Yo La Tengo Covers Spotify Playlist
Yo La Tengo recently announced the upcoming release of their new EP, Sleepless Night. The six-song set contains one new original alongside five covers chosen by the band in collaboration with Yoshitomo Nara for the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art’s (LACMA) Yoshitomo Nara exhibition featuring the Japanese artist and longtime Yo La Tengo fan’s work.
Yo La Tengo — Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew — shared a cover of The Byrds’ “Wasn’t Born to Follow,” as the EP’s lead single. This edition of Saturday Stream presents a Spotify Playlist featuring that track alongside several other covers recorded over the years by YLT.
Covers have been part of Yo La Tengo’s repertoire both in the studio and live onstage since their inception in the mid-1980s. Their wide range of influences can be heard through the songs they choose to cover, while their encyclopedic knowledge of popular music is evidenced in their ability to play a seemingly endless jukebox of well-known and rare songs.
Their penchant for playing covers is evidenced by their annual WFMU fundraisers when the band works up on-the-spot arrangements of songs selected by those who donate to the independent radio station. In 2006, a compilation of those mostly impromptu requested covers was issued as Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics (a second comp, not available on Spotify, was released as Murder in the Second Degree in 2016).
The complete 30-track Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics is included in the playlist, with on-the-spot performances of covers by The Velvet Underground, NRBQ, Brian Eno, Jonathan Richman, The Replacements, Randy Newman, Billy Joel and many others. The playlist also presents covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Sun Ra, Neil Young, The Kinks, Love, Big Star, Daniel Johnston and more. Listen to the Yo La Tengo Covers Spotify Playlist below: