(Roughly) Daily

“I’m always flattered and honored when people cover my music or sing my songs, no matter where it is”*…


Our most beloved songs have a longer history than we might think. They might exist in hundreds of alternative versions created by other artists in distant decades. Those versions can differ in character and style and reach completely different audiences.

We looked closely at the 50 most popular cover songs as well as the original works. Galaxy of Covers is the result of this analysis and allows you to explore the evolution from idea to recording.

The panorama view shows the 50 top songs as individual planetary systems with the original work as the sun. Each planet represents a version of the song and it’s appearance indicates characteristics including genre, popularity, tempo, valence, energy, and speechiness. The radius of its orbit around the sun shows the years between the publication dates. This view allows you to compare the structure and density of the constellation of different songs from a high-level perspective.

The detail view [as above] lists the versions of one song in cross section. The characteristics and positioning of the planets is consistent with the panorama. This view allows you to compare different versions of the same song individually…

From Interactive Things, a music lover’s delight: “Galaxy of Covers.”

* Amos Lee


As we remark on the sincerest from of flattery, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that a new group released it’s first single, “Got a Job”– a answer to to the hit “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes– and so it was that The Miracles (AKA Smokey Robinson and the Miracles) were introduced to the world.  Berry Gordy had produced the tune, which netted the group and their producer $3.19.  At Robinson’s urging, Gordy formed his own label, Tamla (the forerunner to Motown)… and the rest is history.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

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