Track of the Day: 'The Star-Spangled Banner' by Marvin Gaye

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader in NYC, David Leitner, has the perfect cover for the day:

Marvin Gaye’s “Star Spangled Banner” is the ultimate song transformation. What only he could sing, solo with a beat box …

If you have any Star-Spangled suggestions of your own, let us know and we’ll update. Update from Noam:

This version is my fave because Sufjan [Stevens] captures the menace of it. The song is fundamentally about a war, and although patriotism compels us to ignore the fact that war is hell, this cover doesn’t.

(Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)