Cover Wars: Rocket Man (Elton John)

Artist: Kate Bush
Album: Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin
The Skinny: English singer-songwriter Kate Bush contributed her version of Rocket Man to this 1991 covers compilation. It hit #12 on the UK Singles chart and the readers of The Observer voted it the best cover of all time.

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Jamie Cullum put his jazz-rock spin on Rocket Man for a tribute show while Sir Elton watched and sung along:

Artist: My Morning Jacket
Album: Chapter 1-Sandworm Cometh-Early Recordings
The Skinny: This studio cover appears on this collection of early My Morning Jacket recordings. Rarely played live, it most recently appeared on the MMJ live stage in October of 2010 at Terminal 5 in New York during the encore with a slew of other covers after the band had performed Tennessee Fire in its entirety. Video of that below under the studio audio embed.

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Artist: Phish
Live Show: 8-9-2011 (Recording by Taylor Caine)
The Skinny: Phish surprised the audience at their recent shows in Tahoe, NV with this debut cover of Rocket Man. Like Phish’s one-off performance of John’s Amoreena on August 13, 1997, keyboardist Page McConnell handled the lead vocal duties. This performance is also unique for the very rare use of a slide by guitarist Trey Anastasio.

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Artist: Ryan Adams
Live Show: 12-3-2001
The Skinny: Ryan Adams delivers a rocking cover to close this show from the winter of 2001 at the Blue Note in St. Louis, MO.

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Here is some video of Elton John joining Adams less than one month after 9/11 in New York City

Artist: William Shatner
Live Performance: 1978 Science Fiction Awards
The Skinny: And last, but most certainly not least, is this epic video performance by William Shatner from the 1978 Science Fiction Awards. This video gag has been parodied by many, most notably Stewie from Family Guyoh yeah, that’s the good stuff. An official Shatner recording is in the works on his forthcoming album Searching For Major Tom.

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5 thoughts on “Cover Wars: Rocket Man (Elton John)

  1. andrew Reply

    Can anyone say with an honest face Page’s voice is equal, yet alone superior to Ryan Adams?

  2. Kool Aid Reply

    Buried somewhere deep on my computer, I have a copy of a 30 minute documentary on MMJ made by some TV station in Amsterdam (maybe it’s German, I can’t remember).

    Anyways, it’s pretty righteous and chronicles their first European tour – sometime right around when Tennessee Fire came out. In the Doc, there’s a scene of Jim performing Rocket Man solo in some abandon subway station or something. It’s fucking rad – I’ll see if I can get it on the u-tubes someday

  3. Parker Harrington Reply

    Shatner. Period.

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