The cover version is a difficult thing – do it the same as the original then many ask why you’ve bothered, arrange it in a new way you often split opinion. I love cover versions that put their own spin on things. Following on from the earlier Glen Campbell post I went and listened to his “Meet Glen Campbell” album and then had a listen to “The Piano Guys” album I downloaded yesterday after seeing their version of One Direction’s “That’s what makes you Beautiful” that is doing the rounds on Facebook just now.
I thought I’d share a few of my favourite cover versions, some you’ll love, some you’ll hate; some you’ll know and some will be new but enjoy. If you have any recommendations please leave a comment at the bottom of the page because I do love stumbling across new people doing something new with old songs.
Starting with Glen Campbell this is his version of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of your life)”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPpJT3QRRnk I love the original but this sounds like it should really be the original version. By giving it a folksy/country makeover it goes to show a good song is good song regardless of the genre.
Next up The Piano Guys with “That’s what makes you beautiful” by One direction – even if you are not a fan you have to recognise the musical brilliance of this version all on one grand piano with five guys playing every part of the instrument http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VqTwnAuHws So clever and it is a really uplifting video to watch as it shows what great artists can do.
Classic songs shouldn’t be tampered with? Wrong! 80s pop anthem “Girls just want to have fun” by Cyndi Lauper was taken by Greg Laswell and slowed down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k_vSH2MV0g I first heard this on the TV series “Damages” and it blew me away.
Another slower version of a Classic is Tori Amos’s take on the 79 hit “I don’t like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XirdPLIo7QU She takes a song which was originally full of anger and hatred and changes it into a dark melancholic thing of beauty. The album “Strange Little Girls” also has a fantastic cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the silence” which is almost as good as this one.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s cover of “Somewhere over the rainbow” takes one of the greatest songs ever written and makes it even better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k Famous for being used on many adverts and on soundtracks it is beautiful and uplifting.
Up tempo now for a great covers band from Germany called the Baseballs with their version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM2177pHMT0 It shouldn’t work but it really does.
Another that shouldn’t work is Hayseed Dixie’s version of Scissor Sisters’s “Don’t feel like dancing” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV9Xuw0Sojg even though they are taking the piss the musicality of it is outstanding.
The Band from TV are a collection of actors & actresses and they did a cover of the Stones “You can’t always get what you want” which they’ve infused with a reggae beat to lift it up and make it even better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp03ZWB3k-U
Finally one of the best acoustic versions of a song I’ve heard. Jason Mraz has only had minor success in this country but I’ve got his back catalogue and he is a talented, talented man. Go and listen to his first couple of albums and you’ll see what I mean. This is his version of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbtEYHM9AJ0
Hope you enjoy the eclectic mix and as I say if you have any good covers you know of, add them into the comments box below.