Head into just about any bar with a karaoke machine for the night and chances are you’ll hear a pretty shitty cover of Elton John‘s classic single “Benny And The Jets” being sung (read shouted into the mic) by some drunk, half bald man with a mixed drink in his hand. It’s inevitable, like the sun rising every morning, that when this track plays over the speakers, everyone in the room stops what they’re doing to sing along. I mean, how can you not? I’m most definitely guilty of it myself. With it’s bouncy vocals and uber catchy chorus, it’s the ultimate sing along song. And you might be hearing a lot more of it as Elton John celebrates the 40th anniversary of his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album with a re-release that will include a live album CD, a DVD of his 1973 film, a 100-page illustrated book, and covers of all the songs from the album by Emeli Sandé, Fall Out Boy, and Ed Sheeran, among others.
In a cover of the track that I totally didn’t see coming, hip hop and R&B sensations Miguel and Wale team up to give “Bennie And The Jets” a fresh, modern take that’s actually pretty great. Adding some low end synth to the stomping intro chords, Miguel comes in spot on with his version of the classic. With his R&B flair, Miguel’s smooth vocals woo the meandering party crowd heard in the background. It’s not until Wale comes in toward the end that I feel the track loses a bit of it’s direction. Do I mind it? Not really. Do I think the cover needed it? Not really – probably could have been just fine without the hip hop verse inserted in. But don’t let me deter you, take a listen to the cover below and let us know what you think in the comments!