Best Covers

Download Ben Gibbard & Death Cab For Cutie’s Best Cover Songs

By Scott Lapatine / April 11, 2011

Last month Death Cab For Cutie returned to the spotlight with “You Are A Tourist,” the great first single and video from their forthcoming Codes And Keys. A sunny addition to our spring playlist, it recalls brighter moments of mid-period Cure when it’s not channeling “Float On.” That’s fitting given how Ben Gibbard’s got five Cure covers in his live repertoire. In fact I can’t remember ever seeing the guy perform without hearing some other band’s song in the set. So before we gear up to collectively prematurely evaluate Codes, here’s a listen back at Ben in all his incarnations (DCFC, Postal Service, solo, with Zooey, etc) covering dozens of classics and Avril Lavigne. They’re arranged below worst to best, based on a scientific formula of how cool they are. Could Death Cab be indie rock’s best wedding band? Tell us your favorite…

“The Star-Spangled Banner”

“I’ll Never Find Another You” [w/ Zooey Deschanel] (The Seekers)

“26 Is Too Soon” (Kind Of Like Spitting)

“I Want It That Way” (Backstreet Boys)

“Sick Of Myself” (Matthew Sweet)

“I Hate Myself For Loving You” (Joan Jett)

“Rocking Chair” (The Band)

“Sweet And Tender Hooligan” (The Smiths)

“Earth Angel” (The Penguins)

“Fortunate Song” [w/ Sean Nelson] (Creedence Clearwater Revivial)

“Hungry Like The Wolf” snippet (Duran Duran)

“Timeless Melody” [w/ Pearl Jam] (The La’s)

“Why I Cry” [w/ Daniel Handler] (Magnetic Fields)

“Dream Scream” (Daniel Johnston)

“Silver Lining” (Rilo Kiley)

“Girl You Want” (Devo)

“It’ll Be A Breeze” (The Long Winters)

“You’re Ex-Lover Is Dead” (Stars)

“Dream” [w/ Zooey Deschanel] (The Everly Brothers)

“After Hours” (The Velvet Underground)

“Head Over Heels” (Tears For Fears)

“Choir Vandals” (American Analog Set)

“Little Boxes” (Malvina Reynolds)

“Cuddly Toy” [w/ Zooey Deschanel] (Harry Nilsson)

“To Sing For You” (Donovan)

“Indian Summer” (Beat Happening)

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Cyndi Lauper)

“Harvest Moon” (Neil Young)

“All Is Full Of Love” (Björk)

“St. Swithin’s Day” (Billy Bragg)

“Heaven” (Psychedelic Furs)

“I Wanna Be Adored” (Stone Roses)

“You Woke Up My Neighbourhood” (Billy Bragg)

“Go Your Own Way” [w/ The Decemberists -- starts 1m in] (Fleetwood Mac)

“Kicked In” (Superchunk)

“She Still Thinks I Care” (George Jones)

“Blacking Out The Friction”/”Brand New Love” (Sebadoh)

“Blacking Out The Friction”/”Say Yes” (Elliott Smith)

“Blacking Out The Friction”/”Atmosphere” (Joy Division)

“Wait” (Secret Stars)

“The Saddest Story Ever Told” (Magnetic Fields)

“Palmcorder Yajna” (The Mountain Goats)

“Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” (The Monkees)

“Ballerina Out Of Control” (The Ocean Blue)

“Sweeter” (Julie Doiron)

“To Sing For You” (Donovan)

“Here Comes The Rain Again” (The Eurythmics)

“Bloomed” (Richard Buckner)

“Friday I’m In Love” (The Cure)

“Free Fallin” [w/ Mates Of State] (Tom Petty)

“Complicated” (Avril Lavigne)

“They Don’t Know” (Kirsty MacColl)

“Handle With Care” [w/ Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst, M. Ward] (Traveling Wilburys)

“Thriller” (Michael Jackson)

“Start Again” (Teenage Fanclub)

“This Charming Man” (The Smiths)

“All Apologies” (Nirvana)

“Dear Boy” (Paul McCartney)

“I Don’t Want To Get Over You” (Magnetic Fields)

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (Darlene Love)

“Train Song” [w/ Feist] (Vashti Bunyan)

“The Dream Is Over” (John Vanderslice)

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (Simple Minds)

“All I Need” (Radiohead)

“Against All Odds” (Phil Collins)

“Joga” (Björk)

“Lovesong” (The Cure)

“World Shut Your Mouth” (Julian Cope)

“God Save The Queen” [w/ Oddfellow Local c.1993] (The Sex Pistols)

OK, maybe that’s not EVERY cover. For completists’ sake, here are other songs they’ve tackled but aren’t available on the Internet if you can believe that:
“Hold On” (Spiritualized)
“I Hate To See You Cry” (Alan Hull)
– “It Makes No Difference” (The Band)
– “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” (The Cure)
– “Close To Me” (The Cure)
– “A Forest (The Cure)
“Shiver Holds” (The Prom)
– “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (Guns N’ Roses)
– “The Mess Inside” (The Mountain Goats)
– “What Do You Want Me To Say?” (The Dismemberment Plan)
– “What Have I Done To Deserve This?” (Pet Shop Boys)
– “You Are Invited” (The Dismemberment Plan)
– “Slow Fade” (Teenage Fanclub)
– “Girl From The North Country” (Bob Dylan)
“Gleemer” (Guided By Voices)
– “Hysteria” (Def Leppard)
“Blue And Wonder” (Richard Buckner)
“Grow Old with Me” (John Lennon)
– “Up The Junction” (Squeeze)
– “Suddenly Everything Has Changed” (The Flaming Lips)
- “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (The Smiths)
– “Mandy” (Barry Manilow)
– “Centerfield” (John Fogerty)
If you’ve got any, including ones I didn’t even know about, give a heads up in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. UPDATE: Thanks for all the e-mail links… will update w/ audio below and strikeout the ‘requests’ in the list above as they as posted.

“Gleemer” (Guided By Voices) > “I Was A Kaleidoscope”

“Hold On” (Spiritualized)

“I Hate To See You Cry” (Alan Hull)

“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” [w/ Chris Walla] (The Smiths)

“Grow Old With Me” (John Lennon)

“Blue & Wonder” (Richard Buckner)

“Shiver Holds” (The Prom)

Thanks Steven R., Erik D, and Verdi. More TK.