When are covers preferred over the originals?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Ryan Tsang, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    I think it's whichever you happen to come across first in your life and end up liking, that's the version you'll prefer. When a song is really amazing to you, think about how hard is it to top that. And conversely, how easy would it be to better a shitty song? But who is gonna cover a shitty song to begin with? I think that's why older(than I) folks will always prefer influencial artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc.

    I can't imagine anyone improving on U2's "With or Without You" ,Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees",or GNR's "November Rain". If there will be covers, some young punk whose never grew up with these bands will probably prefer the covers.

    Having said that, I prefer these covers:
    Lush's "I Have The Moon". (The Magnetic Fields)
    The Donnas' "Strutter" (KISS)
    Marilyn Manson's "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode)
    Fiona Apple's "Across the Universe" (Beatles)
    Pet Shop Boys' "Always On My Mind" (Presley)
    Saint Etienne's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (Neil Young)
    Jimmy Eat World's "Last Christmas" (Wham) This one's reaaaally close! And I don't even like JEW.

    Yes, I know I'm blasphemous to many of you. Fire away.
     
  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" -- I favour the GN'R version, Clapton's is all right, don't like the original Dylan.

    "All Along The Watchtower" -- Hendrix rules! U2's is pretty good too, don't like the original Dylan (hmmm, is there a thread here?)

    "What A Fool Believes" -- I've always liked the original by the Doobie Brothers, but the cover by Peter Cox (lead singer of Go West) is pretty good too. Possibly because it's a reasonably faithful cover (i.e. similar in arrangement etc, nothing radical is changed).

    "Sweet Child O' Mine" -- obviously the original rules. When I first heard the cover, I was aghast, especially with the violin solo replacing Slash's licks, but it's not so grating now.
     
  3. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

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    Here's a rarely heard cover that I like...

    Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) doing an acoustic cover of Abba's "The Day Before You Came." Wow, it is incredible. I never really liked Abba that much before, but this track by Wilson is phenomenal.
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I think John Stevens' cover of "This Love" by Maroon 5 captures the emotion of the song much better than M5.
     
  5. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    Best cover of all time:

    Judas Priest - Johnny B. Goode

    From the Ram it Down Album. Excellent cover!
     
  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Anything done by 101 Strings [​IMG]
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Oy. . .I know 101 Strings. I am not supposed to be that old, damnit!!!!! [​IMG]

    How about Rush's version of Not Fade Away?

    Spock's Beard's version of Beware of Darkness.

    Dream Theater's version of Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding (tough call though).
     
  8. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    I prefer almost any Dylan cover to the original.
     
  9. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I can't stand covers that don't add anything to the original but rather appear to exist only to cash in on the original's popularity. The one that stands out most to me is Killing Me Softly With His Song which was re-done by the Fugees (Lauryn Hill). It is inferior to Roberta Flack's in every way except for maybe the sonics (which would be expected after 30 years).

    Same goes for a country version I heard recently of Desperado. The artist did nothing but play the song exactly like the Eagles' original.

    One of my faves is Scarborough Fair by Queensryche. (Who would've thunk they'd do a Simon and Garfunkel song?) Totally different from the original yet showcases the brilliance of the original song.
     
  10. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    I like Fear Factory's version of Cars by Gary Numan better than the original.

    Same with Aerosmith's cover of Come Together.

    I don't who it was but someone made a new wave type cover of Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky which I thought was better than the original the few times I've heard it.

    Gotta find Queensryche's version of Scarborough Fair..I didn't even know they covered that song.
     
  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Not a true "cover", but this reminds me of the Eagle's acoustic version of "Hotel California" on Hell Freezes Over. Quite different from the original, but "showcases the brilliance of the original song" very nicely. In contrast, I personally think Eric Clapton's Unplugged version of "Layla" is a far cry from the powerful original by Derek & The Dominos (and yes, I know Clapton is/was Derek); YMMV of course -- some I know like it.

