There's always a surge of covers after a musician dies. Sometimes they can be uncomfortable, clearly pre-written songs with a convenient release date to get a quick headline boost. Sometimes they're well-intentioned but still uncomfortable, putting a stamp on a story already well-stamped by its original author. The cover "Back to Black" by iconic Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector, thankfully, is neither--not only was she one of Amy Winehouse's undeniable musical influences, but as she admitted herself in an interview with Rolling Stone, Winehouse reminded Spector of a younger version of herself--one whose story turned almost unbearably tragic:
When I saw her two weeks ago on TV and she was all drugged out, drinking and stuff, I said, "Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it! Don't become like I was 20 years ago! I cleaned up. You gotta clean up!" And two weeks later, she's dead. I'm devastated.
Spector's cover of "Back to Black" was recorded two years ago and, despite the bit of a beat grafted on and a few lyrical dodges, is mostly faithful to the original. Predictably, it is devastating. It will be released as a charity single, and the proceeds will go to Daytop Village substance abuse centers.
Listen to Spector's cover here/A>.