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please help me think of songs (sorry for long post)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by affro, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. hi guys
    i have just joined a new band (which i am very excited about).
    we are basically the standard 4 piece (bass, drums, vocals, guitar). we have a female singer, which is a first for most of us in the band and we are all very excited, because she is a very good singer and our stuff is sounding really good. :bassist:
    at the moment we are just a cover band, and we have no real theme (like, genre or age of stuff we play), as long as its a good song, it gets a go.
    we already have about 15 songs, but we have sort of learnt all the ones that came up in our original 'braim storming' and over the next week or so we have decided that we all get ideas for as many songs as possible, anbd bring them all to the next rehersal and decide which ones we are going to do.
    so anyway, i need some help because im kind of stuck and have never been in a band with a female signer before. i need some help/suggestions on songs we could do. do give you guys an idea, here are the songs we already play:

    torn - natalie imbruglia
    sunday morning - no doubt
    holy grail - hunters & collectors
    harder to breathe - maroon 5
    complicated - avril lavigne
    hit me with ya best shot - pat benatar
    i love rock n roll - joan jett
    bitch - meredeth brooks
    i dont wanna be - gavin degraw
    better - screaming jets
    papa dont preach - madonna
    breathe - michelle branch
    youre so vain - carly simon
    dont call me baby - madison avenue
    knockin on heavens door - gnr

    although some of those songs have male singers, our singer is more choosy' with those songs so i would prefer more suggestions that already have female singers
    thanx :D

    p.s - yes, i have tried the search function
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Look through your music collection - you've probably got a whole bunch of stuff ripe for the picking rather than getting suggestions that are going to take time and money to track down. With my cover band, we've been going about two and a half years and have built up a pretty large repetoire of tunes just by digging into our collections - every few months, one or two people will compile a CD with 10-15 tracks that they think will work and we'll typically try a few of those and adopt the strongest into our set.

    Of course, that's been a great way to discover new music and quite a lot of what I've purchased during that time (CDs or eMusic.com downloads) has been following up leads from the band CDs and that, in turn, opens up new material.

    It might also be a good time to think together as a band about what direction you do want to take. Cover band with a theme? General covers band? Cover band that puts your own spin on the songs (that's where Lovesjones fits - all of our tunes are covers but we play the jazz-funky card and some of them end up very different to the original!)? Original music (in which case, time to start writing!)?

    Once you make a decision, that will inform where to look for new material, so that might be worth considering at this point.

  3. yeah ive already tried the cd collection thing, but as i said, ive never been in a band with a female signer before. all my other bands have been more on the rock/heavier side of things, so most of my cds are that type of music, which we have already been through in the band and decided what we will and wont do.

    the band is just a general cover band, but it is starting to take the more funkier route, with a bit of rock and pop thrown in. think no boubt, maroon 5, etc. we also are playing some of the more solid rock type stuff (hit me with ya best shot, etc) to give our sets a bit of edge.

    i didnt mean i wanted help on the whole thing and i had no idea, i just thought that if i posted here then some other people might come up with some ideas that i hadnt thought of or am not aware of.
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Here's an idea. Go to somewhere you can look up artists, listen to sound clips and find related stuff - for example, amazon.com. Start with what you've got already and then follow up the "people who bought this also liked..." links. Although you're only getting 30s snippets rather than full songs, that may be enough to give a few clues about what to get next.

    Also, if you're sure you've exhausted your cd collections, how about asking friends, family and even fans of the band. Your profile puts you at university so there's probably hundreds of hours of suitable music scattered in dorm rooms across the campus. The advantage of personal networking is that you can borrow the stuff and give it a good listen for free.

  5. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    You could try:

    Carnival - Natlie Merchant - cool groove.
    Ironic, You oughta Know - Alanis Morisette
    Move Over - Janis Joplin - a fun song for all!!
    (Not sure of the exact title) - I don't want to wait - Paula Cole

    Joan Osborne - no particulars here, but she did a COOL version of one of the MoTown songs on Standing in The Shadows of MoTown.

