Cover songs versus the original track, which ones are better?

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In summary, the conversation discussed which songs were performed, arranged, or produced better in a cover than the original version. They also debated which songs should have been left alone and whether restricting covers to released singles limits interesting comparisons. The discussion also touched on the subjectivity of judging which version is "better" and the importance of adding something unique to a cover. Examples of good and unnecessary covers were also mentioned. Overall, the conversation highlighted the different interpretations and emotions that can be evoked by a cover compared to the original version.
  • #1,191
The Beatles' All You Need Is Love



Nowadays the Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra performs a more upbeat version of All You Need Is Love as an encore.

It took me over a month to put two and two together. The Beatles, Liverpool.... The orchestra was honoring their homeboys.
 
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  • #1,192


I went to a "popular music" concert at Suntory. This was played as an encore. Takamitsu is the most honored Japanese composer. He also wrote orchestral works and so forth. Too "modern" for me.

 
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  • #1,193
jack action said:
Like everybody of my generation, I love that song that was meant to be a call to arms: "The generation's apathy is getting out of hand. [I'm] pleading to the kids, 'Wake up!'" The inspiration for the song was a quote written on his apartment's wall by a friend of his then-girlfriend: "Kurt smells like Teen Spirit". This guy who has felt unloved, ridiculed, and persecuted for the major part of his life took that as a suggestion that he was an inspirational figure.

The sad side of this story is that after he wrote and recorded the song, he learned that the meaning of his friend's quote was meant to laugh at him. Because he was so in love with his girlfriend and followed her everywhere, trying to spend every minute with her, the quote actually states that the scent of his girlfriend's deodorant (of the Teen Spirit brand) rubbed off on him. Too late to do anything about it.
I dunno, that he loves his girlfriend so much her perfume rubbed off on him, that's romantic, touching. Nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe he could have had a more positive attitude towards such things. And life in general. But did he listen to me? Nah...
 
  • #1,194
robphy said:


Here's another cover...

by the drummer Yoyoka and, later, with her family
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoyoka_Soma

(2018) Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit / Drum Cover by Yoyoka, 9 year old

( #592 Yoyoka )

(2021) Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit / Covered by YOYOKA family (KANEAIYOYOKA) at Home
The singer is Yoyoka's brother Shido , who is also a drummer and guitarist.

(see Yoyoka and her mom in #673 Killing in the Name)
 
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  • #1,195
Orig



Cover

 
  • #1,196
I met a man who was such a fan of Yoyoka he had dinner with her and her family in Los Angeles. They moved there from Hokkaido to further her career. She transformed him into a Japanese female fusion addict, away from his former alligiance to AC/DC and KISS. Not only did he attend every Jazz Avengers gig in the big island of Honshu, he was going to every individual show of the eight bandmembers. His goal was to get something signed by each one.

Another man walked up who resembled guitarist Etsuji Ogawa. It was close enough that I wondered whether it really was Etsuji but he wouldn't be hanging out in the audience. This man had gone to see the Jazz Avengers all the way up in Hokkaido so he was perhaps even more of a fan. I didn't have that sort of dedication but had been following some of the individual members for years before the JA even existed so that gave me senior status.

Etsuji Ogawa.jpg

Etsuji Ogawa​
 
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  • #1,197
"Speed Metal Symphony" is the last track on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_Metal_Symphony (1987)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacophony_(band)

( #767 on Marty Friedman ; #760 Tornado of Souls )
( #891 on Jason Becker who began suffering from ALS a few years after this video below )

(live, 1989) Cacophony - Speed Metal Symphony (Marty Friedman and Jason Becker) - Becker is about 19 here
&t=1m00s

(Speed Metal Symphony studio version 9m32s)

- Marty Friedman on Jason Becker and Cacophony (2011 interview)
- Story Behind The Song - Cacophony's Speed Metal Symphony (2002)
SPEED METAL SYMPHONY
This makes me think of Jason and me practicing on the rooftop of my downtown apartment on Taylor St. in San Francisco. Like 'Concerto', we could sleep through this one. There is a slow passage in this that Jason plays that is so gorgeous that it was the one sole deciding factor that made me want to start a band with him. Varney (executive producer) hated the dissonant ending of this song and quite appropriately referred to it as a trainwreck. Jason and I fought hard to keep it on the record. I can see Varney's point but there was something in the randomness and 'cacophony' of all that noise that attracted me and Jason to it.
- more videos are on pages of Jason Becker and of (drummer) Atma Anur and of (drummer) Ken Stavropoulos

- https://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/cacophony-speed-metal-symphony-tab-s3807t1



