“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac (1987); “Everywhere” by Chaka Khan (1996)

Chaka Khan’s had some wins as a songwriter; “Sweet Thing” perhaps chief among them. But she’s better known as an interpreter, and her choices of cover material over the years has been exquisite. She’s sung Stevie (“Tell Me Something Good”), she’s sung Joni (“Ladies Man”), she’s got Brenda Russell’s best song (“Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me Of A Friend)”) and of course, she turned a Prince album cut into the biggest hit of her career (“I Feel For You.”) No surprise, then, that she was able to work wonders on Fleetwood Mac’s late ’80s smash “Everywhere”.

In its originally recorded version, “Everywhere” is bouncy, buoyant pop. The lyrics are simple but not dumb in that prototypical Christine McVie way. If you’ve ever been so smitten with someone that you don’t want to let them out of your sight, you can identify with the lyrics of “Everywhere”.

Released as the third single from 1987’s Tango In The Night album, “Everywhere” was a sizable hit, climbing to the top of Billboard‘s adult contemporary chart. I can’t really remember hearing it on the radio during its heyday, which is a little strange because I definitely remember hearing Fleetwood Mac’s previous single, “Little Lies”, fairly often.

“Everywhere” must’ve seeped through into my subconscious, though, because I remember hearing Chaka’s version for the first time and recognizing the tune enough that I grabbed the CD to see if it was a “greatest hit” I’d somehow filed away or if it was a new track (“Everywhere” made its debut on Epiphany…Chaka’s first solo hits compilation).

What does Chaka add to an already great song? Her killer phrasing, for starters. She also turns the arrangement from breezy pop to island-spiced soul/jazz. The pace slows down to a lilt, allowing Chaka’s amazing voice to take center stage.

Whether you’re listening to Fleetwood Mac’s ear worm of an original or Chaka’s laid back cover, there’s no denying how great a song “Everywhere” is.

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