In his 1675 letter to fellow British scientist, Robert Hooke—the polymath who, in addition to being the first to visualize a microorganism, coined the term “cell”—Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” * I’ve always loved this metaphor, not simply because it is so visual, but also because it is so facilely applied to any number of people and situations.  To wit, of all of the artists releasing music, today, few (if any) have so adoringly embraced the musical greats who’ve come before, as has Miley Cyrus.

Leading up to and following the November 26 release of her seventh studio album, the glam rockin’ Plastic Hearts, Cyrus has performed a string of fantastic covers of hits from the 1970s (by The Velvet Underground, Blondie, and The Cure), the 1980s (by Hall & Oates), and the 1990s (by The Cranberries and Hole), and has released an incredible remix of one of her first singles from Plastic Hearts that mashes-up the song with one by Stevie Nicks (for which Nicks sang the track recorded for the mash-up, as opposed to merely approving a sampling of her song).

Here then, listed chronologically—including a video of the performance as well as some details about the original song—are my six favorite recent covers by Miley Cyrus (all performed between September 10 and December 02), as well as the aforementioned single.  Slaps, one and all.

“Maneater” by Hall & Oates
Written by John Oates, Daryl Hall, and Sara Allen
H2O (RCA Records, 1982)

Performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC (September 10, 2020)

“Heart of Glass” by Blondie
Written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
Parallel Lines (Chrysalis Records, 1978)

Performed at the IHeartRadio Music Festival (September 19, 2020)

“Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure
Written by Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst, and Michael Dempsey
Boys Don’t Cry (Fiction Records, 1979)

Performed at the Save Our Stages Fest (October 17, 2020)

“Zombie” by The Cranberries
Written by Dolores O’Riordan
No Need to Argue (Island Records, 1994)

Performed at the Save Our Stages Fest (October 17, 2020)

“Sweet Jane” by The Velvet Underground
Written by Lou Reed
Loaded (Atlantic Records, 1970)

Performed as part of MTV Unplugged Presents: Miley Cyrus Backyard Sessions (October 18, 2020)

“Doll Parts” by Hole
Written by Courtney Love
Live Through This (DGC Records, 1994)

Performed on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio (December 02, 2020) 

“Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix)” by Miley Cyrus featuring Stevie Nicks

“Midnight Sky”
Written by Miley Cyrus, Alexandra Tamposi, Andrew Wotman, Ilsey Juber, Jonathan Bellion, and Louis Bell
Plastic Hearts (RCA Records, 2020)

“Edge of Seventeen”
Written by Stevie Nicks
Bella Donna (Modern Records, 1982)

Performed on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio (December 02, 2020)

Plastic Hearts
Miley Cyrus
Click HERE to listen/download on iTunes

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: * Popularized by Newton, the use of dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants as a metaphor for building on previous discoveries to discover truth was first attributed to 12th Century scholar Bernard of Chartres in John of Salisbury’s Metalogicon (1159)]

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