(2018) Speed Metal Symphony - Cacophony cover (Gabriel Guardian) - solo excerpt


(2021) Cacophony | Speed Metal Symphony | Piano/ Guitar arrangement ( Alessandro Marino / Edoardo Taddei)


(live, 2015) Luís Kalil: Speed Metal Symphony Laney Booth 2015 - Luís Kalil is 15 years old here

(2014) Luís Kalil - Speed Metal Symphony (Cacophony)

(2020) Speed Metal Symphony - Cacophony (Tribute The Jason Becker and Marty Friedman) - Henrique Guitar Player
 
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  • #1,198
 
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  • #1,199
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout_(Yes_song) (1971)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_(band)

(1972) YesSongs #7: YES - Roundabout





(2020) The Band Geeks play Roundabout (Quarantine Edition) - Richie Castellano (Band Geek and Blue Oyster Cult)


(2023) Yes - Roundabout / Drum Covered by Shido

(see also #1194 Yoyoka's family cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit )

(2019) JOJO的奇妙冒險 | Roundabout | YES | Fingerstyle Guitar cover - Feifei Du


(2014) ROUNDABOUT full cover- One man band - FridayNightLullaby


(2019) Pretty lovely maid girl plays bass(Yes Roundabout cover) - H.J.Freaks
 
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  • #1,200
 
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  • #1,201
Too hard to check or analyze what I hear: Is the timing of that Mission Impossible thing on the guitar correct?
 
  • #1,202
And now in the bad covers category, Wachtet Auf played on a slide guitar.

I suppose it's a matter of taste, but...I don't like it.



For some reason I like this one on an obsolete synthesizer, though I imagine some will hate it. Go figure. The Korg M-500 SP was rated "Don't bother" by Vintage Synth Explorer.

 
  • #1,203
symbolipoint said:
Too hard to check or analyze what I hear: Is the timing of that Mission Impossible thing on the guitar correct?
'Tis accurate. Mission Impossible is in 5/4 time. Eighth notes that count 3322 summing to ten.

Mission Impossible producer Barry Crane is well known in bridge circles for having been the biggest jerk. He ended up being murdered.
 
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  • #1,204
symbolipoint said:
Too hard to check or analyze what I hear: Is the timing of that Mission Impossible thing on the guitar correct?
It has that "Id like to be in America" feel about it doesn't it? But America has one extra beat on the "CA" from Ame-ri-CA.

That's compound 6/8 3/4

You could write "MissIon" in 6/8 2/4 on that basis and it would work ok I think.

I would certainly think of it like that if I had to busk it rather than read it.
 
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  • #1,205
Hornbein said:
Mission Impossible producer Barry Crane is well known in bridge circles for having been the biggest jerk. He ended up being murdered.
That's seems rather heavy for bridge. I know those guys take it seriously but come on!
 
  • #1,206
C.o @robphy I had to check these guys out. Anyone who tries to cover Yes must be a very good musician, anyone who tried to cover "Close the edge" must be nuts.

 
  • #1,207
pinball1970 said:
C.o @robphy I had to check these guys out. Anyone who tries to cover Yes must be a very good musician, anyone who tried to cover "Close the edge" must be nuts.


You know the Band Geeks are touring with Jon Anderson singing, right? I'd love to see them.
 
  • #1,208
pinball1970 said:
It has that "Id like to be in America" feel about it doesn't it? But America has one extra beat on the "CA" from Ame-ri-CA.

That's compound 6/8 3/4

You could write "MissIon" in 6/8 2/4 on that basis and it would work ok I think.

I would certainly think of it like that if I had to busk it rather than read it.
pinball1970, maybe I'm confused. I go through reciting that phrasing and I find a count of 12. (and the rhythm is recognizable.) But that is likely in-line with what you're trying to say.
 
  • #1,209
symbolipoint said:
pinball1970, maybe I'm confused. I go through reciting that phrasing and I find a count of 12. (and the rhythm is recognizable.) But that is likely in-line with what you're trying to say.
Yes America is twelve quavers.

I wan to be in A me-ri-CA
1 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 1. 2 3
Crotchets are mer ri ca
Mission is ten

Da da da da da da DA. DA

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 1. 2

DA DA are crotchets
 
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  • #1,210


Covers of pop songs by orchestras always used to be stiff. Now all the players have grown up having heard this music their entire lives so they know how it's supposed to sound. Musical notation captures only so much -- it doesn't give you the phrasing.
 
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  • #1,211
 
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  • #1,212
About as heavy a groove as thou shalt ever encounter.

A bassist who auditioned for Prince said the main test was playing the same riff over and over. He left then came back a half hour later to check whether they still had the groove.

