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Nicko

Cover Versions - Like the original or not

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4 hours ago, Nicko said:

I'm quite a fan of Natasha Bedingfield who basically does what you don't like.

I quite like her music although her annoying brother makes me want to kill. Mind you I do have fairy loving daughters who watch tinker bell movies on heavy repeat 

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I'm not sure there's a clear rule one way or t'other, but I've tended to be of the opinion that:

If you're recording it, make it your own or else what's the point?

If you're playing it live, it depends how well-known it is: most of the audience won't know the Camel song you've snuck into the setlist, but there'll be one bloke at the back who'll be delighted to hear it. But if it's a radio-friendly pop song that most people would recognise, I think there's a lot to be said for putting your own spin on it and leaving people guessing.

Which provides a neat segue into my own link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifIpiVFDMKc

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Back in the early 80s the Chili's did a good cover version of Sly and The Family Stone's If You Want me to stay:


Same album, they also did a cover of The Meter's Africa, but renamed to Hollywood... They were produced by George Clinton at the time 😎

 

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7 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

I think there's a difference between playing covers for an audience who mostly wants to sing along, dance and have fun, say at a private party or in a pub, and recording cover versions for an audience who is more interested in the music, such as fans of a band buying their CDs or going to their shows. I'd say the former should try and sound as much like the original as is feasible, depending on the number of musicians available, while the latter should offer their own take on the song. There are, obviously, limits to how much you can make a song your own without ruining it...

Couldn't agree more.

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7 hours ago, Nicko said:

Punter: Thats not how it goes

Me: Its how it goes when I play it

That reminds me of my guitarist in an old band of mine...
"Brian May doesn't play that song like that"
"He would if he was in this band!!"
 

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10 hours ago, Nicko said:

I'm a big fan of covers that have been properly re-worked.  Sometimes it works.............

Almost everything that Jimi Henmdrix did to Bob Dylan songs was better than Dylan's original 

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes can take a country track and make it listenable for someone who hates country

..........sometimes it doesn't.

Kirsty McColl's version of New England is absolute hell

UB40s Red Red Wine

And we really shouldn't mention Under the Bridge by All Saints.

But, even these atrocities are better than just rehashing someone elses song in the same style.

 

I'm of an apparently rare disposition in finding Dylan's All Along the Watchtower to be far better than Jimi's, mainly on account of the interplay between Bob's lyrics, simple arrangement and less-than-perfect vocals.  Having said that, I realise I may well be a 'covers purist' anyway, in as far as believing an original track is, by definition, 'better' (at least in terms of being true to its essence).

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2 hours ago, Cicero said:

Back in the early 80s the Chili's did a good cover version of Sly and The Family Stone's If You Want me to stay:


Same album, they also did a cover of The Meter's Africa, but renamed to Hollywood... They were produced by George Clinton at the time 😎

 

Also:

 

Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder

Search & Destroy - Iggy Pop

Fire - Jimi Hendrix

Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan

 

All fantastic covers, but then I would say that being a massive Chilis fan.

 

Not my kind of song but I think that the Stereophonics did a really good version of Handbags & Gladrags by Rod Stewart. GnR did knocking on heaven's door

I remember hearing Rod's version of Ruby Tuesday and years later heard the Stones doing the original - I thought the Stones version was a wind up. The vocals are pretty dire

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1 hour ago, Delberthot said:

 

Not my kind of song but I think that the Stereophonics did a really good version of Handbags & Gladrags by Rod Stewart.

 

Rod Stewart may have recorded it (1969?), but IIRC it was written (or at least co-written) by Manfred Mann's Mike D'Abo, with Chris Farlowe in mind to record it, which he did in 66 or 67.

D'A was apparently the producer on both, and played piano on Stewart's offering, IMO the weakest version.

Seen MD'A perform it live a couple of times, he accompanied himself on keys, referring to it as 'the composer's version'!

So which are the covers, and which is the original?

Edited by Baxlin
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I don't mind covers, as long as the cover band is Yes and the Beatles are the original band :)

bit of a wanky prog intro for 2 minutes, then it goes off :)

 

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I Don’t Need No Doctor, Humble Pie, Rockin’ The Fillmore. Also Hallelujah I Love Her So from the same album. Monster.

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8 hours ago, Cicero said:

Back in the early 80s the Chili's did a good cover version of Sly and The Family Stone's If You Want me to stay:


Same album, they also did a cover of The Meter's Africa, but renamed to Hollywood... They were produced by George Clinton at the time 😎

 

Ah, the Chilis. I remember watching a pre BSSM Chilis on a Jonathan Ross chat show doing Foxy Lady (I think!), Flea played the entire song hanging upside down!!!

