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The Cover's Better


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Also: Johnny Cash's killer rendition of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" though I have to say I like both versions.

 

Though really, all those American Recordings albums are filled with examples of covers that are better than the originals, even when the originals are pretty great. As much as I love Steve Earle singing "The Devil's Right Hand", I like Cash's version even more...

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1. Sheila Chandra used to be on "Grange Hill."

 

2. Is there any difference between a cover and someone just singing songs from the general public catalogue of songs?

 

3. Robert Wyatt's version of "I'm A Believer" is not as good as the Monkees, but his version of "Shipbuilding" is better than Elvis Costello's.

 

4. Dave Edmunds' version of "Girls Talk" is also better than Elvis Costello's.

 

5. Are so many covers of songs by Dylan and Costello improvements because Dylan and Costello are not very good singers?

 

6. Exhibit: Van Morrison's "It's All Over Now Baby Blue".

 

7. If the Wiggles do "Six Days in A Leaky Boat", with Tim Finn guesting on guitar/vocals, is that a cover?

 

8. Same question: Mothers of Invention doing "Happy Together" with Kaylan and Volman on vocals.

 

9. Eddie and the Hot Rods' "Get Out of Denver" was beyond anything Bob Seger could have imagined.

 

10. On the other hand, The Ramones' "Let's Dance" sounded just like what Chris Montez really meant.

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5. Are so many covers of songs by Dylan and Costello improvements because Dylan and Costello are not very good singers?

Costello not a good singer? I disagree. One of my favorite voices to sing along with. Just yesterday I did a bang-up take on “Oliver's Army” and “Motel Matches”.

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jeff buckley's composite "hallelujah" is superior to cohen's (and to every other interpretation of this song); however, i usually prefer cohen's gravelly origins to the prettier versions by real singers.

 

 

This reminded me of another Buckley. I was first introduced to Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren by

. Then I found a version by Sheila Chandra on a Gifted Women of the World compilation cd. Then the last Robert Plant cd had a cover on it. THEN I found out the The Cocteau Twins did an amazing job of it as well!

 

It took me going to You Tube to finally hear Tim sing it himself... not as good as all the others with This Mortal Coil's production with Elisabeth Frasier's voice still being my favorite.

 

Truly, an amazing song.

 

Get your hands on Tim Buckley's "Blue Afternoon" CD or the double CD from London '68 "Dream Letter". He remains one of my favorite artists of all time. Jazz, blues, folk fusion, all before '70. Sad.

 

Steve-Speaking of Tim/Len

 

Bird on a Wire.

 

10,000 Maniacs, post Natalie, do a pretty good version of the Roxy's "More Than This".

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Continuing with my Bonzo Dog Band fetish, I think their version of Monster Mash is better than Bobby Boris Pickett's. (Especially once they replaced "coffin kickers" with "poodle stabbers"...).

 

And of course, their versions of many old songs, like "Jollity Farm," "Ali Baba's Camel," "Hunting Tigers Out in Indiah," "The Stork Has Brought a Son and Daughter for Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Mouse" and "The Sound of Music," are now definitive :blink:

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Arcade Fire's cover of their own No Cars Go is much better than the original. Somehow the stepped-up tempo and orchestrated big-production-number sound suit the “let's get the fuck out of here” ethos of the song better. Makes the original feel like coming off a Valium bender.

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I think a lot of recordings mentioned on this thread aren't covers, but then I am just a boring old pedant.

 

Interesting example (as opposed to just obvious): The Monkees' version of "I'm a Believer" is not a cover. Neil Diamond wrote it for them, as a jobbing songwriter, and they were the first to record it. Diamond recorded a version later.

 

I don't think recordings of standards are really covers either. Bryan Ferry's "These Foolish Things" is just a recording of a song sung by many artists over the years. It isn't a "cover".

 

Okay, ignore me.

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jeff buckley's composite "hallelujah" is superior to cohen's (and to every other interpretation of this song); however, i usually prefer cohen's gravelly origins to the prettier versions by real singers.

 

 

This reminded me of another Buckley. I was first introduced to Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren by

. Then I found a version by Sheila Chandra on a Gifted Women of the World compilation cd. Then the last Robert Plant cd had a cover on it. THEN I found out the The Cocteau Twins did an amazing job of it as well!

 

It took me going to You Tube to finally hear Tim sing it himself... not as good as all the others with This Mortal Coil's production with Elisabeth Frasier's voice still being my favorite.

 

Truly, an amazing song.

 

Get your hands on Tim Buckley's "Blue Afternoon" CD or the double CD from London '68 "Dream Letter". He remains one of my favorite artists of all time. Jazz, blues, folk fusion, all before '70. Sad.

 

Steve-Speaking of Tim/Len

 

Bird on a Wire.

 

 

Except that was Tim Hardin, not Buckley :blink:

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