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  #101  
Old 07-28-2019, 11:35 PM
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I like Erasure's version of "Take A Chance On Me" better than the original ABBA version. Even though I like ABBA a lot.

My favorite version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is the Credence version. I'm not sure who gets credit for the "original" version, but it wasn't CCR.

And I vastly prefer Tom Jones' version of "Kiss" to the original Prince version. I can't stand Prince.
Probably the best cover of Abba's "Take a Chance On Me" is the much, much healthier-sounding Sockeye version.

I'll take Gladys's or Marvin's version of "...Grapevine".

Yes, Tom's version of "Kiss" kicks total power balls/ass over Prince's.
By boatloads.


Also: Joe Cocker's The Letter kicks total power balls/ass over The Box Tops version.

For "Money", I'll take The Flying Lizards over The Beatles any day.

Never was a fan of Kiss's "Beth", so yeah the Ed Hall* version is better.

*One of the greatest trios to come out of Texas.
  #102  
Old 07-28-2019, 11:58 PM
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I saw a concert by Postmodern Jukebox a few weeks ago. They do covers of modern songs in old swing and jazz styles. They do a great show; if there was any drawback it's that I didn't recognize enough of the original songs to know how much they had changed them.

But I did start checking out their online work. They're all good, but if I had to pick one it's Timber. The original is by Pitbull and Kesha, but it works as '50s doo-wop.
  #103  
Old 07-29-2019, 03:57 PM
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I am inspired to post this after seeing Mariah Carey's cover to I Still Believe. Believe it or not, I only later found out it was Brenda K. Starr who originally came out with the song. Mariah Carey was apparently a back up singer to Brenda K. Starr (something I also found out, when the song came out). It turns out Carey really liked the song. And the rest is history.

Anyways, I think Carey does a much better version of it. She belts it out, with passion and conviction. Starr just sings it monotone IMHO. This isn't the first time this has happened, BTW. I like Kelly Clarkson's My Grown Up Christmas List over Amy Grant's version, ironically for much the same reasons.

Do any of the rest of you have any similar experiences with cover versions? Feel free to mention. And feel free to post links to Youtube if you want.

BTW, I could have sworn someone asked this exact same question. But I wasn't sure. I did a Cafe Society forum search for 'Cover'. And nothing came up. I even thoroughly search the page with my computer (Ctrl+F) just to make sure. And nothing. So it must be alright then.

Harry Nilsson's cover of Badfinger's "Can't Live"
Nazareth's "Love Hurts"
  #104  
Old 07-29-2019, 05:34 PM
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Elton John's Pinball Wizard is almost equal to the original, and I am a big Who fan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyFB3QjGX0A
  #105  
Old 07-30-2019, 01:17 AM
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Elton John "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Chicago "I'm a Man."

Jimi Hendrix "Like a Rolling Stone."
  #106  
Old 07-30-2019, 03:30 AM
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.....
Nazareth's "Love Hurts"
Yep. Prefer it over both Roy Orbison's and The Everly Brothers' versions.
  #107  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:25 AM
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I have something like 4 covers of 'All Tomorrow's Parties' that I prefer to the original.
Just guessing here:
the Banshees one would be a given
Bad Seeds seems a cert.
Japan? Rasputina? Apoptygma Berzerk? Bryan Ferry? Simple Minds? Enquiring minds want to know...
  #108  
Old 07-30-2019, 10:35 AM
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On that sentiment, it was suggested to me that covering David Bowie is incredibly difficult. They almost always come out as just lesser imitations. The only cover of his stuff that I could think of which is worthwhile is Chris Hadfield doing Space Oddity from the ISS. I don't think it's musically better, but is still satisfying.
I think that Seu Jorge's Bowie covers recorded for The Life Aquatic soundtrack are stunningly beautiful. Here is a video of him on KEXP (one of my favorite Youtube channels for live music):

https://youtu.be/TpQ5R3ftRGI?t=217

He plays three Bowie songs and I believe they are all amazing. Amazing guitar playing and his voice is fantastic.
  #109  
Old 07-30-2019, 11:01 AM
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Judas Priest - Diamonds and Rust
  #110  
Old 07-30-2019, 11:23 AM
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Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee.
  #111  
Old 07-30-2019, 11:27 AM
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Yes.
(And on another note: I'll give Jimi "Watchtower", even Dylan played it that way post-Jimi's version, but no one can take "Like A Rolling Stone" away from Bob!)
  #112  
Old 07-30-2019, 11:31 AM
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Good call! Completely forgot about that one.
  #113  
Old 07-30-2019, 12:07 PM
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It sounds cheesy because everyone's more familiar with the original. But if that recording had somehow come out first, the Doors' version would sound like a sloppy, muddy, tedious cover of it by a drunken bar band.
Good grief, you're serious.

Whatever, dude.
  #114  
Old 07-30-2019, 12:37 PM
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The Fireball's Bottle of Wine is a hard rocking version of Tom Paxton's folk song. As Paxton himself put it: If I tried to sing like that, my throat would jump out of my mouth.

