Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'll Cover You

Not everyone loves covers. But not everyone’s cool like me, so it kind of makes sense. I can appreciate a good cover when I hear one. I feel, though, to actually be considered a quality cover, the subsequent recording artist should take the original and put their own spin on it, to add an extra layer of interest to a song some (or many) already know. The cover doesn’t necessarily need to improve upon the original, but it should be at least AS GOOD AS the first time around.
Here’s an example of a good cover:
The original was performed by The Penguins (1954).
Sometimes, though, a cover can be bad. Seriously, if it’s not even as good as the original, don’t bother. This one is awful:

Since this one initially came out in 1965, during a time of genuine social/political turmoil, I feel like Hilary Duff’s cover is just offensive.
Sometimes, the cover eventually exceeds the fame of the original. “Tainted Love” is a perfect example, i.e., did you know it was originally sung by Gloria Jones (1964)? I only even knew about the Soft Cell version.
 Also, I love, love, love this one:

Got any super-cool covers for me?

1 comment:

  1. I'm way late on this, but for the longest time I couldn't comment on any of your posts, so let's pretend I'm not.

    A few of my favorite covers:

    Tori Amos' cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

    Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt"

    Real Big Fish's cover of "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution"

    As to bad covers, I heard a really boring cover of "War Pigs" on the radio a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember who it was by, but I do remember it sounded almost exactly like the original, minus any emotional impact whatsoever. The band sounded like a bunch of robots programmed to sound like Black Sabbath, only harder. There was also Sheryl Crowe's extremely ill-considered cover of "Sweet Child of Mine," which I don't even like to think about.