Artist: Mike Watt
Album: I Killed The Monster
The Skinny: Watt must really like this song, as he and his post fIREHOSE band recorded this version for a 2006 tribute album. Thalia Ferriera provides the pop friendly vocals and Wilco’s Nels Cline steps in with a blistering guitar solo.
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: In Rock We Trust
The Skinny: This version by Pearl Jam was their debut performance of the song at the 1994 Bridge School Benefit concert. The acoustic arrangement is also the only time the full band has played the song live.
Artist: Eddie Vedder
Live Show: 4-13-2008 (Thanks to sgordo for the track)
The Skinny: Vedder has taken a liking to this song as well. The YouTube clip shows a solo pre-show performance before a 2006 Pearl Jam concert. It’s common for his solo shows, like the one I saw in Seattle a few weeks ago which was the impetus for this contest, to open with Vedder’s take on Johnston’s song.
Artist: TV On The Radio
Album: The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered
The Skinny: This sparse recording from the 2004 tribute album is a fairly close recreation of the original repetitive keyboard and basic drum beat. Tunde Adebimpe delivers a moving vocal as the track builds around TVotR’s typical sonic tapestry.
Artist: A Camp
Album: A Camp
The Skinny: The side project of Nina Persson of the The Cardigans took the song and turned it into a disco-rocker. Her sultry vocal over a wash of synthesizers and distorted guitars was produced by the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse for A Camp’s debut release.
Artist: The Reivers
Album: Translate Slowly
The Skinny: This Austin band was a contemporary of Johnston’s in the local music scene of the early ‘80s. The relatively short live band’s revved up rocking version appeared on their 1985 debut album.
Artist: K. McCarty
Album: Dead Dog’s Eyeball: Songs of Daniel Johnston
The Skinny: Lush strings layer this version that stays relatively true to the original. A member of the Austin band Eye, McCarty’s 1993 solo album, which this appears on, was a tribute to Johnston.
Album: Shining Apple
The Skinny: The Memphis based member River City Tanlines and the Jay Retard project Lost Sounds recorded this as a b-side to a one-off single. Centered on a driving tempo its one of the more upbeat versions among the group of contestants.
Checking in on the It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue Cover Wars: the Grateful Dead has emerged as the winner.