    Bluesy stuff:
    Bonnie Raitt
    Susan Tedeschi

    You could also do some male vocal songs and just adapt them to your band.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.
  6. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    He's doing excatly that...by asking his TB friends. Try some aerosmith and G'n'R :p.

  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I was talking about people who could invite him round for a drink and say "listen to this". Tasmania's just a little bit too far for me to travel. Short of illegal file sharing it's a bit harder to pass on listening material to someone you hardly know round the other side of the planet.

    Having said that, one band with a female vocalist that caught my ear this week was Naked Blue. I haven't listened to them that closely but you can check out samples at:


  9. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI

    Jefferson Aeroplane, Fleetwood Mac, Who were some of those 70's singers... Cindy Louper and dang - I can just picture their faces, but...

    Oh! I love that song that goes "gonna make you, make you, make you notice!.. ...I need some of your attention, give it to me!" - now who was that? That is a great tune.

    There's a ton of good late-70's/early-80's stuff. Hm - my memory seems to be a little wiped-out from that period; others who were there said I had a great time though.

  10. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    "Brass in Pocket" by The Pretenders. Good tune except for the "I'm special" parts, IMHO ;)

    Anyways, to affro - man, doesn't have to have been originally sung by a woman to be covered by a woman. If you all like a song, any song, have the singer try it, it may be awesome.

    (I think women rock the hell out of vocals better than men almost every time. Joss Stone doing the White Stripes is the most recent example I can think of where a woman has torn a song a new @$$, taken it to a new level. And I thought the song was ok to begin with, too.)

    Great females/female-fronted bands to listen to for material - even if you're more "pop" and the source is not, you can always glean ideas from anywhere:

    Tori Amos
    Venus Hum
    Ani DiFranco
    Fiona Apple (my best friend's wife pulls Fiona out at karaoke, and people DIG it a LOT)
    Lords of Acid
    Siouxsie and the Banshees
  11. thump326


    Apr 30, 2004
    this might be a little out of the style youre going for, but some of Bjork's stuff is amazing... Human Behavior could be good...
  12. My band is a four piece, BASS, drums, keys and guitar. Our drummer is female. Like others have said, don't limit your list to just female recorded songs. Vicky (drummer) sings to name a few:

    Funky Music
    Piece of the Rock- Mothers Finest
    Just My Imagination
  13. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Tom Petty's breakdown sounds great with a female singer,
    Bonnie Raitt-give me one reason
    Bill withers-ain't no sunshine (again, cool with a female)
    Joni Mitchell-big yellow taxi or clouds
    also people get ready, or some kind of wonderful
  14. Chuck in some disco there's plenty
    Donna summer - Last dance , Carwash , Disco inferno ,
    Sister sledge - we are family ......etc

    Then there's soul you know Aretha Franklin
    Patti labelle
    Pop Pink
    Ashley Simpson :D ( we'll maybe not )
    Sheryl crow's -all I wanna do is have sum fun is a easy number

    But you get the idea get a variety of styles Rock, Blues, R&B, Funk, Disco ,PoP etc
    I mean there is always someone in the crowd that will ( Depending on the type of crowd ) want something to their liking
    Another thing if you guys can help out with harmonies it will make you guys even better but that's a perference of your choice
    Anyway Guys good luck
  15. thanks for all the help guys :D much appreciated
  16. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Having a female singer is cool. We do Carnival, Ironic, and several Bonnie Raitt tunes.
  17. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    You need to figure out her range and strengths. I play with a female singer that can go from Janis to James Brown to Robert Plant to Sheryl Crowe convincingly.

    Think Pretenders (lots of good bass parts here), think Janis Joplin, think Etta James, think Blondie, think Aretha, think Supremes (or Gladys or other motown stuff - GREAT BASS PARTS!!!).