And let's not forget Arlo Guthrie's City of New Orleans.
  #115  
Old 07-30-2019, 01:15 PM
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Lenny Kravitz' American Woman. Took a mediocre muddy rock song, and cleaned and shined it into a great song.

The Club Nouveau cover of Lean On Me. The originally just seemed draggy to me.
You've already been taken to task for the Kravitz cover but how could everyone miss the second?

Club Nouveau turned a soulful masterpiece into a teeny bop, bubble gum dance remix. Not to mention the faux-reggae "We be Jammin" that makes music fans vomit when they hear it.


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Originally Posted by Omniscient View Post
Metallica's Whiskey In The Jar over all the previous iterations of the folk song including the Thin Lizzy version most people mention.

I don't disagree, but Metllica's version is Thin Lizzy's version almost note for note.
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Originally Posted by BrickBat View Post
'2000 Man'.

I like KISS' ( Ace Frehley ) version much better than the original one from the Rolling Stones.
Same.
Of course, Ace's version of "New York Groove" is also much better than Hello's version.


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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm a huge fan of Joni Mitchell, but I think her song Woodstock is just dreadful.

IMO the cover by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is much better.
Nazareth's version of "This Flight Tonight" is also much better than Joni's.

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Let's not forget "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)"
  #116  
Old 07-30-2019, 01:34 PM
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A couple of people have already posted counterexamples, but in general I believe the one you hear first is hard to beat. For example, I happened to first hear Marilyn Manson's version of Tainted Love before the original by Soft Cell, and while I like both, I tend to prefer the former, even though the latter is more my preferred style of music. There are other examples.

It struck me this thread provides several opportunities for me to test this theory on myself. I had never before heard Springsteen's Blinded By The Light - not sure if it's better than Manfred Mann's, I think I just don't like the song in general. The Sockeye "Take a Chance on Me" - maybe if it were actually sung in tune. The Shatner Common People - no, just no.

Conclusion: people have different tastes in music. In other news, Pope still shits in woods, etc. Fun discussion though!
  #117  
Old 07-30-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
A couple of people have already posted counterexamples, but in general I believe the one you hear first is hard to beat. For example, I happened to first hear Marilyn Manson's version of Tainted Love before the original by Soft Cell, and while I like both, I tend to prefer the former, even though the latter is more my preferred style of music. There are other examples.

It struck me this thread provides several opportunities for me to test this theory on myself. I had never before heard Springsteen's Blinded By The Light - not sure if it's better than Manfred Mann's, I think I just don't like the song in general. The Sockeye "Take a Chance on Me" - maybe if it were actually sung in tune. The Shatner Common People - no, just no.

Conclusion: people have different tastes in music. In other news, Pope still shits in woods, etc. Fun discussion though!
Errr... "Tainted Love" is not a Soft Cell original song, it was originally released by Gloria Jones in 1964 and re-recorded and produced by her boyfriend Marc Bolan in 1976. The song was a flop but a british DJ picked it up gave a new popularity in the dance club in the 70s.

Last edited by Sparky812; 07-30-2019 at 02:02 PM.
  #118  
Old 07-30-2019, 07:40 PM
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I just recently discovered Lou Rawls's cover of Hall and Oates's "She's Gone." I do like the original, but Rawls's vocals over essentially the same backing track really knocked me on my buttocks. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak9TDdLdH9E
  #119  
Old 07-30-2019, 09:22 PM
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In The Navy.
  #120  
Old 07-30-2019, 10:49 PM
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My favorite version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is the Credence version. I'm not sure who gets credit for the "original" version, but it wasn't CCR.
Strictly speaking, Gladys Knight and the Pips had the first version, then the Miracles (minus Smokey Robinson), then Marvin Gaye, and finally CCR.

There isn't really a "bad" version of the song, though I personally prefer Gladys' version with the Pips doing their famous backup.
  #121  
Old 07-30-2019, 11:37 PM
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Springsteen's Born to Run, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

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  #122  
Old 07-31-2019, 12:07 AM
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Well, of course, everything's better with Muppets.
  #123  
Old 07-31-2019, 01:06 AM
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Both k.d. lang's and John Cale's covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" are better, as are several other covers I've heard.

It just works so much better with piano and entirely sung than with synth and echo effects and speak-singing of the original. And so many artists infuse so much soul and musicality into the performance that Cohen lacked.

That said, I'd still love to hear a bass singer perform it with the cover instrumentation.
  #124  
Old 07-31-2019, 02:16 AM
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Both k.d. lang's and John Cale's covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" are better, as are several other covers I've heard.
I think it's generally considered Jeff Buckley's is the best Hallelujah.

Of course, it's possible to be completely shitty at it without any instruments at all.

