Classic Synthpop and Electronic Music Cover Songs (sort of)


Classic Covers Some Favorite (mostly) Synthpop Tunes

Soft Cell: Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go 1981 With this minimalist version of the Motown tune, the creative duo of Marc Almond and David Ball brought techno pop to the masses and broke chart records with a 43 week run, using a very unconventional drum sound, passionate vocals, and lots of reverb.

The Naked Eyes Always Something There To Remind Me 1983 This light and airy Burt Bacharach/Hal David gem hit the airwaves in 1983, reaching # 8 on the charts. Nice vocals by Pete Byrne and tons of Fairlight CMI synth all over make this a very memorable 80s tune.

Devo (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 1977 Though technically not a techno pop song (recorded during Devo’s guitar-dominant days) this version of the classic Stones’ song packs tons of quirky futurism into a short time span.

Bjork Ruby Baby 1990 Bjork’s jazz cabaret-flavored version of this classic Lieber/Stoller tune made popular by Dion and The Drifters offers weirdness and camp to spare. It’s not exactly synthpop, but it’s lots of fun.

The Flying Lizards Money1980 This British experimental music group and its endearingly dissonant reworkings of over-covered pop songs set ears on edge. Despite displaying a much higher than average irritation quotient, the fact that the tune has been used in several films and television shows, from the Wedding Singer to Charlie’s Angels and Nip/Tuck points to its lasting value.

Thomas Dolby: I Scare Myself. 1984 Dolby’s reworking of this Dan Hick’s tune features a laid back, jazzy cabaret approach that heightens the drama.

Devo: Working in a Coal Mine. 1981 Devo’s version of this Allen Toussaint tune represents the perfect sonic synthesis of man and machine.

Nullsleep: Enjoy The Silence.c. 2002 Using only a Nintendo Gameboy device loaded with Little Sound DJ software, Jeremiah Johnson created the definitive 8-bit version of the popular Depeche Mode tune. Hear it .

Taco Puttin’ On The Ritz 1982 By putting a futuristic spin on this classic Irving Berlin composition, German/Dutch/Indonesian singer Taco Ockerse reached #4 on the Billboard charts in 1982. Super Duper!

Pet Shop Boys Where The Streets Have No Name/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You 1987 This disco-inflected medley combines a U2 song from the 1980s and a Frankie Valli tune from the 1960s, to the delight of dance floor denizens around the world. It reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the same year, The Pet Shop Boys reached #10 with a version of on Always On My Mind, a tune previously covered by the likes of Elvis, Willie Nelson, and Brenda Lee.


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