Hey, Warner Brothers: Who’s Your Target Market For “Covered”?

Dan Gibson | April 1, 2009 5:00 am

Warner Brothers Records is celebrating its 50th year as a label with an album of current artists covering classic cuts from the label’s archives, and while I suppose there’s some appeal to hearing Taking Back Sunday play a Tom Petty track, let’s be real: Who is going to pay for that privilege in the Internet age?

The disc itself isn’t bad, with well-play songs that shuffle through genres like a radio dial stuck on “seek.” Sure, back in the day I was one of those people who purchased Elektra’s similarly conceived 1991 compilation Rubaiyat (for the Kronos Quartet version of “Marquee Moon”). But in the MP3 age, this album seems more suited to cherry-picking a few tracks and living without the rest.

Given the decimated retail landscape and people becoming increasingly rigid in their tastes, what’s the likelihood of someone rummaging through the various artists section of their local Best Buy and getting really psyched by an album with Missy Higgins soft rock take on “More Than This” and Mastodon’s homage to ZZ Top? Maybe pressing actual CDs is just a means to the end of individual track sales, but why not just give Covered away with purchases of full-length Warner Brothers titles?

If you want a taste of what Covered has to offer, here’s an opportunity to compare and contrast:

Disturbed, “Midlife Crisis”:

Faith No More, “Midlife Crisis”:

Covered, A Revolution In Sound:Warner Bros. Records [Amazon]