As for myself, I love playing a quirky cover version. I was in a covers band who played most songs as per the original artist but for an encore we did 'I can see clearly now' in a punk style complete with Sex Pistols intro. Totally ruined a great song but the audience always seemed happy!

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Aretha Franklin's R.E.S.P.E.C.T and I Say A Little Prayer are all you need to know about covers.

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47 minutes ago, bazzbass said:

I don't mind covers, as long as the cover band is Yes and the Beatles are the original band :)

bit of a wanky prog intro for 2 minutes, then it goes off :)

 

A band I really don't like doing a song by a band that I dont like.  Utter purgatory.

ps Nice aviodance of the profanity filter there. 

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19 hours ago, Nicko said:

I'm a big fan of covers that have been properly re-worked.  Sometimes it works.............

Almost everything that Jimi Henmdrix did to Bob Dylan songs was better than Dylan's original 

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes can take a country track and make it listenable for someone who hates country

..........sometimes it doesn't.

Kirsty McColl's version of New England is absolute hell

UB40s Red Red Wine

And we really shouldn't mention Under the Bridge by All Saints.

But, even these atrocities are better than just rehashing someone elses song in the same style.

 

Personal taste init? Kirsty McColl's version of New England is the definitive IMO. The original was ok but he couldnt carry a song in a bucket. We do all covers but very  few of them as the original recording. We Funk them up, or like Mercy by the Third Degree, a great Northern Soul version of the Duffy song. I dare say Dylan fans would not agree with your take on Hendrix's covers of his songs. Subjective. Personally Hendrix made the songs so much better, but what do I know?

Edited by mikel
spelling mistakes
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I'm definitely in the "make it your own" camp. But you still have to retain enough of the flavour of the original for it to be recognisable. I love people who totally turn songs on their head like Hayseed Dixie doing blue grass covers of heavy metal songs. There's also a guy on YouTube called Leo Moracchioli who does heavy metal covers of pop songs and acoustic covers of rock and metal songs. Check him out. He's absolutely superb and really enjoys what he's doing without taking it too seriously. I could (and have) watch him for hours. 

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Currently doing a lot of Violent Femmes research...

their version of “do you really want to hurt me” by culture club is great.

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Leo Moracchioli does some fantastic covers in his own style, plus his videos are really entertaining to watch.

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5 minutes ago, Pauld said:

Leo Moracchioli does some fantastic covers in his own style, plus his videos are really entertaining to watch.

Sir you are a connoisseur. 😉

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18 hours ago, Norris said:

I don't mind most covers, but what I really dislike is the recent trend for adverts using dour cover versions by "quirky" female singers accompanied by melancholy piano. Usually they destroy a classic song, be it rock, dance, punk: the original genre is irrelevant. I'm looking at you Lloyds Bank especially, but perfume ads are guilty too. May they burn in whatever final destination for naughty people your chosen religion prescribes

Absolutely agree......I think it was the "Mad Wold" cover that started that particular malarkey off, which by itself wasn't too bad a cover

17 hours ago, TheGreek said:

Agree...

IMO when you do a cover you should give it your own stamp, do it completely different. Love what Hayseed Dixie do to Rock Classics.

 

Oooo, Ooo...a whole concert: 

 

Hayseed Dixie are the absolute business, seen them a couple of times.  

Edit: Reminded me that Craig Charles played a full-on funk version of "Ace of Spades" on R2 yesterday - great version, but really only the lyrics in common with the original

My favourite ever cover  - 

 

Edited by Shaggy

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My first band did a cover version of "Whole Again" by Atomic Kitten that mutated into a sort of double time mockney knees-up style version halfway through. That confused the girls on the dancefloor, let me tell you.

S.P.

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22 hours ago, Norris said:

I don't mind most covers, but what I really dislike is the recent trend for adverts using dour cover versions by "quirky" female singers accompanied by melancholy piano. Usually they destroy a classic song, be it rock, dance, punk: the original genre is irrelevant. I'm looking at you Lloyds Bank especially, but perfume ads are guilty too. May they burn in whatever final destination for naughty people your chosen religion prescribes

oh yes and ain't that the truth the two worst being..

 

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2 hours ago, phil.c60 said:

Dizzee Rascal "That's Not My Name" on a BBC Live Lounge CD I've got - well worth a listen IMHO.

 

As is the Biffy Clyro Unbrella cover which IIRC is on teh same CD.

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I really enjoy trying to rearrange a song in a different genre, and trying to convince my band to play it. Sometimes it works, and it ends up in our live set. 

In fact, I prefer that to trying to write a new song from scratch!

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