Doppelganger songs by the Hollies, America, Ian Thomas, others: Gimme Five

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There are cover versions aplenty out there. Easy enough to do, they are not necessarily so easy to do well. But covering someone else’s sound, or their style? And we’re not talking about some curmudgeonly complaint that “it all sounds the same.” We’re talking about imitation that makes the listener really think, “Did I just hear who I thought I heard?”

To copy a style so convincingly that it starts to take on substance is hard to accomplish and maybe even pointless, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t happen often. Still, it does happen, as you’ll see on our list of favorite doppelganger songs …

“A PUBLIC EXECUTION,” MOUSE AND THE TRAPS (SINGLE, 1965): Doin’ the Dylan thing, and doing it well. Good thing it wasn’t actually a Dylan song. There might have been a lawsuit in there.

“LONG COOL WOMAN,” THE HOLLIES (DISTANT LIGHT, 1973): British ’60s pop stars transmute — for one song — into Creedence Clearwater Revival.

“MEET THE FLINTSTONES,” BRUCE SPRINGSTONE (LIVE AT BED ROCK, 1982): Parody records shouldn’t really count here, but this one is just to close to Bossdom to leave out.

“PAINTED LADIES,” IAN THOMAS (IAN THOMAS, 1973); “HORSE WITH NO NAME,” AMERICA (AMERICA, 1972): Talk Show host Jimmy Fallon’s dead ringer Neil Young impersonation is uncanny, but is predated by each of these two different performers’ Youngian approaches to their own tunes. There’s probably no reason in particular why Neil gets so many people wanting to sound like him, other than he’s so distinctive he’s an easy mark, as are others on this list.

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