Even better than the real thing?


by DiracPool
Tags: real, thing
DiracPool
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#1
Feb26-13, 12:55 PM
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I wanted to start this thread as kind of an offshoot of the "best songs ever" thread. The spirit of this thread is to post cover versions of popular (or even not so popular) songs that you think are better than the original (or that you just really like)

As a part-time songwriter, doing a good cover of a song is an art in itself, every bit as challenging as writing an original song and sometimes even more so since there's no a priori expectations on you when creating an original. It's all about manipulating the arrangement of the song to give it your personal signature.

I used to do an acoustic act at several clubs in the Seattle area with a couple buddies of mine, mostly classic rock covers that were rich in vocal harmonies, CSNY, etc. We always made an effort to do unique arangements of the songs, which, as stated above isn't always easy because the temptation is to play and sing it in the arrangement of the commercial copy.

In any case, I'll start it off with a song I just stumbled on a couple days ago, David Gray's cover of Dylan's, "Meet me in the Morning."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8W98xDZjvg
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DiracPool
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Feb26-13, 01:23 PM
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Of course, we could generalize this thread to any artform, say remakes of movies, etc. It could be any work of art that you think was actually an improvement on the original.
WannabeNewton
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Feb26-13, 01:30 PM
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Probably the most famous example of a cover that is better than the original (with all due respect to the great Bob Dylan of course, I mean Hendrix doesn't hold a candle to Bob when it comes to writing profound music):


Jimmy Snyder
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Feb26-13, 01:37 PM
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Even better than the real thing?


I happen to like Bob Dylan's singing but I know there are many who would say you can't cover a song of his without improving it. Here's one for them.
collinsmark
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Feb26-13, 01:59 PM
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Whether you're a Johnny Cash fan or not, it's hard not to like this song:



Johnny wrote this song for his pet hamster, "Billy."

I'm kidding. It actually was written by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, and originally recorded and performed by Soundgarden.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusty_Cage
Adyssa
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Feb26-13, 05:43 PM
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I love this cover of Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar" by Primus, an alternative band from the 90s led by Les Claypool on bass and vocals. He plays a mean groove, and while it's a tasteful cover (IMHO), they really make it their own.

jbunniii
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Feb26-13, 05:55 PM
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DiracPool
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Feb26-13, 06:06 PM
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Quote Quote by Adyssa View Post
I love this cover of Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar" by Primus, an alternative band from the 90s led by Les Claypool on bass and vocals. He plays a mean groove, and while it's a tasteful cover (IMHO), they really make it their own.
Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I couldn't turn this song up loud enough, it was warbling my bass woofer.
WannabeNewton
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Feb26-13, 06:20 PM
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There is no band that can play a Pink Floyd song better than Pink Floyd =D.
DiracPool
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Feb26-13, 06:22 PM
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Quote Quote by WannabeNewton View Post
There is no band that can play a Pink Floyd song better than Pink Floyd =D.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with that, Newton, but that Primus cover was rockin in its own way. It goes in the "Not better but I really like it" category. I can imagine that bass line going on for years and decades and not getting bored with it.
Jimmy
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Feb26-13, 06:42 PM
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Quote Quote by Adyssa View Post
I love this cover of Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar" by Primus, an alternative band from the 90s led by Les Claypool on bass and vocals. He plays a mean groove, and while it's a tasteful cover (IMHO), they really make it their own.
Les Claypool's Frog Brigade did the entire Animals album live back in 2000.


I wouldn't say it's better than the original but it's pretty damn good.
BobG
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Feb26-13, 06:46 PM
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Quote Quote by DiracPool View Post
In any case, I'll start it off with a song I just stumbled on a couple days ago, David Gray's cover of Dylan's, "Meet me in the Morning."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8W98xDZjvg
Can we just have a thread of people who's cover of "Meet me in the Morning" is better than Dylan's original version?

I'd toss in Sarah Jarosz, but I think her cover of Tom Wait's "Come on Up to the House" is better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzapgZI5SEc
Curious3141
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Feb26-13, 07:06 PM
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"There she goes" - original by The La's, cover by Sixpence None The Richer:





"No woman no cry" - original by Bob Marley, cover by Boney M:





(I realise this may be considered sacrilegious by Marley/reggae fans, but I just find the Boney M version more catchy. To be fair, I grew up listening to Boney M, and I heard that version first).

"Am I evil?" - original by Diamond Head, cover by Metallica:





(I heard the Metallica version first. When I heard the DH original, it grew on me, now I find it hard to decide between them. In fact, I think I prefer the original now - it's got an awesome sludge metal feel to it. Anyway, I thought I'd include this because I'm still conflicted.).

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" - original by Bob Dylan, cover by Eric Clapton





(Again bracing myself against the "Sacrilege!!" criers - but I just love the Reggae version of the song better. For the record, I can't stand the Guns n' Roses version).
DiracPool
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Feb26-13, 07:39 PM
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"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" - original by Bob Dylan, cover by Eric Clapton
Oh boy, that Clapton version is great. Poor Bob. The G&R version is great too. But that's the thing about G&R, they don't really have too re-tool any song they cover, they're style is unmistakable and incomparable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcWTTs8QVRc
jbunniii
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Feb26-13, 08:03 PM
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Over the years, there have been many renditions of Eric Bogle's 1971 folk song And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda, but none can equal the Pogues' version. They own this song now.
jbunniii
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Feb26-13, 08:05 PM
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P.S. Ever noticed that Youtube clips sound like crap when they are embedded, but if you open them in Youtube they sound better? Is it a way to encourage us to sit through ads?
ImaLooser
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Feb26-13, 08:27 PM
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Quote Quote by jbunniii View Post
Over the years, there have been many renditions of Eric Bogle's 1971 folk song And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda, but none can equal the Pogues' version. They own this song now.
Long long ago I heard this over the radio sung by a woman and it was the greatest. It had a big effect on me. You've inspired me to look it up in this cyberage. It's Joan Baez. i don't see how anyone who has heard this could become a soldier.

It's funny, I remembered that song had a very clever and effective musical trick so I started writing songs that way. Listening to it now I find that it isn't that way! So I made up that trick myself without knowing it. Best musical idea I ever had.

There are thousands of covers that are better than the originals. Mainstream jazz is nothing but covers. So I'll pick possibly the silliest cover ever. IMO it's better than the original too, which makes it REALLY silly.

jbunniii
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Feb26-13, 08:50 PM
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Quote Quote by ImaLooser View Post
There are thousands of covers that are better than the originals. Mainstream jazz is nothing but covers. So I'll pick possibly the silliest cover ever. IMO it's better than the original too, which makes it REALLY silly.
LOL, the guitar solo starting at 2:30 sounds like it could have come straight off a Steely Dan record.


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