How Do You Like Your Covers?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Angelo.M, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    OK, I'm bored.

    Just heard Counting Crows cover of the Dead's "Friend of the Devil." Dig the Crows, love the song, hate their cover; seems to squeeze the spark out of the song entirely.

    I was wondering how folks like their cover tunes. Do you like a complete reimagination? Do you like a respectful, faithful copy? Something in between? Does it vary by the artist covered or the artist covering?
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Anyway people want to do covers is alright with me. I may or may not embrace them? I think way too many artists stuff their albums with inferior stuff that they wrote. I'd like to see more artists do more covers.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    If I want a respectful/faithful copy I'd just opt for the original in most cases. I like some imagination and there is room to doing it a bit different IMO.

    A couple of cases of reworking/imagination? Try Freedy Johnston's cover of "Witchita Lineman" or Jon Brion cover of the Hollies "Sorry Suzanne".
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Great thread.

    I tend to prefer a somewhat faithfull rendering, in that, if the only way I know its a cover is that the lyrics are the same, then you probably went a tick too far.

    A while back when I was frothing at the keyboard over how derivative certain cuts on Ryan Adams' Rock and Roll sounded to me, I offered the viewpoint that, if you want to do an homage, just do a cover or an album of covers.

    I though Guns and Roses Spaghetti Incident was great, and they go out of their way in the liner notes telling their fans to track down the originals. Cool.

    Now, are there any covers that trump the original?

    Two that come to mind are Van Halen's You Really Got Me, and SRV's VooDoo Chile. IMHO of course.

    Any others?

    BGL
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I like them big, like on LP's, so the artwork can breathe, and on the back, so I can read the small print about the music [​IMG]

    Oh, I get it, well, I wouldn't like them so faithful that I can hardly tell the difference, tho in the context of a tribute album, that is not quite so important.

    Definitely think more covers should be made, for exactly the reason specified by Rachael B.

    One cover that has enchanted me for lo, these 10 or so years, is Lou Christies' BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON. I believe it was a 1920's tune, but his version, which can be heard in THE RAIN MAN movie soundtrack, almost goes into orbit.
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    There was an 8 track my neighbor had back in the mid 1970s called MOOG, which had the best cover of Nights in White Satin I can remember. No vocals, all synths, very cool.

    I find that too many covers lose the soul of what made the song great in the first place, and sometimes those songs are best left alone. There is no way to rebuild the magic.
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    It definitely depends.

    I've been diggin' Cassandra Wilson's new disc which includes a more up-tempo, conga infused cover of Dylan's Lay Lady Lay. Absolutely charming! She does real interesting covers and I usually like them, although I still have a hard time with her version of The Weight.

    Jazz music has the best covers.

    The greatest covers to me are the ones that turn music I don't like into music I do like. In pop, the strongest case like this for me is Prince's cover of Joan Osbourne's One of Us. I hated that song and still don't like her version, but in the hands of the Purple One, it is gorgeous.

    The same holds for great jazz covers of musicals, as I don't like musicals. Coltrane's and Grant Green's My Favorite Things and Oscar Peterson's album of music for West Side Story are faves.
     
  9. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    A local radio station has been playing the cover of a James song, "Laid" from the American Pie (???) soundtrack. It's very close to the original so I don't understand why they don't play the James version of it. I love the song so I am glad that it's finally getting some airplay about 10 years after it came out
     
  10. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Some good, some bad. I still think the best one is Jimi Hendrix's cover of "All Along The Watchtower". It's gotten to the pont where it's so good, most people don't know it belongs to Bob Dylan.

    Marilyn Manson butchered "Highway To Hell" though.
     
  11. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Love the Kinks and SRV covers...I think Aerosmith did a kick ass version of Come Together.

    I like covers where bands add their own sound into the mix while keeping it faithful and respectful. Exactly why VH's You Really Got Me is one of my all time favorite covers. Don't know if it trumps the original, but it comes damn close.
     
  12. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    In some cases, a cover version becomes (arguably) the definitive version of a song. Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah" comes to mind.

