Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top 5 Covers

I'm a fan of covers. I like to be able to compare, especially when the songs are completely different. Gives you a chance to hear each artist's interpretation of the song. I do have a bit of a problem with artists who cover songs outside of their genre (Avril Lavinge covering "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" for example), but I will relent if I think they did a good job (however, she did not).

Anyway. Top 5 Covers.

5. "The Chauffeur" - DEFTONES (originally DURAN DURAN)

I'm not a Duran Duran fan. I can't think of a single one of their other songs, but for some reason I knew this one. It's interesting, I think, it has a peculiar sound, a strange sort of sex appeal, and personally I think the lyrics are beautiful. Then I discovered Deftones had covered the song, now I can't listen to the original anymore. Chino has the voice that this song needed, he's got his sensual style that Deftones thrive with - the song is dirtier, it's rougher and it's got an edge that clashes in a perfect way with the lyrics that are still astoundingly beautiful.

4. "The Man Who Sold The World" - NIRVANA (originally DAVID BOWIE)

Whereas these two, Bowie and Nirvana, I am a great fan. My favourite difference between the two songs is that in Bowie's version, he sounds like he's singing with effort, though Cobain just sings the words like it's no big thing. Their voices are so different and play a major part in changing the tone of the song, while the music itself doesn't have maaaany differences between them. Maybe I just like the Nirvana version because I've watched Unplugged in New York so many times. It's an epic performance.

3. "I Will Survive" - CAKE (originally GLORIA GAYNOR)

Hate the original of this song, for no real reason other than I have heard it so many times, but the Cake version is just cool. McRea's deep voice, kinda twangy, also his backspacing and sprechgesang makes the song a lot more listenable and interesting, while at the same time the bass line is always funky and the guitar solos give an edge to a song that, initially, was about some fat bitch that can't keep a man. An EDGE, is what I'm saying.

**Special mention: "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" - CAKE (originally "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" - OSVALDO FARRES)**

2. "All Along the Watchtower" - JIMI HENDRIX (originally BOB DYLAN)

These are like two different songs, and it's almost a mistake to compare them. I love the intricacies to every piece of Hendrix's music - you can listen to his songs over and over for years and still notice new things you hadn't heard before - whereas, I find, with Dylan, you know his songs and you love them forever, but you know them backwards and forwards and there's nothing new to discover about them. That's why I love this cover - you have the original, known and loved, and the cover, always with something new to teach.

1. "Hallelujah" - JEFF BUCKLEY (originally LEONARD COHEN)

I find the main difference in the interpretation of these two versions is the use of Buckley's and Cohen's voices. Leonard Cohen has the dark, gravelly, aged voice that gives the song more of a lived-life vibe. Jeff Buckley's voice is soft, not really 'innocent' but inquisitive and curious, which gives the song an innocent tone, I guess. I, personally, prefer Jeff Buckley's version above all other versions, including Cohen's original. Just my opinion. Feel free to get pissed off about it.

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