Wilco released two new recordings on Wednesday as part of the Spotify Singles Series. Jeff Tweedy’s outfit chose to cut an amiable version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” written by Nick Lowe and popularized by Elvis Costello.
Costello’s version of the track opens with a blistering drum roll. Costello adds thickly smeared vocals. In contrast, Wilco smoothed out the original’s abrasive edges, toning down the percussion and keeping the bass and guitar at placid levels.
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” was written by Lowe for the 1974 album The New Favourites of … Brinsley Schwarz. Later in the decade, Lowe became Costello’s producer, and Costello’s cover of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout)” appeared on the American version of 1979’s Armed Forces.
Another cover of the track by Curtis Stigers subsequently appeared on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. The album sold more than 17 million copies, according to the RIAA.