former Bangles singer has made grown men sigh for many years, but this covers collection, recorded with gifted musical sponge Matthew Sweet, proves her voice is as prepossessing as her appearance.

Their four Under The Covers albums (released between 2006 and 2013) now arrive compiled on vinyl and CD boxes. The array of favourite songs is a life-affirming joy, from the 60s (offering the well-loved such as Different Drum and Cinnamon Girl and radar-evaders like Marmalade’s I See The Rain) through to the 80s (Killing Moon, Kid, How Soon Is Now).

Perhaps the two 70s sets induce the most euphoria, with Sweet’s ringing guitars and dynamic arrangements tackling Raspberries’ Go All The Way, Yes’s I’ve Seen All Good People, Tom Petty’s Here Comes My Girl and even Television’s Marquee Moon.

He doesn’t scramble the templates, but cracks a window and allows them to feel sunshine on their face again. The pair harmonise happily, and you haven’t known love until you’ve heard Hoffs sing the Bee Gees’ Run To Me.

Classic Rock 215: Reissues

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Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.