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Author Topic: Cover Songs in Music  (Read 20386 times)

1995hoo

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2012, 10:56:58 AM »

I've always liked Bruce Springsteen's cover of Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom" (a live recording found on the Chimes of Freedom EP from 1988).

Jimmy Buffett's version of "Southern Cross" is better than the original, IMO.

The Gaslight Anthem's cover of "Tumbling Dice" (released only as a single for Record Store Day a few years ago) has some funk to it and it's a lot easier to understand the words than with the Stones' original recording. Their current album, Handwritten, has a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky." For the most part I turn the radio off if a Tom Petty song comes on, not because I dislike his music but because I feel like the radio stations massively overplay the same few songs of his. But I don't mind the Gaslight Anthem's cover. I'm sure it helps that they're easily my favorite reasonably new band (we have tickets to see them play the 9:30 Club in DC this December).
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2012, 11:04:03 AM »

I cover 4'33" nightly.

Do you time it?  If not, then it isn't really 4'33", is it?  You might, perhaps, actually be composing a new piece which you might entitle 4'51".
I creatively reinterpret it. Usually the background includes my fan gears grinding.

Anyway it's funny (maybe only in the roadman65 way) how everyone hates Beatles covers, yet they started out doing a bunch of covers.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2012, 11:38:31 AM »

I don't ever listen to cover versions. In my opinion, Pink Floyd covers are usually horrible as the music can never be truly covered. Pink Floyd used instruments most bands don't ever think of using. To sum it up, when I listen to music, it's gotta be the original song from the original album (occasionally I will listen to a greatest hits album).

It's interesting how, in a few generations, popular music went from focusing on the actual song to the artist performing the song. The "standards" of, say, 1930-1955, were very rarely written with specific artists in mind, so most of the best-known songs of that time have versions by most of the best-known artists of that time, each with their own interpretation, none of which lose the integrity of the lyric, tune or harmonic and/or rhythmic structure. Many artists even recorded multiple interpretations of the same song during their careers.

Once the artists by and large started writing their own material, it became much more rare for songs to be successfully covered by other artists - the song is immediately and inexorably tied into the band or singer who first released it (or at the least, had the first big hit with it).

I think at least part of it is, consciously or not, bands write songs that play to their own strengths as performers, rather than trying to write a song that can stand up to multiple interpretations by multiple artists.

So in the example above, for the listener, Pink Floyd (whom I like FWIW) songs are as much about the production of the song (instrumentation, engineering, etc) as the writing of the song itself (lyric, melody, harmony). Without the original production, the song doesn't resonate the same way. As I mentioned above, I'm the same way - using Beatles covers as an example, and I think they were excellent songwriters, but for whatever reason, without their voices or instrumentation, it doesn't feel the same. Yet, I can think of three versions of "I've Got You Under My Skin" - with radically different feels, and I like them all, because I like the song.

Not saying it's bad or good, it's just a different way of approaching the craft.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2012, 11:52:35 AM »

I can't say I've ever heard a U2 cover.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2012, 02:26:51 PM »

Clapton has done numerous cover tunes, mostly of old Blue artists that influenced him.  He even dedicated an album to Robert Johnson called Me and Mr. Johnson as a tribute to the artist using his songs.  Then two of his hits: After Midnight and Coccaine are originally done by J. J Cale, who a few years ago Eric done an  entire album with him. Then you have Knocking On Heaven's Door that was a Dylan song.

Then he covered one of his own Derek and The Dominos songs: Layla back in the early 90's starting the whole Unplugged thing that has grown into something big.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2012, 03:13:10 PM »

Clapton has done numerous cover tunes, mostly of old Blue artists that influenced him.  He even dedicated an album to Robert Johnson called Me and Mr. Johnson as a tribute to the artist using his songs.  Then two of his hits: After Midnight and Coccaine are originally done by J. J Cale, who a few years ago Eric done an  entire album with him. Then you have Knocking On Heaven's Door that was a Dylan song.

Then he covered one of his own Derek and The Dominos songs: Layla back in the early 90's starting the whole Unplugged thing that has grown into something big.

Unplugged was a bunch of acoustic covers of old blueses as well.
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1995hoo

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2012, 03:45:31 PM »

Clapton has done numerous cover tunes, mostly of old Blue artists that influenced him.  He even dedicated an album to Robert Johnson called Me and Mr. Johnson as a tribute to the artist using his songs.  Then two of his hits: After Midnight and Coccaine are originally done by J. J Cale, who a few years ago Eric done an  entire album with him. Then you have Knocking On Heaven's Door that was a Dylan song.

