2002’s ‘Cover Magazine’ is a much less cryptic, typically literal title for one of Giant Sand’s lighter alternative offerings. A collection of covers which says as much about Howe Gelb’s personal musical taste as it does the friends he has made on his musical journey.
Being in the fortunate position of looking back on Giant Sand’s output with the 25th Anniversary reissue series, we are able to see the influences which have shaped the existence of the band at each turn and chapter. Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave and of course Rainer Ptacek have all made an impression and the tables are turned as Giant Sand give thanks with renditions of Young’s’ Out on The Weekend’, Cash’s ‘I’m leaving now’ and Rainer’s touching ‘The Inner Flame’. More contemporary takes on PJ Harvey and Goldfrapp show Giant Sand are forever keen and willing to listen. With Giant Sand’s clattering percussion and Howe’s meandering vocals, nothing should be assumed before listening. Each track is taken from a new (alternative, strange, weird, interesting, unexpected, intriguing) angle, so surprises are aplenty. A Black Sabbath lounge ballad anyone? This 25th Anniversary edition features two bonus tracks, ‘Summertime’ and ‘The Pilgrim (Chapter 33)’ Songwriters 1 – Marty Robbins/Neil Young 2 – Doe/Cervenka 3 – Iomi/Ward/Butler/Osborne 4 – Goldfrapp/Gregory 5 & 13 – Sonny Bono 6 – P J Harvey 7 – Johnny Cash/Bart Howan 8 – Nick Cave 9 – Roger Miller 10 – Johnny Cash 12 – Rainer Ptacek