    As far as trumping the original: Eva Cassidy's version of Sting's "Fields of Gold" far outstrips the original, ready-for-adult-contemporary-radio recording. Sorry, Sting fans.
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Some covers I like:

    Spooky Tooth I AM THE WALRUS (Insects)
    Webb Wilder I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT (Electric Prunes)
    Todd Rundgren RAIN & STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER (Insects)
    Cassandra Wilson TUPELO HONEY (Van Morrison)
    Marvin Gaye YESTERDAY (Insects)
    Diana Krall AND I LOVE HER (Insects)
    Colleen Sexton GOLDEN TREASURE (Marc Benno) Bryan Ferry IT'S ALL OVER NOW BABY BLUE (Dylan)
    Richie Havens STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
    Rod Stewart ONLY A HOBO (Dylan)
    Jimi Hendrix SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE (Cream)
    Nazareth RUBY TUESDAY ( Rolling Bollos)
    Todd Rundgren DO YA (Roy Wood)
    Dr. John SATIN DOLL (Duke Ellington)
    Faces MEMPHIS (Chuck Berry)
    Sarah Mclachlan WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN (Donovan)
    Sting HOW INSENSITIVE (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
    Isley Brothers HELLO IT'S ME (Nazz/Todd Rundgren)

    What party would be complete without playing Steve & Eydie's cover of BLACK HOLE SUN? [​IMG]

    P.S. - Angelo, I aggree about FIELDS OF GOLD!!!! Judging by Sting's last album, he should be doing some covers too...
     
  14. dan-0

    dan-0 Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought the Great White live cd where they did nothing but Led Zepplin covers is spectacular!
     
  15. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I get the distinct impression that bluegrass consists of regurgitation within the genre more as a rule than an exception.

    One entry that crosses genres (bluegrass / rock) that is at least interesting is Vassar Clements' version of "White Room". The vocals are something of a mixed bag, depending on your POV (don't recall the vocalist), but there's a good fiddling segment.

    Doug
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I like Hayseed Dixie. [​IMG]
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Covers I like:

    Aimee Mann & Michael Penn, "Two of Us" (Beatles)
    Shawn Colvin, "(Looking for) the Heart of Saturday Night" (Tom Waits)
    Holy Cole Trio, Temptation (album of Tom Waits covers)
    Sarah McLachlan, "Ol' 55" (Tom Waits; sensing a theme here?)
    The Mavericks, "All that Heaven Will Allow" (Springsteen)
    10,000 Maniacs, "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville" (REM)
    Duncan Sheik, "Blasphemous Rumours" (Depeche Mode)
    Neil Finn, "How Soon is Now" (The Smiths)
    Cowboy Junkies, "Sweet Jane" (VU)
    Adam Duritz, "Carmelita" (Warren Zevon)
    Eva Cassidy, "Kathy's Song" (Paul Simon)
    Cassandra Wilson, "Last Train to Clarkesville" (Monkees)
    White Stripes, "One More Cup of Coffee" (Dylan)
    The Band, "Back to Memphis" (Chuck Berry)
    Staple Singers, "The Weight" (The Band)
    Emmylou Harris, "Racing in the Street" (Springsteen)

    Just to name a few...
     
  18. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    i prefer crossgenre covers, with the exception of covers played during live sets. at that point i dont mind covers so long as the original band is broken up and we will never get to see that song played live by the original. as for recorded songs go, i want the covers to be different enough to give me reason to play them over the original.
     
  19. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    David, that reminds me of the first time I saw the Blue Oyster Cult and they had just put out their 1st album. They were stille unknowns. They were playing the ballroom of the University of Tennessee for like $5 a head. They played their whole first album minus SHE'S AS BEAUTIFUL AS A FOOT which must of had overdubs that made it impractical to play? They played some songs more than once and they played Steppenwolf's BORN TO BE WILD 4 times, twice in a row at the end of the show.
     
  20. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Damn you, joke-stealer! Damn you to hell!

    I like a reimagination. "What would this song sound like if I had recorded it first?" That's what I do when I do covers.
     

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