    I much prefer playing with a female out front.
  18. ambolina

    ambolina Guest

    Apr 7, 2004
    San Diego, Ca
    Partially just seconding some suggestions here and throwing in some of my own (I'm a female, but I only sing backups, but these are songs I'd love to listen to if I went to see a cover band):

    Love is a Stranger or Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics
    Gigantic - The Pixies (it's the one Kim sang - LOVE it)
    I'm Special - The Pretenders
    I Touch Myself - DeVynls
    Spiderwebs - No Doubt (I like that better than Sunday Morning)
    Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
    Joey - Four Non Blondes (?)
    Everyday is a Winding Road - Sheryl Crow
    Take it Off - The Donnas
    Peek-a-Boo - Siouxie & The Banshees (this could be difficult for you to pull sonically though)
    Any of Aretha Franklin's greatest would be fun
    Blondie, but not the one w/ the rap
    Carol Kane - the song off Tapestry that I don't remember the name of
    You Got It - Bonnie Rait covered it on the Boys on the Side soundtrack and it was originally by a man...great song on a female (It's that "anything you want...you got it...anything you need...you got it...anything at all, baaaaaby" song)

    And I agree - if she can pull off Robert Plant, that would be cool.

    Happy Song selecting!
  19. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    Do some rush, Geddy sounds like a girl

  20. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    James Brown – It’s a Man’s World
    James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good)
    James Brown – Think
    James Brown – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
    Stevie Wonder – I Wish
    Stevie Wonder – Superstition
    Stevie Wonder – I Believe When I Fall In Love
    Stevie Wonder – I Was Made To Love Her
    Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
    Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
    Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
    The Gap Band – Burn Rubber
    Commodores – Brickhouse
    Village People – Macho Man
    KC & the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight
    KC & the Sunshine Band – That’s the Way I Like It
    Sly Stone – Thank U
    Kool & the Gang – Get Down on It
    Kool & the Gang – Jungle Boogie
    Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thang
    Dee-Light – Groove is in the Heart
    Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown
    Rolls Royce – Car Wash
    Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
    EWF – September
    EWF – Shining Star
    War – Low Rider
    Kool & the Gang – Ladie’s Night
    Archie Bell & the Drells – Tighten’ It Up
    Rick James – Superfreak
    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
    Lee Dorsey – Everything I Do Gohn be Fonky
    Quincy Jones – Midnight Soul Patrol
    Ike and Tina Turner – Sexy Ida
    The Meters – Cissy Strut
    Average White Band – Pick Up The Pieces
    KC & the Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty
    The Trammps – Disco Inferno
    Bee Gees – Staying Alive

    Miles Davis – All Blues
    Miles Davis – So What
    Joe Zawinul – Mercy Mercy Mercy
    Weather Report – Birdland

    Barry White – Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
    Doobie Brothers – Long Train Running
    Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter 23
    Bill Withers – Use Me
    Dobie Gray – Drift Away
    Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me
    Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
    Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrel – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
    Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrel – Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing
    Gladys Knight & the Pips – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
    Martha & the Vandellas – Dancing in the Streets
    Four Tops – Bernadette
    Four Tops – Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
    JR Walker & the All-Stars – Shotgun
    Isley Brothers – It’s Your Thing
    Isley Brothers – This Old Heart of Mine
    Temptations – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
    Johnnie Taylor – Who’s Making Love
    Wilson Pickett – Funky Broadway
    Wilson Pickett – Mustang Salley
    Wilson Pickett – Land of a Thousand Dances
    Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
    John Cougar Mellencamp – Wild Nights
    Aretha Franklin – Baby I Love You
    Aretha Franklin – Respect
    Aretha Franklin - Think
    Parliaments – I Wanna Testify
    Otis Redding – That’s How Strong My Love Is
    Pee Wee Ellis/Jaco Pastorious – The Chicken

