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 Meme time! - Miscellaneous Debris – Archive

Meme time!

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

27 Jan 2006

(This meme is actually a cover version. The original was performed by velfadar)

List the 7 finest cover versions that ever were. In your opinion, that is.
Rules: You must name the name of the song, the original performer and the cover version performer.
You must then choose one and elaborate as to why the cover is more convincing than the origin.

Now, I happen to love cover versions. Usually, though, I like them because of how they reflect on the original, not necessarily because they are amazing in their own right. This said, here is my list:

1. Leonard Cohen’s “I Can’t Forget”, by The Pixies
2. Jacques Brel’s “Port of Amsterdam”, by David Bowie
3. Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, by Jimi Hendrix. Trite, I know, but for good reasons.
4. King Crimson’s “Fracture”, by Dokaka. Seriously.
5. Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhatten”, by R.E.M.
6. Hey Joe, by Robert Plant (Traditional, commonly attributed to Hendrix)
7. Mott the Hoople’s “All the Young Dudes”, by David Bowie (sorta cheating, actually).

Picking R.E.M.’s rendition of First We Take Manhatten may seem a bit cheesy at first – maybe it does to me because I don’t like R.E.M. very much while I do love Cohen. The reason I like their version so much is that Cohen set the scene for a dark, powerful, evocative story. He has the plot, he has an amazing laugh in there somewhere – but all in all he doesn’t capture the feel that he himself creates. Yes, I do refer to the chorus with Jennifer Warnes.
R.E.M. took this half-finished work and made it whole. The vocals are excellent – the second voice adding a lot of depth, and Michael Stipe sounding very determined. In short, it works.
Meanwhile, the Pixies version of I Can’t Forget is also excellent. The original is also very good, without the aforementioned problems, but Frank Black (or is it still Black Francis at that point?) adds his own slightly frantic, slightly ironic twist to the words.

Interesting to note that Cohen, while being an excellent performer in my opinion, has spawned quite a few wonderul cover versions on mine and Velfadar’s lists.

2 תגובות על Meme time!



14 בApril, 2006 בשעה 17:19

My 7 fave covers:

In no particular order

1) Saint Etienne’s version of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” … spacy, hypnotic, ideal for stretching out on a lazy summer afternoon
2) Paul Weller’s version of Gil Scott Heron’s “The Bottle” … The Modfather always lends himself well to covering other artists, even if some (like his take on The Carpenters’ “Close to You” from his all-covers comp “Studio 150” – which also contains yet another version of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”) tend to flirt into WTF??? territory
3) Pet Shop Boys’ version of Sterling Void’s “It’s Alright” … a house classic further enhanced into a doom disco gem Joy Division would have killed for
4) Goldbug’s version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” … gotta admit, it’d take king-size balls to take on the Gods of Heavy Metal especially when you come from another genre entirely. But in their hands, it strangely comes off somewhat irresistible
5) Blondie’s version of the Mighty Diamonds’ “The Tide is High” … yup, that track could’ve been playing a lot in li’l Gwen Stefani’s playroom – which should account for her eventual career path
6) Lords of the New Church’s version of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” … when I first heard that track being played over the radio, it really, REALLY changed the way I viewed ol’ Madge.
7) (tie)The Mike Flowers Pops’ version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”/Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” … sheesh, I’m practically scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but there’s a somehow perverse satisfaction gained when a musical act’s pompousness gets taken down a notch by a cheese-heavy cover (the line starts here for disco versions of U2’s back catalogue)

Btw…you can also find me over at Last.fm under the name sonnycheeebah



14 בApril, 2006 בשעה 18:13

Re: My 7 fave covers:

Whoo, more covers to play with!

I started looking for some of those – at least, those either covered or originally performed by artists I know/care about.

Didn’t know that The Tide is High is a cover – Blondie’s version is the only one I knew. Fun song, and definitely an influence on No Doubt’s jumpier songs.

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