Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cover Me - The Good Versions

Cover song : a song rerecorded by another artist. Most times involve new musical or vocal arrangements with the hope of banking in on the original song's popularity or wanting to show that they can do better than the original artist.

I bet there are thousands of cover songs out there that it’s difficult to cover them all (hehe... get it? Cover song? Cover them all? Ok sorry for that attempt to sound witty)

I must say that I'm not trying to be the set myself up as the authority when it comes to music. In fact I don't know much about it. When it comes to trivial knowledge I like to consider myself the 'expert' on movies above all else, then there's knowledge in books, tv shows, then music.

So when I first thought of posting about the world of cover songs, I started to list down a few that I like, some that I don't, a few that are not bad and so on. I find it difficult to recall a collection of songs to make a presentable list. I tried to enlist some online help but I guess they don't really care about cover songs. What can I expect? It's certainly not a steamy, xxx exciting, not even a controversial subject. So I have to rely on the radio to maybe inspire me to recall some songs that could into my list and it kinda work. After a while I managed to compile a respectable number of songs that can be put into different categories.

Like I said before, there are many cover songs out there so I have to limit my list to those that I'm passionate about. And I must have heard the original version so that I can truly make a comparison.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's start with my favourite cover songs. They are not in order of preference. It's difficult to rate which one I like best.

1) Have a Little Faith in Me - Mandy Moore originally performed by Jewel
I was a bit shocked that Mandy Moore would chose to cover a Jewel song. I hated Mandy Moore the singer when I first heard this. There's just something about her mouth that I find annoying. She likes to bend it, pout it, twist it in an unnatural way. In other words "macam buat-buat" [faking it is the closest translation that I can think of now]. So I was very determined that this is a bad rendition more so because this is my favourite Jewel song. But after a few more listens (on the radio, I just try to avoid seeing her sings on tv). I find that it's not that bad and I'm not sorry to say that it's better than the original. The cover has more dynamics compared to Jewel who I think intended it to be laid back and soothing for her rendition. I must say that I prefer this version.

2) I Got You Babe - Chrissie Hynde & UB40 originnaly performed by Cher
I'm not much of a fan of 60s and 70s era which includes the music that were churned out in this era. So of course I prefer the Hynde-UB40's version of this simple and uplifting song. But I believe that any song that's reggaed-up always works. Just check out the soundtrack of 50 First Dates.

3) Sekuntum Mawar Merah - M. Nasir & Hattan originally performed by Alleycats
David's vocal is always dramatic. It just works work with any song that he sings. Alleycats songs are so great that it takes two moguls to make their song better. They slow it down, makes the vocal more raw and voila you get the best cover of a Malay song of all time.

4) I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston originally performed by Dolly Parton
What else can I say. An R&B version is always better than a country version to my ears.

5) Time After Time - ? originally performed by Cindy Lauper
Ok, I know I'm making a reporting booboo - writing without doing proper research. I tried looking for the name of the group/singer who covered this Cindy Lauper classic but I can't find it. Actually, I don't even have the slightest clue who the singer is. It's not even a tip-of-the-tongue thing. All I can say is that the singer is female (duh) and she has this soft, lilting pitch in her voice. The cover is smoother, softer than the original. I must say I really like this version. It has quite a good run on the radio waves. If anyone has a clue to who this is, I welcome the help.

6) Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente originally performed by New Order
Acoustic version of a techno. Very well done.

7) Belaian Jiwa - Innuendo originally performed by Carefree
I don't really like Innuendo but I like this song.

8) Lately - Jodeci originally performed by Stevie Wonder
It's live, it's soulful, it's dramatic. Who can beat that?

Damn, this thing is getting long. So I'll just drop a few more down here...

Don't Dream It's Over - Paul Young originally performed by Crowded House
I Drove All Night - Celine Dion originally performed by Cindy Lauper
Kasih Berubah - Ferhad originally performed by Flybaits

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tune for more of “Cover Me”...
Cover Me - The Not So Bad Versions
Cover Me - The Bad Versions
Cover Me - Don't Ever Try to Cover Versions
Cover Me - Ones That I Like to See Anyone Try to Cover

I still welcome any thoughts or comments or any song you would like to nominate for my list. Great thanks to Eyeris for his feedback. Truly appreciated.

I won't apologize for any spelling mistakes anymore. I'm using Word (magnified to 150%) and then copy it to Blogger. So any spelling mistakes in this post is all me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the original version of the song "I Drove All Night" was performed by Roy Orbison. the version of the Cindy Lauper was a cover too.

Mauricio Erpel