Author Topic: Cover versions that are better than the original  (Read 20607 times)

Cover versions that are better than the original
« on: December 19, 2008, 12:07:47 am »
Prompted by the Hallelujah Wars thread lets make it more general. Which cover versions do you think are better than the original ?
To start with I'll lead with the BeeGee's "To love somebody" bettered by:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/fkGUt4QYc08&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/fkGUt4QYc08&rel=1</a> - nicely overwrought

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oNJwBaYAtcM&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/oNJwBaYAtcM&rel=1</a> - stripped down

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_OaNzoqSo4g&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/_OaNzoqSo4g&rel=1</a> - funky !

but this one is just wrong

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/XSJMsRGh5H4&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/XSJMsRGh5H4&rel=1</a> - aargh
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 12:13:11 am »
Just to be really obvious:

Jimi Hendrix - All  Along the Watchtower
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 03:36:20 am »
Just to be really obvious:

Jimi Hendrix - All  Along the Watchtower

I must beg to differ. Both versions are excellent in their own way.

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 06:43:58 am »
Also see

Favourite/unexpected cover versions

I vote for FGTH's "Born To Run".
Never tell me the odds.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 09:52:33 am »
Just to be really obvious:

Jimi Hendrix - All  Along the Watchtower

I must beg to differ. Both versions are excellent in their own way.

Bob Dylan reckons Hendrix' version is better than his own.  By my reckoning it's only you and Noel Redding who have ever thought otherwise ;D

Additional: Half Man Half Biscuit's version of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" is brillsticks.
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 09:55:28 am »
Hendrix so much owns that song that for a while I thought Dylan's was a poor cover... :-[

While we're on the subject of Hendrix, he brilliantly transformed:

Star Spangled Banner

Red House

God Save The Queen

Wild Thing

Johnny B Goode

and probably loads more I can't recall right now. 
Getting there...

border-rider

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2008, 09:55:43 am »
The (old) Human League's cover of You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Bauhaus's Ziggy Stardust

Motorhead's cover of Hawkwind's "Motorhead" ;)

Really Ancien

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 09:57:38 am »
Summer Breeze,
The Isley Brothers.

Damon.

cc93

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2008, 09:57:56 am »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/KgsH1pdWJ84&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/KgsH1pdWJ84&rel=1</a>

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2008, 09:58:31 am »
Hendrix also did a great version of Gloria, though Patti Smith's is spellbindingly, astonishingly, magnificently, fabulous.

Nazareth, incongruously, outclassed the originals with

This Flight Tonight

Rock'n'Roll Star (Patti did this too)

Love Hurts
Getting there...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2008, 10:01:18 am »
Oh - and, somewhat undermining his message, there is the occasion when the Experience were on the Lulu show, when, having heard that Cream had split up, they stopped their planned track (Red House?), and launched into a cover of 'Sunshine of Your Love' that completely outclassed Cream themselves.
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urban_biker

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2008, 10:03:56 am »
The Beatles and their cover version of Pinky and Perky's Yellow Submarine.

I was very upset at the age of 7 to discover that the Beatles had dared to cover one of Pinky and Perky's greatest hits.
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PaulF

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2008, 10:09:08 am »
Sonic Youth's version of Superstar
Richard Thompson's "Oops I Did it Again"
Flaming Lips' "Can't Get You out of My Head"

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2008, 10:10:28 am »
White White Stripes' cover of Death Letter

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2008, 10:14:29 am »
Richard Thompson's "Oops I Did it Again"
Flaming Lips' "Can't Get You out of My Head"

+1 on both of those.  Totally unexpected, and yet right.

Similarly, Will Young (yes, I know) did a cover of the Pussycat Dolls' Doncha for Radio 1.  It was terrifically torchy, and I loved it.  Not released on any of the Live Lounge compilations AFAIK. :(
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Woofage

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2008, 10:15:52 am »
At risk of repeating myself:

The Witch's Promise by All About Eve orig. Jethro Tull
Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil (Cocteau Twins) orig. Tim Buckley
David Watts by The Jam orig. The Kinks
Pen Pusher

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2008, 10:33:02 am »
Talking of Tull...

Joe Bonamassa does a pretty good version of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-gBrLKFoTPo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/-gBrLKFoTPo&rel=1</a>
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2008, 10:37:06 am »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WVFpMLE6WIo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/WVFpMLE6WIo&rel=1</a> June Tabor - orgionaly Richord Thompson
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2008, 10:40:06 am »
William Shatner/Joe Jackson - Common People.

YouTube - william shatner-common people

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2008, 11:04:31 am »
Hendrix so much owns that song that for a while I thought Dylan's was a poor cover... :-[

While we're on the subject of Hendrix, he brilliantly transformed:

Star Spangled Banner

Red House

God Save The Queen

Wild Thing

Johnny B Goode

and probably loads more I can't recall right now. 

Hendrix was indeed a master of covers. He did quite a few Beatles covers - all of which were brilliant.

Red House is not a cover, btw  :P

I really like Radiohead's cover of "Nobody does it better". The original is of course excellent, but I kinda like the way they rock it up a bit.
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2008, 11:11:50 am »
<pedant> Red House may have been - ahem -  'inspired' by Muddy Waters & Willie Dixon...</pedant>

Ken Bruce has just played 'You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet' by Bachman Turner Overdrive, which reminds me what a 'different' experience John Otway's version is.

Similarly, his approach to 'House of the Rising Sun' is quite unique.  But Nina Simone does it better.
Getting there...

Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2008, 11:21:21 am »
Similarly, his approach to 'House of the Rising Sun' is quite unique.  But Nina Simone does it better.

House of the Rising Sun - my favourite version is by Frigid Pink

Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2008, 12:31:45 pm »
Every Beatles song Joe Cocker ever did is better than the original.
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2008, 12:38:49 pm »
Summer Breeze,
The Isley Brothers.

That's so definitive I didn't even realise it was a cover!

I nominate the Fatima Mansions' version of Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It for You - ultra-sentimental gooey love song reimagined as utterly terrifying stalker nightmare. Pure genius.

d.

mattc

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Re: Cover versions that are better than the original
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2008, 12:49:45 pm »
White White Stripes' cover of Death Letter

A tribute band?
Has never ridden RAAM
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