Stories » WSJ exclusive! The Bad Plus cover Prince's 'The Beautiful Ones' from trio's upcoming 'It's Hard' album

Top 10 for Sep

WSJ exclusive! The Bad Plus cover Prince's 'The Beautiful Ones' from trio's upcoming 'It's Hard' album

Bookmark and Share

For the first new song from New York City-based jazz trio the Bad Plus's upcoming album "It's Hard," they returned to their Midwestern roots for a cover of Prince's "The Beautiful Ones." "It has a great melody, interesting changes and clear sections. And it's dramatic," says bassist Reid Anderson, who grew up in Minnesota. "It's undeniably pop music, but it's also a little strange. It kind of sums up Prince's appeal in that way." The song premieres today on Speakeasy below.

"The Beautiful Ones" is featured on an album of cover songs that demonstrate the group's diverse influences and their knack for making pop music into jazz songs – something they've been doing since their inception in 2000. The band recorded the 11-song album over the course of three days this past April, where they take on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps," Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," and TV on the Radio's "Staring at the Sun," among others. "We don't tend to dwell on the selection criteria, except that we like the source material to be diverse," Anderson says. "Each song has its unique appeal, but generally we're drawn to songs with strong melodies or hooks."

READ THE FULL Wall Street Journal ARTICLE & LISTEN TO THE TRACK