09 June 2016

top 100 of the '00s | 80. mark ronson ft. amy winehouse - "valerie"

Many people seem think that a great cover should remain true to the original. I do not agree.

I've always thought that great cover songs showcase what is great about the covering artist and what is well-written about the original song. By that metric, this is a perfect cover song.

The original "Valerie" by The Zutons is not anything special. It's a fairly generic, droning rock song that doesn't stick out from the sea of mid-2000s tracks trying to sound like they were from the 1970s. Its strengths are its poetic lyrics and the cadence of their delivery, both of which are magnified when performed by Amy Winehouse. Throw in Mark Ronson's far better take on the instrumentation and tempo, and you've got one hell of a song.

Though mainstream US audiences wouldn't get a real dose of Mark Ronson's pop prowess until 2014, this track made a little splash in US college radio markets and was a big hit in the UK.