Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday Five: Cover Versions

Very few cover versions can compare with the original and most remind me of bad karaoke. I knew people like to hear tunes that they know, rather than sometimes take a risk on an unfamiliar sound, but I've never really got the point of cover versions. 

Having said that, there are some that are fantastic and make me realise why bands bother - I realise in all cases, I actually really like the original too, but the 'new' treatment of it is different enough to make it work in another context.

5 Top Cover Versions:
  1. I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself - The White Stripes: I love the Dusty version (she is my favourite singer, after all), but this adaptation turns soulful angst into impotent rage - love it
  2. My Way - Sid Vicious: apparently this is the most covered song ever. Frank Sinatra did such a great job that this is the only other version worth bothering with
  3. You Sexy Thing - Cud: this was the version Him Outdoors wanted me to walk down the aisle to at our wedding. As it was in a church, I opted instead for You'll Never Walk Alone
  4. Rent - Carter USM: The original Pet Shop Boys version was sublime; this is in another world (even Neil Tennant said he preferred this version) - seen live at Machester Academy (1990) one of the most thrillingly vibrant (and actually violent) gigs I've ever been to
  5. I Think We're Alone Now - Snuff: bearing in mind the fact that in 1987 Tiffany got to number one in both the UK and the US with an appalling cover of this song, which first hit the charts twenty years earlier, performed by Tommy James and the Shondells, the fact that the Snuff version is usually overlooked is an absolute travesty


Jo said...

Hit Me Baby One More Time - Travis.

Crap band and crap song merge together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.Who knew that shiny pop tat could be transformed into something so threatening

Also Billy Bragg's Walk Away Renee -solves the whole "Aargh, why did you cover that!" syndrome by not really being a cover!

Kate Blackhurst said...

Good call on BB's Walk Away Renee cover. Again, I love the original too - and only Billy could get away with this.