Cover Songs

  Condom 11:15 AM 21 Jun 11
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Most of us probably prefer the original versions of songs sung as the writer(s) intended but what covers do people think are better than the originals? My two personal favourites are "Lilac Wine" by Elkie Brooks which I think is streets ahead of the original Ertha Kitt version and "With A Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker which I consider to be even better than the Beatles version.

  Quickbeam 11:26 AM 21 Jun 11

Steve Harley's cover of Here Comes The Sun was also better than the Beatles version.

But for purely different, but not necessarily for the better, The Sex Pistols cover of Frank Sinatra's My way deserves a raised eyebrow and a wry smile, as does Alex Harvey's cover of Delilah.

  interzone55 11:26 AM 21 Jun 11

Not to most people's taste, but I do enjoy the many cover versions performed by Mark E Smith and his rotating Fall line-up.

There's A Ghost In My House and White Lightning are a particular joy.

I also like Flunk's version of New Order's Blue Monday, taking a pumping electro beat and turning it into a folk song is a stroke of genius.

Kirsty McColl's cover of New England is better than Billy Bragg's original, and Elvis Costello's cover of Robert Wyatt's Shipbuilding is equal to the original.

Not a popular choice, but The Swan's reworking of Joy Division's classic Love Will Tear Us Apart is very good as well, changing the style, and tempo of the tune means it's almost unrecognisable, but still good.

Finally, Frank Zappa, a very prolific songwriter himself, with almost 1,500 songs in his catalogue, did some very interesting covers in his live sets. The reggae version of Stairway to Heaven is brilliant, and I also like his covers of Purple Haze and Ring of Fire.

I think in order to record a successful cover of a song you need to make it your own, by changing the arrangement, and perhaps change the gender of the vocalist.

In order to record a terrible cover you just need to involve Simon Cowell at some stage...

  Condom 11:38 AM 21 Jun 11

alan14 Are you trying to jeapordise my post by mentioning that man's name? :-))

  interzone55 11:45 AM 21 Jun 11

Condom

Which man?

If it's the man in the last line then I apologise :-)

  Quickbeam 11:54 AM 21 Jun 11

Johnny Cash's U2 cover of One works for me, after a life lived to the full, he has a unique passion that comes out in it when he knows his days are numbered.

One

  interzone55 13:09 PM 21 Jun 11

Quickbeam

Ah haa, you've just reminded me of the greatest cover version ever. It didn't differ a great deal from the original, but the shear power of the song is amazing, especially when you consider he was close to death when he recorded the song.

Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nail's Hurt.

In fact there are a number of fantastic covers on Cash's 5 American Recordings series albums, espically the cover of Sting's I Hung My Head, Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus and We'll Meet Again.

I've also just remembered the many fantastic recordings Scott Walker made of Jacques Brel songs

  Woolwell 14:21 PM 21 Jun 11

Eva Cassidy's "Over the rainbow"

Only Men Aloud's singing Peter Skellern's "You're a lady"

  Proclaimer 14:53 PM 21 Jun 11

Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nail's Hurt. or Metallica doing pretty much any track on their Garage Inc Covers Album. Most that they done were brilliant.

  Crosstrainer2 15:09 PM 21 Jun 11

"Human" (Tin Tin out remix) Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders is my personal favourite, but SO many on Eric Claptons August Album too!

  dagbladet 19:56 PM 21 Jun 11

'The Baseballs' doing Rhianna's Umbrella.

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