Now I’ve been tagged with the “cover” meme, thanks to DuWayne at Traumatized by Truth. The biggest problem I have is that there are so many cover versions of songs that I really love. It’s hard to choose one that I think as best. Of course, I know of several that I could choose as worst too.
I do have a lot of cover versions in my own music library. There are so many groups out there that can take a song you’ve heard thousands of times and really make it their own. Even songs that are among my favorites in their original version can become my favorites all over again if covered by someone who knows what they’re doing.
First, the Good
Johnette Napolitano is probably best known as the lead singer for Concrete Blonde. I’ve got a thing for female vocalists in general, and she is definitely no exception. Such a sultry, enthralling voice. Marc Moreland, former lead guitarist for Wall of Voodoo worked with Johnette in a project called Pretty & Twisted. The two of them recorded a version of The Carpenters’ Hurting Each Other as part of a Carpenters cover compilation. There is no actual video for the song, but someone has taken the liberty of creating one as tribute to Marc Moreland, who passed away in 2002.
The Corrs are one of the more mellow groups that I enjoy listening to. Their vocal stylings are definitely far removed from Johnette Napolitano’s, but I have a wide range of likes when it comes to music and vocalists. Here, The Corrs perform a beautiful rendition of REM’s Everybody Hurts.
One here that deserves special mention is a band called Super Junior K.R.Y. covering The Night Chicago Died, originally by British band Paper Lace. The Korean version leaves out the story of the original lyrics, replacing it with a story of love and friendship. I don’t understand Korean, but these guys do a great version of this song. The video here is from a live performance in Thailand.
On to the Bad
So what about “bad” cover songs? There are so many that are so bad. Remember the group Big Country? Remember their one big song, In a Big Country? Yeah, those guys. They actually had the temerity to record a cover of Blue Öyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper. It’s not that they’re necessarily terrible at it musically, but nobody fucks with Blue Öyster Cult! Their vocals really grate on my nerves when I hear this version. It just sounds “wrong” to my ears.