I hate covers!

Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Mac-Xpert, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Just like some people on this board (edesignuk to name one) I really hate covers. I think 99.9% of all covers are crap, that can't even get close to the original versions. Some artist, seem to even base there whole repertoire on covers (Like Joe Cocker, who should really rename himself in Joe Cover :p )

    My question is, are there actually people that like covers?
    Which cover do you think is better than the original version?
    And what's the worst cover you've ever heard?

    These are some I really hate myself:
    "It's my life" that No doubt did from the Talk Talk original.
    "behind blue eyes" that Limp bizkit did from the Who original. (particularly bad: the missing middle section and the added lyrics)
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #2
    Generally, yes I find them pointless and annoying, and they are used to give a new artist a quick backdoor into the public conciousness, but there are some that are worth the time, Cocker's version of "With a little help from my friends" is better than the original IMO, and I thought Kate Bush's "Rocket Man" was excellent, although her take on "The man I love" was less succesful.

    I think an artist who is genuinly trying something new with a song is OK, and can be very good indeed, but those who cover to disguise lack of songwriting ability should be shot at dawn ;) :D
     
  3. macrumors regular

    JPGR_Fan

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    #3
    NIN Hurt is excellent, however, I would have never discovered it without Johnny Cash doing it. The Man in Black changed the feel of it enough to make is his own. I like them both.

    On the other hand, despite Steve Jobs playing it at his latest Keynote, Johnny did not improve In My Life. In fact, IMHO, no one has improved a Beatle song with a cover, including individually, whether it be John, Paul, George or Ringo.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I agree with JPGR_Fan that no one has ever improved on a Beatles track. Joe cocker's version of "With a little help of my friends" I find acceptable but not better than the original. Most people seem to have forgotten that this track is originally by the Beatles, because whenever some else covers this track they seem to imitate the Cocker version and not the Beatles one. But maybe they just like that vesion more :rolleyes:
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #5
    To do a blanket "I don't like covers" is too wide ranging. 99% of the pop bands trying to cover rock classics are awful because they have no talent or imagination. But, there are plenty of examples of great covers:

    Anything by The Blues Brothers

    Eric Clapton, From The Cradle -- most of it was covers

    Luther Wright and the Wrongs, Rebuilding the Wall -- I'm not even a country fan, but redoing the entire Wall album as country / bluegrass is just such a brilliant concept that I love it anyway

    As for individual songs:

    Sloan does an excellent cover of "In the Mood" by Rush
    Led Zepplin doing Traveling Riverside Blues by Robert Johnson
    Primus doing The Devil Went to Georgia
    Great Big Sea doing Run Runaway by Slade
    The Headstones doing Tweeter and the Monkeyman by The Travelling Wilburies

    That's off the top of my head. There are easily as many good covers as there are bad ones.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Well, I did mean it more like the way you hear covers on the radio these day's from groups like: The sugar babes, Atomic Kitten, No doubt and that kind of stuff. But I wanted to keep the argument simple by saying "I hate covers" without further specifying.

    I still can’t say that most covers are anywhere near the original versions, particularly those recent “pop” ones. What’s maybe even worse is that some of the original artists actually contribute to those poor covers themselves. Like Elton John that ruins his own song “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” by turning it into modern pop-crap in his collaboration with Blue. The same goes for Sting ruining his own “Shape of my heart” with this Craig David dude.

    Of course I understand these people like to make easy money to, but really is it to much to ask for a bit more originality.

    Although I don't no most of the tracks you're talking about, Am I to understand that this "Luther Wright and the Wrongs, Rebuilding the Wall" is a cover from Pink Floyds The wall album, but than in a country style?
    That really sounds terrible to me :(
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I love Sarah McLaughlin's version of Blackbird. :D
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #8
    Well, here's my first problem with participating in this thread ... of all those names the only one I've even heard of is Atomic Kitten, and I was kind of hoping they had disappeared along with the Spice Girls :eek:. I've completely given up on radio in my city, because all I can get is either pop or classic rock (I'm not sure which is worse), and discover new music either through iTunes sharing or net radio.

    You really have to hear it to believe it. Consider it more bluegrass than country though. Lots of steel guitars. To some extent you have to consider it a novelty cover (of the entire album) -- which is probably a large part of the difference between it and a lot of what you've mentioned -- Luther Wright understands that he's destroying the song, has fun doing it, and thus ends up turning it into a redeemable version.

    P.S. Looking back at it, I realize 1/2 the covers I mentioned are Canadian bands, which is probably why you haven't heard of them.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #9
    I don't hate all covers...most of them, yes, all of them, no. :D
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    dukemeiser

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    #10
    I dislike covers, except for Johnny Cash doing Hurt. That is good stuff.
     
  11. macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #11
    Covers are fine, but punk covers are HORRIBLE.

    And there is a punk cover of everything. Get on Kazaa, or any P2P proggy, and search for punk cover. You will have Celine Dion covers, Jay-Z covers, marry poppins song covers, and hundreds of other random annoying songs.

    bah. punk = annoying.

    scem0
     
  12. Administrator emeritus

    Mudbug

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    #12
    Overall, generally speaking, I don't like covers. But there are, as others have said, exceptions to the rule.