Then he covered one of his own Derek and The Dominos songs: Layla back in the early 90's starting the whole Unplugged thing that has grown into something big.

Clapton's album was the bigger hit, but Paul McCartney was the one who really got the fad rolling when he released the album Unplugged: The Official Bootleg after his appearance on that show. He had previously done an acoustic segment (not called "unplugged" at the time) during the 1975–76 Wings tour.

I remember when the dirge-like unplugged version of "Layla" was a hit. I was in college at the time and when I played the original version one day, one of my friends was appalled, said something like "What is this shit, this isn't 'Layla'!" He had only heard the unplugged version and didn't know anything about the original. I prefer the original.
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NYYPhil777

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2012, 05:34:44 PM »

I don't ever listen to cover versions. In my opinion, Pink Floyd covers are usually horrible as the music can never be truly covered. Pink Floyd used instruments most bands don't ever think of using. To sum it up, when I listen to music, it's gotta be the original song from the original album (occasionally I will listen to a greatest hits album).

It's interesting how, in a few generations, popular music went from focusing on the actual song to the artist performing the song. The "standards" of, say, 1930-1955, were very rarely written with specific artists in mind, so most of the best-known songs of that time have versions by most of the best-known artists of that time, each with their own interpretation, none of which lose the integrity of the lyric, tune or harmonic and/or rhythmic structure. Many artists even recorded multiple interpretations of the same song during their careers.

Once the artists by and large started writing their own material, it became much more rare for songs to be successfully covered by other artists - the song is immediately and inexorably tied into the band or singer who first released it (or at the least, had the first big hit with it).

I think at least part of it is, consciously or not, bands write songs that play to their own strengths as performers, rather than trying to write a song that can stand up to multiple interpretations by multiple artists.

So in the example above, for the listener, Pink Floyd (whom I like FWIW) songs are as much about the production of the song (instrumentation, engineering, etc) as the writing of the song itself (lyric, melody, harmony). Without the original production, the song doesn't resonate the same way. As I mentioned above, I'm the same way - using Beatles covers as an example, and I think they were excellent songwriters, but for whatever reason, without their voices or instrumentation, it doesn't feel the same. Yet, I can think of three versions of "I've Got You Under My Skin" - with radically different feels, and I like them all, because I like the song.

Not saying it's bad or good, it's just a different way of approaching the craft.
I totally agree with you. Apparently we all have different tastes for music. At least when musicians make music covers, I will give them an "A" for effort. At least they tried, and that's what matters.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2012, 06:26:30 PM »

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roadman

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2012, 07:31:54 PM »

Here's a question to ponder:  If an artist wrote a song for a group they weren't a part of, and then does a version of that song later, would that qualify as a "cover"?

The instance of this that immediately comes to mind is the Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday.  Carole King and Gerry Goffin originally wrote the song, but Carole King never performed it until recently - it's one of the songs on her live The Living Room Tour CD set.  BTW - Carole King's live version of the song during this concert blows the original out of the water.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 07:35:27 PM by roadman »
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2012, 07:49:38 PM »

Glenn Danzig wrote "Thirteen" for Johnny Cash then later recorded it with his band Danzig.
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Special K

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2012, 09:14:37 PM »

John Hiatt wrote and recorded several songs that became hits for others.

Thing Called Love (Bonnie Raitt)

Angel Eyes (Jeff Healey Band)

Drive South (Suzy Bogguss)
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2012, 09:49:03 PM »

With the demise of the album as a moneymaking vehicle for artists, you don't hear straight covers anymore where the money all goes to the songwriter(s) and little or none to the artist(s). Instead, artists will sample a snippet of an old song, claim originality, and only pay partial royalties instead of the whole thing.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2012, 09:44:31 AM »

Covers seem to vary a lot in quality, but every once in a while there's one I really like.

I, however, hate any cover made by Guns n' Roses. Axl Rose just overdoes it and it spoils everything. (Knaaawk knaaaawk knaaaaaawkin on hayyyyven's dooooowowooos... his voice makes it even worse)
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roadman

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2012, 12:49:23 PM »

John Hiatt wrote and recorded several songs that became hits for others.

Thing Called Love (Bonnie Raitt)

Angel Eyes (Jeff Healey Band)

Drive South (Suzy Bogguss)

But did he record those songs before those other artists or after?  That was the point of my original question.
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Special K

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2012, 03:30:03 PM »

John Hiatt wrote and recorded several songs that became hits for others.

