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Even better than the real thing?

  1. Feb 26, 2013 #1
    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:tongue:)

    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."

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2013 #2
    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.
     
  4. Feb 26, 2013 #3

    WannabeNewton

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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):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwAdFZT2VOQ
     
  5. Feb 26, 2013 #4
    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.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXMW2otJXMQ
     
  6. Feb 26, 2013 #5

    collinsmark

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    Whether you're a Johnny Cash fan or not, it's hard not to like this song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml4HylhHFGk

    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
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  7. Feb 26, 2013 #6
    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.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Feb 26, 2013 #7

    jbunniii

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  9. Feb 26, 2013 #8
    Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I couldn't turn this song up loud enough, it was warbling my bass woofer.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2013 #9

    WannabeNewton

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    There is no band that can play a Pink Floyd song better than Pink Floyd =D.
     
  11. Feb 26, 2013 #10
    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  12. Feb 26, 2013 #11
    Les Claypool's Frog Brigade did the entire Animals album live back in 2000.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHGudSBtbck

    I wouldn't say it's better than the original but it's pretty damn good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  13. Feb 26, 2013 #12

    BobG

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    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.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzapgZI5SEc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Feb 26, 2013 #13

    Curious3141

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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:



    3xdx5go9C-w[/youtube] (I realise...rd, I can't stand the Guns n' Roses version).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  15. Feb 26, 2013 #14
    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.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  16. Feb 26, 2013 #15

    jbunniii

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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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  17. Feb 26, 2013 #16

    jbunniii

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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?
     
  18. Feb 26, 2013 #17
    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.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBmM79YadYM
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  19. Feb 26, 2013 #18

    jbunniii

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    LOL, the guitar solo starting at 2:30 sounds like it could have come straight off a Steely Dan record.
     
  20. Feb 27, 2013 #19

    Curious3141

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    Dissident Aggressor - orig. by Judas Priest, cover by Slayer:





    I love Priest, but somehow Tom Araya's vocals seem to fit this song a LOT better than Rob Halford's. And the song just seems to have a more definite purpose and a real menace in the hands of Slayer.

    Turnabout is fair play, so here's Slayer themselves being pipped. By a chick.

    Raining blood - orig. by Slayer, cover by Tori Amos.





    She's taken a thrash metal classic and made it into the ultimate moody goth anthem.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  21. Feb 27, 2013 #20

    collinsmark

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    This is Sinéad O'Connor's most famous song by a long shot. But she didn't write it (even though she typically sings mostly originals). This song was actually written by Prince. It was originally recorded and performed by Prince when he was with his band called The Family (I won't embed the original, but here's a link to a live version if you want: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GehNAFWWjEQ).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUiTQvT0W_0

    This song is so associated with Sinéad O'Connor that that some might even say it's the Sinéad O'Connor song; though I've never understood why it was this song that became so incredibly popular: I consider myself a fan of Sinéad O'Connor's music, but I've always thought that several of her other songs were much better than this, including anything on her first album, Lion and the Cobra.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
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