    My biggest problem is with bands that have a cover as their debut single. IMHO, that's the record company's way of saying "these guys aren't talented - here's something you've heard before but can't quite place to throw you off and cover for their talent inadequacies."

    And what I particularly don't understand are covers of songs that suck. What's with that, really? If they weren't good the first time around, what makes someone think their rehashed crappy cover of it will do better?

    <edit> for those mentioning Johnny Cash's 'hurt' cover, don't forget his cover of Soundgarden's 'rusty cage' - and excellent remake as well. </edit>
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #13
    My favorite cover is Devo's version of the Stones' "Satisfaction."

    Tool also does a really nice version of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter."
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    #14
    Good point, this is my take on covers exactly... it's that new spin on a song that can (I repeat, CAN, but by no means always does) make a cover a worthwhile thing. It's the same thing with films: 99 percent of films that are re-makes are garbage, but when a director re-makes a film and puts an entirely new spin on it and essentially re-creates it, that can be an artform in itself.

    It usually works when the original film was rather lackluster or sort of forgettable. A good example: Cape Fear. The remake is a good film (not the best ever, but in my opinion it does beat the original film, which was really nothing special). When a director tries to remake a classic... now that is the worst sin in cinema. Prime example: Van Sant's re-make of Psycho. Absoltely pointless because it is simply impossible to improve on Hitchcock's film.

    Ooops, straying away from music and onto film.... sorry.

    Another good argument for music covers is the fact that most blues songs are done over and over again in new styles... not just by rock musicians (like Zeppelin or Hendrix) but by the original blues musicians themselves...

    ND
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    #15
    Duff-man says....I like a cover if it adds something to the original, whether that be a different interpretation sonically, or sometimes just a bit of humour. I don't generally like it when an artist fills up half an album or more with pointless takes that add nothing to the original, but it can be a nice break as an extra on a single, or as part of a live show. A few that I really like would be:
    Johnny Cash - Hurt
    Johnny Cash - The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave song)
    John Cale - Heartbreak Hotel
    This Mortal Coil - Song To the Siren
    Fairport Convention - Percy's Song (Bob Dylan)
    The Stranglers - Walk On By
    Charlotte Martin - Just Like Heaven (the Cure)
    ...that is just to name a few worth a listen....oh yeah!
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    GREAT call on Devo's Satisfaction... talk about a new spin. Perfect example of the rambling post I just put out there. That is a slick song. :cool:

    AND you have Eraserhead as your avatar... could my respect for you be any more profound? :)

    ND
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Sorry, this is the best cover of Satisfaction:
    "Satisfaction"

    Speaking of the Stones, their first single was an extraordinary cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On"
    Of course, it isn't available on iTMS.

    I second the bit about Clapton. Is "Crossroads" not the best Rock and Roll song ever created? Yep, you guessed it, it's a cover.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I like Grandaddy's version of Revolution better!!

    WORST COVER IN THE WORLD:

    Puff Daddy covering Sting's Every Move You Make
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #19
    And how could I forget D'Yer Mak'er by Eek-A-Mouse!

    (Which Otis Redding has *not* covered... so don't go there, girlfriend.)
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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    #20

    Speaking of Johnny Cash, he covered Beck's Rowboat,

    and Beck covered "I Walk the Line" by incorporating elements of the song into the bizarre (but totally cool) "Halo Of Gold." Beck redid his own song with "Burro" which is also excellent, and if you read the song credits he samples a crapload of different stuff (especially Odelay).


    I think covers are great, its always an excellent way of finding great musical talent that an artist you like really respects (or a cash cow for commercialized money-grubbers who aren't really artists anyway so why are you listening to them in the first place??)

    it's late.... i was trying to edit, not quote myself. l8er
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Well I don't really hate all covers either. I left 0.1 % margin just in case :p

    Allright, one cover I do like: "She's is not there" from Santana, originally from the animals. Santana's added guitar solo to the original does rock!.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I'm with you on that one!

    BTW what's up with this Johnny Cash, he seems awfully popular on this thread. Being a European I don't no his stuff (doesn't get played on the radio over here.) Although with all these covers he seems to have done, it sounds like he's some sort of American Joe Cocker :rolleyes: :p
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Just listened to it, but it sound more like Blues rather than Rock and Roll to me!

    The best rock song (without the "Roll" I guess ;) ) I think is: Steppenwolfs, Born to be Wild. It has all the right ingredients for a great rock-track. Good guitars, :cool: lyrics, excellent playing.. etc.
    It ain't a cover however.
     
  24. macrumors member

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    #24
    There are quite a few covers that are better than the original. Aretha Franklin's version of "Respect" immediately springs to mind. Cyndi Lauper's version of "All Through The Night" is definitive. It was a pretty common occurrence in the glory days of Motown (think Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and the Jackson 5's "Who's Lovin' You" for starters). Speaking of the incomparable Marvin Gaye, his "Yesterday" is every bit as good as the original IMO. It's a phenomenal reinterpretation. BTW, I also think Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" is better than the original. Not one of my favorite Beatles songs...

    Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You" is not a cover of The Police's "Every Breath You Take." It is a new song that samples the original (quite liberally).
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Technically speaking your right. But I think sampling (I prefer to call it stealing) is even worse! Maybe I should start a new thread about that: I hate sampled crap :D
     

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