In 2001, The White Stripes released a song called "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground."
In 2006, Chris Thile showed them up with his bluegrass cover.
Here's the original, from the album "White Blood Cells." It's freakin' awesome, no doubt about it. Hard, punk, garage style rock at its peak - early White Stripes rarely disappoints.
But, alas, Chris Thile came in a few years later and stole the song. I wrote about Thile last week in the context of a larger piece on bluegrass, and here's another example of how damn good this guy is. This is the mark of a really special musician: no one in their right mind would hear the original White Stripes version and think, "hmm... you know what would sound great? If I completely changed everything about the song except the lyrics." But Chris Thile did just that, and his choppy, happy mandolin leads the way. And the intonations of his singing voice - including those super high bits at the ends of verses - change the game. I'll never hear the White Stripes version again.
Which version do you like better? Does Thile do justice to the White Stripes original tune? I'd say so....