Ryan Adams: Wasted Years (Studio Version)

Ryan Adams Wasted YearsRyan Adams’ acoustic take on Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” was one of the best covers of 2011, even in its off-the-cuff live form. Soon after, Adams broke out similarly reimagined covers of Ratt and Danzig songs onstage, making us hope he might continue deconstructing the more sensitive side of these acts in official form for an unplugged metal covers EP. While that dream never came true, today does bring a studio version for the cut that started it all. For the sixth season of Showtime series Californication, producers have compiled a number of new and previously released covers, including Lissie’s rework of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and Adams’ new recording of said 1986 Maiden single. The studio track retains the hushed beauty of earlier takes while filling out the backdrop a bit with a second guitar part. Hear it over at Rolling Stone, and revisit his still-excellent first radio performance below:

“Wasted Years” (Live on BBC Radio)