August 31, 2021

Under the Covers with Sid n Susie (Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs)

In the 1990's, Gen X alternative rock artist Matthew Sweet gained fame for a song which peaked at #2 known as "Girlfriend". Matthew Sweet has some history of covering successful music ... successfully. Back in 1994, he was part of an ensemble of artists to record a track for a tribute album entitled "If I Were A Carpenter" (mentioned HERE). He sang the single "Let Me Be The One" on that successful album of covers — one which led to a temporary resurgence of Carpenters music at the time. While he continued recording original new music, his subsequent work never achieved quite the same amount of commercial success as "Girlfriend" did in 1995. Still, he had established a name for himself as a credible musician. 

Then, about 15 years ago (around the year 2006), Matthew Sweet hooked up (in more ways than one) with Bangles singer/guitarist Susanna Hoffs. The Bangles achieved commercial success of their own back in the eighties with several chart-topping singles, including: "Walk Like An Egyptian" (#1, 1986), Manic Monday (#2, 1986), "Hazy Shade Of Winter" (#2, 1988) and "Eternal Flame" (#1, 1989) to name a few.

The couple (Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs) shared professional (and personal) chemistry together at the time. The pair also achieved moderate commercial success as a musical duo on a Shout! Factory triage of albums. They had good vocal harmonies which worked pretty well together, combined with a quirky selection of music from successive decades starting with the sixties and culminating in the eighties. They nicknamed themselves as Sid n Susie (if you examine the album cover, note that "Sid n Susie" is carved in the tree of that image). However, when the couple's personal relationship ended, so did their professional collaboration.

Still, the duo's albums were named "Under The Covers" Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (the term "Covers" being an acknowledgement that the tracks are entirely covers of music originally recorded by other artists, and perhaps a tacit acknowledgement that the two were sleeping together at the time). Volume 1 was sixties music, volume 2 was seventies music and volume 3 was eighties music.

Today, I will focus on Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs "Under The Covers" Volume 2 album from Sid n Susie. Their Volume #2 album has some pretty credible covers of the following songs originally released during the seventies. The links below are to the covers by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (aka Sid n Susie):

Shout! Factory provided the following synopsis of the album, the text of which I have provided here:

"Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs delighted rock and pop fans when they teamed up as Sid n Susie to record an album's worth of '60s classics called Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In the three years since, people have continued to ask us when Vol. 2 will come out and what it'll contain. Well, the wait is over: Under the Covers, Vol. 2 finds our heroes moving forward through rock's back pages to take on a other 'nother decade: the '70s.

From the power-pop like The Raspberries and Big Star to the soft-rock of Carly Simon and Bread, and from the classic-rock of John Lennon and Derek and the Dominos to the prog-rock of Yes, Sid n Susie offer a pretty thorough survey of the state of rock, just before the Sex Pistols."

One of the reasons I particularly like Sid n Susie's (Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs) covers of their song selection is because the duo did not really attempt to creatively re-imagine or modernize the sound of the original songs they were covering, therefore the songs sound very familiar and are differentiated mainly by the unique vocals of the singers who are covering the songs. I find covers like those to be more worthy of my listening to them than when an artist changes a song. In fact, I rather enjoyed the covers!

I won't bother with a playlist of all of the tracks on "Under The Covers" Volume 2 here. But I have created a playlist of four of the songs I rather enjoyed listening to from the album, including "You're So Vain" (originally by Carly Simon, #1 1973), "I've Seen All Good People" (originally by Yes, #40 1971), "Hello It's Me" (originally by Todd Rundgren, #5 1973) and "Maggie May" (originally by Rod Stewart, #21 1971). Try listening to the original songs by the original artists, followed by the Sid n Susie covers back-to-back and then make your assessment!

My playlist can be watched below, or by visiting


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