« Stream Free Music to iPhone with Seeqpod | Main | iTunes Purchase Yields Preferred Seating For Concerts »

Second Hand Songs: The Ultimate Cover Song Database

second_hand_songs_logo.pngIf you are an obsessive playlist creator like me, you need to check out Second Hand Songs, a highly extensive covers and samples database. The additions to the database are the works of a group of fanatic cover song lovers, who devote their time on a voluntary basis. Users can submit songs though their forums. Unlike many related sites, they try to be as complete as possible (not just performer and song title, but also songwriters and original media) and order the data in a reusable and maintainable way.

To test out the site, I decided to create a playlist of all the samples used in the Beastie Boys masterpiece album “Paul’s Boutique”. Unfortunately I could not search for the album directly (search only scopes for song, artist and medium) but easily found a link on the Beastie’s main artist page. The album detail page alphabetically  lists each song along with the recording date, sample sources, and artists who covered the song (though it would be nice to view the album in the original track order as well as alphabetically). Song detail pages list individual sources and allow users to report a missing source or error. It would be really great if they put links to listen to the songs in iTunes, Rhapsody or other services, which could also provide the service with a potential source of revenue.


I then looked up each sample in Rhapsody and created the Paul’s Boutique Sample Vault. Because this album uses lots of rare materials, Rhapsody didn’t have all of the songs in their catalog but I did find about 85% of everything listed.

Listen to Paul’s Botique Sample Vault

Some ideas for playlists you can create by leveraging the database include:

• Collection of samples from an album
• Collection of covers from an artist
• Collection of covers of a song
• Collection of originals for popular cover songs
• Cover chain (artist A covered artist B covered artist C, etc.)

SHS also has an interesting statistics area where you can find information like most covered/sampled author and performer, most covered/sampled song, and longest cover chain.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



08.21.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetty

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>