Adam performs with Queen
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Adam Lambert over the years, it’s that as dynamic a recording artist as he is, that flash and fire is multiplied once he hits the stage.
This wasn’t lost on Brian May, who hand-picked Adam to perform with Queen, bringing his own interpretation to such classics as “We Will Rock You.” Is there anyone else of his generation that can step into Freddie Mercury’s Adidas Samba, and not look ridiculous? No.
In a bit of wish-fulfillment, I decided to pick nine divas and icons, past and present, and the songs I’d love to hear Adam perform. Some of them were hits, some were signature songs, but I think Adam could do them all justice.
When it comes to picking the perfect Cher song for Adam to tackle, it’s easy to choose “Believe,” but that’s too obvious. It should be a song with sass and attitude, to match Adam’s “no bullshit” swagger. At #3 would be “Save Up All Your Tears”, which was a minor hit for Cher in 1991, and #2 would be the campy sleaziness of “Hell On Wheels”, if only to see Adam on roller skates.
But the #1 Cher song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Just Like Jesse James”. The sight of Adam stalking the stage in cowboy gear is too hot to resist. Best Lyric – “Come On Baby Show Me What That Loaded Gun Is For.”
Pink and Adam will always be linked, thanks to the Pink-penned “Whataya Want From Me,” which became Adam’s biggest hit song (so far.) But there are other Pink songs I’d love to see Adam tackle on stage, as the two share the same rock fierceness. At #3 would be “Don’t Let Me Get Me”, with the lyrics “L.A. Told Me You’ll Be A Pop Star, All You Have To Change Is Everything You Are.”, and #2 would be the slow explosiveness of “Who Knew”.
But the #1 Pink song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Glitter In The Air”. Adam could do wonders with this plaintive ballad … but he should probably skip the aerial acrobatics (as much as I’d love to see him soaring above in a bodysuit). Best Lyric – “Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don’t care?”
Adam and Celine both share a penchant for theatrics, but he needs to do more chest-thumping if he wants to catch up. At #3 would be “My Heart Will Go On”, because sure, why not? and #2 would be the guitar crunch of “Taking Chances”.
But the #1 Celine song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”. Adam and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink music producer Jim Steinman would make a perfect fit (someone get on that!) and Adam would have a field day with this epic. Best Lyric – “There Were Nights Of Endless Pleasure, It Was More Than Any Laws Allow.”
But the #1 Gaga song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Edge Of Glory”. One of Gaga’s most urgent, pulsing tracks, I’d love to hear Adam’s upper register at full display. Best Lyric – “I need a man that thinks it’s right when it’s all wrong tonight”
Music’s greatest eccentric could find a kindred spirit in Adam, as they both march to the beat of their own drummer. At #3 would be the classic kookiness “Babooshka”, but only if he wore the costume, and #2 would be “Wuthering Heights”, if only to hear him sing “Heathcliff, It’s Me, Your Cathy.”
But the #1 Kate Bush song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “The Man With The Child In His Eyes”. I guarantee you’d be able to hear a pin drop in the audience if Adam performed this classic ballad on stage. Best Lyric – “Nobody Knows About My Man, They Think He’s Lost On Some Horizon.”
Grace and Adam are both islands unto themselves, and I’d love to see one singular talent pay tribute to another singular talent. At #3 would be “La Vie En Rose”, because it’s in French, and #2 would be “Pull Up To The Bumper”, for “Pull Up To my Bumper, Baby, In Your Long Black Limousine. Pull Up To The Bumper, Drive It In Between.”
But the #1 Grace Jones song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Demolition Man”. Grace was always one of rock’s greatest stage performers,and this cover of a Sting song is a perfect example. I’d love to see Adam’s take on it. Best Lyric – “I’m a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom.”
Annie is one of the great talents of the last 30 years, and I’m sure is one of Adam’s influences, so it’s only natural that we should hear his interpretations. At #3 is “Who’s That Girl”, because of the gender-switching fun, and #2 would be “Missionary Man”, because it would be balls-to-the-wall Adam.
But the #1 Annie Lennox song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Why”. Annie’s greatest song, it would be a showcase for Adam the balladeer. Best Lyric – “I Tell Myself Too Many Times Why Don’t You Ever Learn To Keep Your Big Mouth Shut.”
Another artist who may have influenced Adam (as she has countless other talented musicians), Stevie’s discography is vast and deep, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just three songs. But at #3 would be “Sisters Of The Moon”, because of its driving beat, and #2 would be “Gold Dust Woman”, because I’d love to hear Adam belt out the final note.
But the #1 Stevie Nicks song I’d love to see Adam cover is … “Edge Of Seventeen”. How could I not choose the greatest rock song of the 80’s? It’s rare I allow anyone to cover the Goddess Of Rock without throwing them stink eye (I’m looking at you, Lindsay Lohan), but I’ll make an exception in this case, because more than any other artist of his generation, I think Adam could do it justice. Best Lyric – “In The Web That Is My Own I Begin Again.”
Okay, your turn! What diva or icon would you love to hear Adam cover in concert?