It’s no secret Will Oldham likes a good cover, and just to prove it, see: here, here, here, here.

What I particularly love (and respect) from Oldham’s cover choices is that he consistently executes them without irony, no matter the origin, making them his own. Sure, it would be easy to have turned R. Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” bombast into a farce, with a wink and a nod, but Oldham, per usual, opts to inject his own agenda into the composition’s space. You can find the Kelly cover, and six other covers (and an Oldham original) on the recently released Ask Forgiveness EP.

MP3: Bonnie “Prince” Billy :: The World’s Greatest

Video: R. Kelly – The World’s Greatest
Amazon: Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Ask Forgiveness

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8 Responses to “Bonnie “Prince” Billy :: The World’s Greatest”

  1. yea, i echo your applause of the new bonnie record! it’s been in heavy rotation
    on my table for a few weeks… this man knows how to do covers. danzig’s ‘am i demon’ is just that great! wishing he’d come back to the west coast as his performance last year at the Malibu Performing Arts Center was nothing short of a religious experience.

  2. My favorite part of the Billy cover is definitely that he recreates Kelly’s pronunciation of “ask” as “axe”/”acks.” Talk about dedication to re-creation. I like it.

  3. really good cover !

  4. Why are none of the other previous tracks still available? I can’t download any of his other tracks from your links….

  5. AQ, do you have a Will song called “New Partner”? I can’t find a way to get it….

  6. Yerfdog , mp3 files are only ‘live’ for 14 days.

  7. I’m not sure how irony-free a few of his covers are. I mean, he does them sincerely, no doubt. But come on, his Kelly version of ‘Ignition’ is hysterical. I think he’s just the world’s best straight man, and does a good job selling the idea that he’s not in on the joke. His cameo/appearance in the Kanye video with Zak Galafinakis should be proof he’s at least winking and nodding a tiny bit.

    His cover of ‘I’ve Seen it All’ KILLS, though

  8. Barry, excellent point. i thought about that very video with Zak while writing that. I agree, he is more of a straight man in some instances that 100% reverent.

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