Kings of Convenience, "Free Fallin'" (Tom Petty)After months upon months of writing this column, I think I've nailed down what makes a truly great cover, and the answer is twofold: surprise and delight. It has to sound good, at the most basic level. It has to do justice to the song's original intent and circumstance. And it has to add something new and shiny, something original and unique that catches the listener off-guard in the best way possible.
Kings of Convenience, the soft-spoken Norwegian lords of gorgeous harmonies and intricate guitars, have managed this deftly with their popular live cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'." They surprise and delight across the board; in big ways, like changing the tone of the song from a rock ballad to a quiet hymn, and in small ways (I won't say what happens at the end-- you can listen for yourself, but it is lovely).
Of course, the choice of song helps too. Now 20 years strong, "Free Fallin'" is an underrated classic, whether it's the three-chord backbeat for a hip-hop song or standing on its own in the lone American night between the bad boys in the shadows and the good girls at home with broken hearts.
Free Fallin' (Tom Petty Cover) by WGTB Blog