Nice solo on the by-me-despised Minimoog.

 
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  • #1,213
 
  • #1,214
Orig



Cover by Wilson Pickett. His audience seems to be 100% men.



Tina Turner modeled her act on Wilson.

I still like the Cannibal and the Headhunters version. It made a big impression at age ten.
 
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  • #1,215
Thanks to @fresh_42 with one of his posts, I found something we could call a trifecta:

The original:



A cover (maybe more of a translated version but still a very different arrangement):



A cover of a cover:



And I'm tempted to call this one a cover of a cover of a cover as the first part sounds kind of a parody of the Elvis' version:

 
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  • #1,216
jack action said:
Thanks to @fresh_42 with one of his posts, I found something we could call a trifecta:
Definitely the original French version. I don't like Sinatra, and my sister is a hard-core Elvis fan, so I would even vote for him rather than for the untalented Sinatra. The Sex Pistols' version is ridiculous. Even a cover like this ...



... is funnier!

Here is another song that is of French origin (language-wise, Jacques Brel was a Belgian):



I should have known. Canadians are not really famous for depressive songs.

And I probably have already mentioned this original:



and its only allowed cover:

 
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  • #1,217
fresh_42 said:


I have memorized the first line in Russian. "Riding in a troika with sleigh bells." So I checked to see it was a troika [three horses in a line]. Check. I always thought it was through snow though. Picky picky.

French pop music is unique. Lots of bathetic ego ballads. Not a bone of rock and roll in their bodies.

Possibly the most standard of jazz standards, Autumn Leaves, was originally a French pop song. In 6/8 though. I kind of prefer it that way.
 
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  • #1,218
Hornbein said:
French pop music is unique. Lots of bathetic ego ballads. Not a bone of rock and roll in their bodies.
That's why I love Europe. French chansons, Scandinavian Hard-Rock, and especially the Finns are crazy! (*) I've seen the Leningrad Cowboys live and one of their songs was "Chinese people <hem, cough, uhmm> so fast." British Pop, Italian Dolce Vita, etc. And we have some serious Jazz festivals here and in Switzerland.

Just travel a bit and you can enjoy a different culture. We even sent this ...



... to the ESC. (The singer, Jane Comerford, is an Australian professor of singing here.) And I cannot tell you how many hours I spent watching my former girlfriend practicing Line Dance!
______
(*) I've seen today on TV that Finns consume more peas than they consume snack bars!
 
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  • #1,219
fresh_42 said:
Just travel a bit and you can enjoy a different culture.

I went through southeast Asia in 2003. It's a lot like Europe : compact and each country quite distinct.

Burma : Western style, great. Eastern style, wild! They don't even have time signatures. Might be most musically talented per capita on Earth.
Laos : They have only two songs. It's a slow minor blues about lost love 90% of the time. The other 10% is brisk with a two note melody.
Cambodia : Music made no impression. Trash everywhere. Beautiful children in a bad situation.
Viet Nam, Thailand : 100% ballads. Viet Nam showed no western influence. I quite like what they do.
Phillipines : World's best power singers. The most famous one -- he has his own TV show -- had a sex change operation.

Today's China is exploding into prosperity. It reminds me of my 1960's youth. What will they come up with?

Nowadays I spend half of my years in the musical paradise that is Tokyo. The other arts are just as good too. Dance is a big deal in Asia, even more so than music. South Korea leads the way in popular dance. Westerners consider this immoral.
 
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  • #1,220
Original Just The Two Of Us.

I long thought this was Boz Scaggs. Not.



I went into a vintage keyboard shop. I thought the synthesizers sucked cheese but the Fender/Rhodes were very nice. They are still made but too expensive, high maintenance, and heavy for popularity. The electronic fake ones are pretty good but always seem to have a certain thinness.

Cover by Muses

 
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  • #1,221
 
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  • #1,222
Here is another song I only knew from the movie ...



... and didn't know it's actually quite old



I prefer the cover in this case.

What I cannot decide between is whether Et Maintenant in its original version from Gilbert Bécaud is better ...



... is better or Elvis's version of What Now My Love ...



I like both versions. It's probably because you can play the song with only two chords, C major and D minor - pure minimalism.

And don't mention this other Crétin again.
 
  • #1,223
Orig of Oh No



Cover by the Fraternity of Man
Back when the organ was still a rock instrument.

 
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  • #1,224
The orig. Competing for Luxembourgh on Eurovision. Greek singer living in Germany singing in French. They got 4th place.



Cover : Jeff Beck's little-known foray into Muzak. Seriously.

 
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  • #1,225
 
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