Thing Called Love (Bonnie Raitt)

Angel Eyes (Jeff Healey Band)

Drive South (Suzy Bogguss)

But did he record those songs before those other artists or after?  That was the point of my original question.

Recording your own work is not a cover, regardless of which version came first. 

Also of note, David Bowie and Iggy Pop recorded a song called China Girl, though neither is considered a cover, since they co-wrote the song.

Sort of on topic, but this reminds me of the time when Tom Fogerty tried to sue his brother, John Fogerty (both formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival) for John's song recorded in the 80's called "Old Man Down the Road".  The melody is very similar to a song that CCR recorded called "Run Through the Jungle".  But, since John was the sole author of both songs, there was no merit to the suit.

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2012, 04:06:50 PM »

One of my favorites was POD's cover of Bullet the Blue Sky. I like they're version better than the U2 originals.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2012, 04:08:23 PM »

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" Originally by Marvin Gaye, remade not much later by CCR.

 

Actually, the first version was by Gladys Knight and the Pips and was a hit about a year before Marvin Gaye's version. It doesn't get a lot of airplay on the oldies stations, though, unlike Marvin Gaye's version.

Just for the record (oops! :pan:), I like CCR's version the best.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2012, 04:10:54 PM »

My favorite cover is April Wine's "Sign of the Gypsy Queen." I'm guessing very few people outside of Canada know that April Wine's version is a cover.



Who did the original?
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2012, 08:53:27 PM »

Every version of "Whiskey in the Jar" is a cover.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2012, 09:56:38 PM »

Quote
Then he covered one of his own Derek and The Dominos songs: Layla back in the early 90's starting the whole Unplugged thing that has grown into something big.

This is an interesting sub-topic. Artists who have covered their own songs.
Examples:
Laya-Eric Clapton
Walk This Way-Aerosmith. Newer version featured RUN DMC
I Honestly Love You-Ovivia Newton-John
Missing You-John Waite- Newer version a duet w/ Alison Krauss
I Will Always Love You-Dolly Parton. Covered more than once. One version a duet w/ Vince Gill
There's gotta be more.

Another interesting topic is songs where the remix was better than the ablum version,
The two that I can think of are:
You Drive Me Crazy-Britney Spears
Nobody Wants To Be Lonely-Ricky Martin w/ Christina Augilera

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2012, 10:08:50 PM »

This is an interesting sub-topic. Artists who have covered their own songs.

Chicago covered "25 or 6 to 4" on one of their late 80s albums.

Then a few years ago, the new lineup did an entire album of some of their older songs, called The Nashville Studio Recordings. Most were cover versions of the songs on which Terry Kath or Peter Cetera had been the vocalist, but they did a few Robert Lamm songs too.

Kiss also re-recorded a bunch of their old songs for a bonus CD that was included with their Sonic Boom album. Prior to that, they re-did "Strutter" as "Strutter 78" for the Double Platinum album, and did a new version of "Beth" with Eric Carr singing on the Smashes, Thrashes & Hits compilation.

And then there are all those "unplugged" albums...

Gene Simmons also did "See You In Your Dreams Tonight" on his solo album.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #47 on: October 23, 2012, 10:23:39 PM »

As mentioned in an earlier post, New Order has covered some Joy Division songs. Also, the John Mayer Trio live album has covers of a few of John's solo hits.
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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2012, 10:25:28 PM »

Nine Inch Nails and Linkin Park, among others, have done remix albums sampling or in some cases reimagining their earlier work.

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Re: Cover Songs in Music
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2012, 11:43:39 PM »

This is an interesting sub-topic. Artists who have covered their own songs.

Chicago covered "25 or 6 to 4" on one of their late 80s albums.

Then a few years ago, the new lineup did an entire album of some of their older songs, called The Nashville Studio Recordings. Most were cover versions of the songs on which Terry Kath or Peter Cetera had been the vocalist, but they did a few Robert Lamm songs too.

Kiss also re-recorded a bunch of their old songs for a bonus CD that was included with their Sonic Boom album. Prior to that, they re-did "Strutter" as "Strutter 78" for the Double Platinum album, and did a new version of "Beth" with Eric Carr singing on the Smashes, Thrashes & Hits compilation.

And then there are all those "unplugged" albums...

Gene Simmons also did "See You In Your Dreams Tonight" on his solo album.
I didn't know "25 or 6 to 4" wasn't originally by Chicago. I always thought Chicago was the original performer of that song.
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