    A rarely heard-of cover: Tony Hadley's cover of Duran Duran's "Save A Prayer". Quite good IMHO.
     
  12. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I heard of this version, but I've yet to hear it. :b

    I personally prefer the cover of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by Hall and Oates over the Righteous Brothers version.

    Another one to recommend is Aztec Camera's acoustic cover of Van Halen's "Jump".
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I'm just fine with groups doing covers. I think most groups should do more of them. Face it, most groups are not great writers. I'd rather they did 3 or 4 covers to fill up their album than fill it up with original filler. I aggree with the poster that grous aren't covering shitty songs, although some sure come out shitty. I've made around 30, eighty-minute Minidiscs the past 2 years of cover songs. I've had no trouble rounding up entertaining covers. I sure have vetoed some from my MD's too!

    The most dreaful cover from my collection, hmnn, I vetoed Deep Purple's cover of Donovan's Lalena. Rancid!

    My favourite cover in my collection so far, no doubt here, Eddie Hazel's blazing guitar, with the Brides Of Funkenstein on vocals for the Beatles' I Want You (she's atleast 200 kg). It's heavier than ever. He's one of the best ever, sadly, drugs took him down.

    My fav cover album has to be Booker T. & the M.G.'s Mclemore Avenue where they do the Insects' Abbey Road in a different order. As much as I like George Benson, I didn't care for his stab at same.

    My fav cover of musique sans vocals, King Curtis' Whole Lotta Love, studio version.

    Hot Rod Lincoln by Comander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen's is bitchin'. Spooky Tooth's I Am The Walrus rival or beats the original, IMO. I'd rather hear Johnny Winter play the Stones than the Rollers themselves.

    Groups that have done cover albums that I like: Paul Weller, Joan Jett, Styx, Todd Rundgren (one side, Faithful), Keb' Mo', Rush, Great White, Los Lobos....

    I'll take the T-Bones' Paint It Black over the Stones original any day of the week.

    The cover I most wanna hear...how 'bout K.D. Lang doing Ian Dury's I Want To Be Straight. I'd buy that for a dollar.

    I am the forum heretic.[​IMG] I believe even the Beatles can be bested, just not by Pete Best! Say hay, Eddie Hazel! I started a thread about that. Marvin Gaye sings Yesterday better than Paul McCartney me thinks. Nothing is sacred with me! [​IMG] Cooking is E-Z with Rachael's Recipe For Covered Music Dishes.
     
  14. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    Actually, isn't Led Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" itself really a cover???
     
  15. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Best cover: Hendrix--All Along the Watchtower
    Worst cover: Wilson Philips--Go Your Own Way (hell, even William Shatner's version of Rocket Man is better than that).

    Notable covers (though not necessarily better than originals): Jeff Healey's version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Bare Naked Ladies--Lovers in a Dangerous Time, Sarah Maclaclan--Blackbird, Elton John--Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (I like that one better than the original), Joe Cocker--A Little Help from my Friends, Joe Cocker--Then We Take Berlin
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Pretty much everything on Zep's first two albums are "covers." But without crediting most of the sources, I think the proper term is "stealing."

    Hendrix's Watchtower is great. Other than that I pretty much disagree with every opinion expressed to far on this thread.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I'll take Van Halen's "Pretty Woman" over Roy's, but I like VH better than Roy, so it only makes sense who I'd pick.I'll go one step further:

    I tend to like covers better just because of their clarity (especially when there's a large gap between the new and original recordings).Old recordings seem to piss me off, so I'd much prefer a pristine/clear sounding song to the original.
     
  18. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    Oh my. I don't even know where to start. Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams. All of you, take a back seat to the sonic clarity of Dream Theater.

    Just goofing around, but really, what you're missing.
     
  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I know, but I just can't get into that stuff.
     
  20. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Lori Lieberman recorded and released the song before Ms. Flack.
     

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