I've been hearing a plenty of songs Cher should cover, starting with "Go To Sleep" by The Avett Brothers (who were incidentally on Austin City Limits this week). It's gritty and it's lovely and the lyrics are hard-worn with a bouncy melody.
You know, they told me I could just take my money and leave.
I hope the people on the ground will understand.
I hope the people in the crowd will understand.
Lay back, lay back, go to sleep my man.
Wipe the blood from your face and your hands.
Forgive yourself if you think you can.
Go to sleep, go to sleep a man.
But nothing gets me thinking about Cher more than listening to Nina Simone. Simone's torch singing is fiery. She has her own vocal limitations I suppose, a vibrato (but who complains about her vibrato?) and a voice that cracks from time to time. But she evokes a fabulous atmosphere, so much like dramatic costumery and scenery, and she makes you feel, the same feeling Sonny rhapsodized about on many a Cher album liner note of yore.
The most attention-grabbing performance at all is a great torch song. Riveting. I'm reminded of the way Barbra Streisand used to attack every song like an Oscar performance. I hear Nina Simon sing "I Need Some Sugar in my Bowl" and I think Cher could do that. If she was ever tempted to sing something so erotic and brazen. Torch is the perfect mash up of glitter on gritty.
I just added Cher to the Wikipedia entry for "Torch Song." I hope it sticks.