We first heard from Re-Cover in May of this year upon the release of their version of the Police classic, “Message in a Bottle.” That track introduced readers of The Static Dive to the exceptionally talented duo of Chris and Nadine. From Chris’ studio in Germany the two musicians recreate Pop and Rock classics in their own acoustic image.
The Re-Cover pair have been working together for over a decade. Five years ago they began releasing recorded versions of their creative arrangements of hits from across the decades. In that time they have covered a wide range of artists from pop to jazz, and they have connected with fans worldwide via their website re-cover-songs.com.
As its title suggests, “12 Unplugged Songs – 1984” is a collection of top songs from George Orwell’s favorite year. The record is an excellent example of Re-Cover’s unique toolset. Chris on guitar and Nadine on vocals deliver a dozen classics with a surplus of skill and style. With impeccable performances from both musicians and some truly brilliant arrangements, the album is a showcase for the duo’s unique set of skills.
From the opening drama of Talk Talk‘s “Such A Shame” to the closing credits of Phil Collins’ cinematic “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” Re-Cover puts their own unique stamp on universally loved hits. Both musicians are excellent throughout. Nadine’s voice has the cool confidence, easy style and technical perfection of a seasoned professional. Armed with only his acoustic guitar, Chris provides a rich and nuanced Pop production.
One of the biggest treats of “12 Unplugged Songs – 1984” is to hear the actual arrangement and song structure behind the lush 80’s production of the originals. Some songs, like Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” and Depeche Mode’s “People are People” lend themselves unexpectedly well to an acoustic arrangement. A real highlight is the Re-Cover version of Ray Parker Junior’s theme to the movie “Ghostbusters.” Not only does it work well acoustically, the stripped down arrangement highlights how surprisingly musically sophisticated the song really is. Re-Cover pulls it off in style.
We had the chance to chat with Chris from Re-Cover about the group’s music and their plans for the future. Check out his answers to our 8 questions. Listen to “12 Unplugged Songs – 1984” below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear “Ghostbusters” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with Re-Cover. Get on their website and socials and dig into a rich catalog of great music.
8 Questions with Chris from Re-Cover
Where are you from?
I am Chris, I am from Germany. I live in North-Hessen, one of the greenest parts in Germany. Less human, more nature, small dreamy villages, a lot of peace around you. The perfect environment to focus on beautiful music.
How long have you been making music?
Since my childhood. My father needs to put me between the speakers as a baby so I am quiet. :-D. I always wanted to listen to music. I always listened carefully, wrote down the lyrics, always wished vinyls for my birthday aso….
I started playing drums at the age of around 8-10, and was always in the school-band, beginning in elementary school. After that I was learning guitar, so I would say I have played music for more than 30 years. All the time covering songs was a huge part of playing music. I even “played the game”, where I listened to Live-Recordings of Paul McCartney and Elton John and imagined I was part of the band with a plastic guitar around my neck. That was all I needed. So I would say: I bring my favorite childhood game into real life and on stage. 🙂
But wait – to be honest: I started earlier. Here is a picture of my first drum set. 😀 That was my other favorite game beside the plastic guitar and I imagined I would play in the band I listen to. It was: Playing the children’s drum set and imagining I play in the band I am listening to. 😀
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
The singer is Nadine, a friend who is musically by my side for more than 10 years now. We shared a lot of stages and created a lot of concert shows together. Beside her there is just me.
The funny thing: Nadine doesn’t know every song in particular before I send it to her. I record the instrumental, sing her vocal line as an idea, she then sings on my “template” and just after that we listen to the original song together. I like it that way, so she can “explore” this song on her own like it is a new composition, you know? For sure, this is not the case for every song. But also most of the time she loves how I interpret the songs she knows so it is a completely new one – even for her. 😀
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Paul McCartney and Elton John are the two names that pop up when I first think about my musical influence. Of course I need to mention The Beatles and also I would like to mention Huey Lewis & The News, Sting (and The Police), Phil Collins (and Genesis) and also Neil Diamond. I grew up listening to all these musicians and their whole (solo-)albums and still do today. I always explore something new in their music.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
Interesting question. I would mention some movies and the characters/actors in them, such as “Back to the Future”, “Indiana Jones”, and the crew from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. If you ever struggle with a problem/challenge always think about: What would Captain Picard do? There never is a wrong answer. 😀
Also I am a huge fan of the series “The Wonder Years” and “Little House on the Prairie”. These series reflect many of my values, especially the character of Charles Ingalls and his family. 🙂 I also like the books and movies of Stephen King and I like his working attitude. He writes 5.000 words a day, no matter what. I like this exemplary creative consistency. I will stop here. Otherwise, we don’t have anything left for the next blog article. These were just the first ones, that came into my mind. 😀
What inspired you to create this project?
First of all: The music. I am always searching my mind for “concepts” I would like to create. This album is just the start to a series of “12 Unplugged Songs” – you know? I would like to visit the 70s and more from the 80s. In the end I would really love to see the whole decade released by Re-Cover.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I work on an Unplugged Album with the music from ABBA and I also would like to produce a whole album with music from Elton John and/or Paul McCartney. The thing is: I don’t want to just put out a “Best Of” album from them. I would like to cover a whole album. Regarding Elton John it could be “Captain Fantastic” or “The Fox”, if it will be Paul it could be “Pipes of Peace”.
I know, most people just know the hits. What I wish for is that more people listen to the, so named, “B-Sides” in the Re-Cover version and explore them new – you know? “That sounds cool, never heard that song before, let’s listen to the original.” Also I would like to tour again. We created and toured with concert shows back in 2018/2019 with the music of The Beatles (all #1 hits and some more) and a concert with the music of Simon & Garfunkel (the whole Concert in Central Park).
I also want to fulfill my dream for a little club tour through the USA. Just 2-3 musicians, Unplugged concerts and playing for an audience of about 80-120 people, 3-4 concerts a week, making people happy, selling some CDs and having a fantastic year (or at least 3-6 months) exploring the wonderful USA with the guitar. 🙂
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for helping me. 🙂 My aim is to release more songs and videos and put Re-Cover in a more “international” position, you know? Create a fanbase, who loves our kind of cover-style, getting in touch with them, maybe doing some online-concerts – something like that.
Regarding this I would like to say: I do all of this with love. I love the original songs, I love to interpret them, I love to make other people happy with my music and – yeah – just love to play the guitar and produce the songs. 🙂