Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proven himself versatile on the big screen, from romantic lead opposite Zooey Deschanel ((500) Days of Summer) to a dream thief (Inception) to an anarchic sociopath (Hesher). This past weekend he proved that we could find humor in even the darkest of times with the cancer-comedy 50/50. However, his biggest passion is his company, hitRECord. The site is an open-collaborative production company where users can submit anything from stories to video to drawings to anything artistic. Gordon-Levitt also puts on shows to showcase some of the hitRECord collaborations users have come up with. At these shows he likes to do covers of popular songs to entertain and thank the crowd for coming. Here we take a look at 10 of the best musical covers from Regular Joe (his username for hitRECord) at his events.
10. “Alcohol” – Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley’s song written from the perspective of alcohol is witty and clever; everything that personifies hitRECord as a website. Out of all the covers on this list it’s most true to the original and we get to hear Gordon-Levitts Southern drawl.
9. “You Can’t Hurry Love” – The Supremes
One of the plethora of Motown songs to make the list, Gordon-Levitt sings this in an amazing falsetto that can rival Dianna Ross. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true, but this acoustic cover matches the doo-wop vibe straight from the 1960s. Most of the comments on the video claim that he’s on a nationwide tour to make women fall in love with him and the rest are female fans calling him adorable.
8. “Who’s Lovin’ You?” – The Miracles
Though the song was originally done by the Miracles, it was perhaps the Jackson 5 who made the song as popular as it is. This cover is stripped down and just has Gordon-Levitt with an acoustic guitar. Unlike other songs that he’s done at live shows, this song completely silences the crowd. They hang on every word as he sings the lamentation of an ex-lover.
7. “Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
Is there anything he can’t do? Putting aside his guitar, Gordon-Levitt plays this Oasis song at a piano. He claims to never have played piano and sang into a microphone at the same time; imagine what he’d be able to do with practice. Because any song he covers can’t be put on the hitRECord site he stops singing but keeps playing because Oasis doesn’t own the chords. That way the site would be able to sample the chords and the handmade beat the crowd backs him up with.
6. “Midnight Radio” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Thanks to a broken guitar, Gordon-Levitt sings this a cappella with the help of hand claps and finger snaps from the crowd. It gives him the chance to really showcase his vocals.
5. “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” – from Sesame Street
Not only is this an amazing song, but you get to hear the story about how hitRECord started. Gordon-Levitt explains the song helped him put things into perspective after his brother, Dan, passed away. It’s a touching tribute to the man who helped him throughout his entire life.
4. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin
Leave it to JGL to cover the Queen of Soul and put a playful and rocking spin on it. The crowd doesn’t seem to recognize the song until the ever popular hook. That’s when the crowd starts to sing a long and make this one of the most memorable musical moment at a hitRECord event.
4. “Lithium” – Nirvana
What’s so awesome about this performance is that he played it in Seattle as a tribute to Kurt Cobain. In fact, he really channels the late musician when he shouts “yeah” over and over. Regular Joe takes time to point out that it doesn’t matter that Cobain has been dead for a decade and a half because “the songs are fucking awesome” and that’s all that matters.
2. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
This was covered at the height of the song’s popularity, which sends the crowd into a sing-along frenzy. Gordon-Levitt even takes time to point out that the song references not one, but three Alfred Hitchcock films (Psycho, Vertigo and Rear Window) for those doubting Gaga’s lyrical ability to drop important pop-culture references. He goes all out for this one. You can really see the passion during the chorus’ nonsense lyrics.
1. “La Valse à Mille Temps” – Jacques Brel
Joseph Gordon-Levitt singing in French can make a woman’s ovaries explode, according to one YouTube commenter. Gordon-Levitt said that song was “about the only city that can rival New York City for me.” The song originally was a traditional Parisian song, but this rendition speeds it up making it more frantic. It’s definitely the most unique of all the songs on this list.