    80s Pop
    Gary Numan – Cars
    Genesis – In the Air Tonight
    George Michael – Faith
    Joan Jett – I Love Rock N Roll
    John Cougar Mellencamp – Hurts So Good
    Kinks – You Really Got Me Now
    Modern English – I Melt With You
    Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
    Rod Stewart – Hot Legs
    Rod Stewart – If You Think I’m Sexy
    Stray Cats – Rock This Town
    Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut
    Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself
    Billy Idol – White Wedding
    Black Crowes – Hard to Handle
    Brian Adams – Summer of 69
    The Cure – Love Song
    The Cure – Close to Me
    Rod Stewart – Stay with Me
    Black Crowes – Hard to Handle
    Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
    U2 – With or Without You
    Bizarre Love Triangle – New Order
    Billy Joel – Still Rock and Roll to Me
    Beastie Boys – Fight For Your Right
    Beastie Boys – No Sleep Til Brooklyn
    Soft Cell – Tainted Love
    Devo – Whip It
    Adam Ant – Goodie Two Shoes
    Dexy’s Midnight Runner – Come On Eileen
    Young MC – Principal’s Office
    The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me
    The Police – Every Breath You Take
    Dead or Alive - You Spin Me (Round)
    Genesis – I Can’t Dance
    The Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang
    Love in an Elevator – Aerosmith
    Maneater – Hall n Oates
    Guns N Roses – Sweet Child of Mine
    Tom Petty – Mary Jane’s Last Dance
    Billy Joel – You May Be Right
    The Knack – Sharona
    UB40 – Red Red Wine
    Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
    John Cougar Mellencamp – Authority Song
    Georgia Satellites – Keep Your Hands to Yourself
    Romantics – What I Like About You
    The Klash – Should I Stay or Should I Go
    The Cars – Just What I Needed
    Cheap Trick – I Want You To Want Me
    Tommi Tutone – Jenni/867-5309
    Michael Jackson – Billie Jean

    90s Pop
    Hootie and the Blowfish – Let Her Cry
    Lenny Kravitz – Always on the Run
    Ben Harper – Burn to Shine
    Counting Crows – Mr. Jones
    Fastball – The Way
    Matchbox 20 – Push
    Sublime – What I Got
    Down – 311
    Longview – Green Day
    Smooth – Santana
    Ben Harper – Stealing Kisses
    Sublime – Santeria
    Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
    Dave Matthews Band – Too Much
    Dave Matthews Band – So Much To Say
    Dave Matthews Band – Stay

    Current Pop
    Flake – Jack Johnson
    Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones

    TV Theme – The Jeffersons
    TV Theme – Barney Miller
    TV Theme – Dukes of Hazzard
    TV Theme – Welcome Back Kotter

    Blues Brothers – Soul Man
    BB King – The Thrill is Gone
    Bobbi Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe
    Etta James – Sweet Little Angel
    ? – Sweet Home Chicago
    John Lee Hooker - One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
    George Thorogood – Bad to the Bone
    Tracy Chapman – Give Me One Reason
    Junior Wells – Messin’ w/ the Kid
    Dinah Washington – Bad Case of the Blues
    Some guy – Johnnie B. Goode

    Lou Ann Barton – You Can Have My Husband
    Soggy Bottom Boys – Man of Constant Sorrow

    Eagles – Hotel California
    Santana – Put Your Lights On
    Santana – Europa
    Santana – Oye Como Va
    Santana – Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
    Santana – Evil Ways
    Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
    Jimi Hendrix – Red House
    Jimi Hendrix – Pride & Joy
    CCR – Fortunate Son
    Beatles – One After 909
    Beatles – Come Together
    Mammas and the Papas – California Dreamin’
    Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Squirrel
    Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky
    Ritchie Valens – La Bamba
    CCR – Proud Mary
    Lenny Kravitz – American Woman
    Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
    Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
    Lynard Skynard – Sweet Home Alabama
    Johnny Rivers – Secret Agent Man
    Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville
    Charlie Daniels Band – Devil Went Down to Georgia