15. Beautiful People - Mark Pritchard feat. Thom Yorke
If you know me you know how much I love covers. Cover Me is my favourite music blog, Angie Hart's Bizarre Love Triangle is one of my favourite songs, cover or otherwise, and when I mash potato I cover it in sour cream. A good cover is transformative, it takes the mechanical aspects of an existing song and recontextualises it, giving it an entirely new range of meaning.
Thom Yorke, a young indie artist most known for his collaborations with Marilyn Manson, here collaborates with Mark Pritchard, who notably collaborated with Thom Yorke on a song called Beautiful People, on a cover of the classic Marilyn Manson track Beautiful People.
To say this cover is transformative is an understatement. Thom's soft, ethereal vocals are very different from Mr Manson's kind of screechy screamy delivery, and that delivers a very different quality to the delivery. Mark Pritchard's production here is very gentle, very layered, very mysterious, with a mellow, echoing but building back line which is a distinctly different approach to when Ginger Fish smashed the absolute shit out of some old medical equipment and yelled at it.
However this is as nothing to the incredible reinterpretation of the lyrics. Compare Mark Pritchard's lines:
A flap of the wings
And the chaos that it brings
to the Marilyn Manson original:
You can't smell your own shit on your knees!
Both beautiful, both elegant, both deeply communicative, but only one of these directly references taking a shit on your own legs.
For its incredible and original take on a classic song, Beautiful People is my 15th best song of 2016.