[SPEAKING VOLUMES] – Chutney’s Top 5 covers of all time

  1. Brian Justin Crum’s cover of ‘Creep’ by Radiohead (live 2016 version)
    1. Every time I listen to this version, I end up in goosebumps or tears or both. I am never prepared for the sheer depth, rawness, vulnerability and power that Brian conjures with and from his voice. To tell an emotional story of such massive contrasts – from the smallest, lowest place, to the summit vista, and right back down again – in two and a half minutes – is godlike. 
  2. Peter Bence’s cover of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Freddy Mercury
    1. It goes without saying that Freddy Mercury was one of the most prodigiously charismatic and expressive singers, period. So just imagine the obscene levels of charisma and conviction required to render a Queen song even more electrifying and energising than the original. Impossibly, that is what virtuoso pianist Peter Bence has done. The explosion of a soaring Db major Bohemian Rhapsody fragment out of the F major motor of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ towards the end of the arrangement gives me goosebumps every time.
  3. Frank Sinatra’s cover of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ (1964 studio version, remastered 2008) by Bart Howard, first performed by Kaye Ballard in 1954
    1. Sinatra has become synonymous with classics like Fly Me; we often forget that he, too, was recording a lot of those tunes as covers. His versions were just so darn good that they’ve pushed the originals into obscurity. Here Sinatra’s voice is pure class and oozes a timeless magnanimity. The only thing that makes me smile more broadly is the ripper arrangement – just listen to those horns!! Absolute perfection.
  4. Tamir Grinberg’s cover of ‘Shvurei Lev’ (Those With Broken Hearts) by Hanan Ben Ari (live 2021 version)
    1. This is one of the most heartrending performances of any song I have ever heard. Like Brian Justin Crum, Tamir Grinberg dug deep in a live performance in a televised competition and produced soul searing, catharsis-inducing pathos unlike I had imagined was possible. The original song שבורי לב (‘Shvurei Lev’ – Those With Broken Hearts) was written by Israeli pop star Hanan Ben Ari in 2020, in Hebrew; Grinberg’s version is in English. Take the time to listen when you can afford to cry.
  5. CHUTNEY ft. Sarit Michael’s cover of  ‘Kama At Yafa’ (How Beautiful You Are) by Kobi Aflalo
    1. Is it sneaky to include one of our own? This was our debut single, released in December last year. We covered Israeli pop song כמה את יפה (‘Kama At Yafa’ – How Beautiful You Are) written by Kobi Aflalo and popularised by superstar Shiri Maimon in 2012. Like a lot of Israeli pop music, the original has a ‘Mizrachi’ feel, leaning on Aflalo’s and Maimon’s own Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian ancestry. We transformed it into an epic symphonic rock power ballad, resuscitating Russian composer Rimsky-Korskakov’s ‘Scheherazade’ from the recesses of our past classical training. The lyrics speak potently of resilience, truth and the hope for a better future and it remains one of our most emotionally evocative tracks.