There’s a certain flavor of cover song that rides a razor thin line between capturing the magic of the original and adding plenty of new flair. Failure’s cover of “Enjoy the Silence,” Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone,” and Fugee’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” are all excellent examples of being faithful to the original but feeling definitively belonging to the artist. It’s not an easy trick to pull off but a good cover is an open door both the original artist and the covering artist. Win Win.
Brian Eno’s 1974 release Here Come the Warm Jets is one of those esteemed albums that’s damn near untouchable. His legacy as a producer just further concretes how well regarded he has been for the past fifty years. Covering a track from the Eno’s catalog certainly isn’t unheard of but you better do something interesting with it! Fortunately, Nu Mangos (in collab with Tennessee Muscle Candy) understood the assignment and this cover of “Baby’s On Fire” checks all the right boxes. It has the glam swagger of the original but eschews the original guitars for beats, synths and samples. It’s every bit as mesmerizing as the original but in a far more dance-able form.
It was a bold move and I’d say it paid off. This one is going in the regular rotation.