Last edited by MrDibble; 07-31-2019 at 02:17 AM.
  #125  
Old 07-31-2019, 05:05 AM
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Eva Cassidy's covers of most songs are better than the original, but to name the obvious one: Over the Rainbow.
  #126  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sparky812 View Post
Errr... "Tainted Love" is not a Soft Cell original song, it was originally released by Gloria Jones in 1964 and re-recorded and produced by her boyfriend Marc Bolan in 1976. The song was a flop but a british DJ picked it up gave a new popularity in the dance club in the 70s.
Thanks. I had a strong feeling someone was going to say something like this (I could have researched it but didn't). My point still stands, though.

Another example for the thread, which I think most will agree on - Guns 'N' Roses' cover of Live and Let Die is better than the Wings original, albeit they are fairly similar.
  #127  
Old 07-31-2019, 07:06 AM
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Thanks. I had a strong feeling someone was going to say something like this (I could have researched it but didn't). My point still stands, though.

Another example for the thread, which I think most will agree on - Guns 'N' Roses' cover of Live and Let Die is better than the Wings original, albeit they are fairly similar.
Nope, most would not agree because it isn't.
  #128  
Old 07-31-2019, 07:40 AM
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Another example for the thread, which I think most will agree on - Guns 'N' Roses' cover of Live and Let Die is better than the Wings original, albeit they are fairly similar.
Count me in in disagreeing strongly.
  #129  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:36 AM
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Well, which did you hear first?
  #130  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:49 AM
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You know what, having just listened to both versions again, I withdraw my suggestion that GnR's version is clearly better - in my opinion neither Rose nor McCartney are technically good singers, but Axl puts a more soulful interpretation on the vocal to me. Largely personal preference, of course. On the other hand, the riff in the middle sounds a bit weird in GnR compared with the original. And the additional orchestration of the original is nice. So I'm calling that one a draw.

Although they are completely different songs, I may have been mixing this up with Knockin' on Heaven's Door, where I would contend GnR did a much more interesting and soulful version than Dylan.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 07-31-2019 at 08:49 AM.
  #131  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:27 AM
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Although they are completely different songs, I may have been mixing this up with Knockin' on Heaven's Door, where I would contend GnR did a much more interesting and soulful version than Dylan.
Dylan is always better in cover form. Although I think GnR is absolute shit, so I don't like their cover any better than Dylan's original.

I like The Sisters of Mercy one - but then, I love all their covers - Emma, Jolene, 1969, Gimme Shelter ... even Gimme Gimme Gimme (a Man After Midnight) !

Last edited by MrDibble; 07-31-2019 at 09:28 AM.
  #132  
Old 07-31-2019, 07:42 PM
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Speaking as a decades-long fan of Simon and Garfunkel, as well as someone decidedly not a fan of metal, I was surprised to find that Disturbed's cover of "The Sound of Silence" was every bit as good as S&G's original.
  #133  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:37 PM
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Voice of the Beehive did I Think I Love You better than the Partridge Family.

But Shirley Jones sang Many a New Day, far better than Florence Henderson, which proves once again that the Partridge Family kicked The Brady Bunch's butts.
  #134  
Old 07-31-2019, 11:11 PM
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A couple of people have already posted counterexamples, but in general I believe the one you hear first is hard to beat.
Can be, but I've often really liked different versions of songs I have (and often everyone else has) heard a *lot* of times, maybe too many. Here's a version of 'Take It Easy' by a Danish guy (who's pretty well known in Denmark I think) that's really good. Right *now* I think I like it better than the Eagles version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHd1UBrhF7M

I guess I can't say I'll never come back to preferring the Eagles version though, the original to my ear. As most know, Jackson Browne mainly wrote this song though Glenn Frey is credited as co-writer. And when you hear Browne's version, actually recorded slightly after the Eagles version, and compared to his other songs, you realize the lyrics are him speaking, basically. So it seems to me anyway. But though I like it off and on, not as much as the Eagles version, perhaps because I came to like the Eagles one first.

Last edited by Corry El; 07-31-2019 at 11:12 PM.
  #135  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:12 AM
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How can you take all of the funk out of Funky Town, replace it with New Wave synths and call it better?
I know this thread is old, but...


You talking to me?
  #136  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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I love Wilco, Especially Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but JC Brooks and the Uptown sound did a cover of I am Trying to Break Your Heart that just blows away the original.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:30 AM
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Since I don't think anyone's linked it yet (and my apologies if someone has and I missed it), here's the older version of the thread you were thinking of, in case anyone wants to read it: Favorite Cover Songs?
  #138  
Old 11-06-2019, 05:26 PM
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A lot of people have covered Ghost Riders in the Sky, but the Outlaws' version kicks ass.
  #139  
Old 11-06-2019, 06:10 PM
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A lot of people have covered Ghost Riders in the Sky, but the Outlaws' version kicks ass.
I'll see your Outlaws and raise you a Dick Dale.
https://youtu.be/5367CsDAkf8
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  #140  
Old 11-06-2019, 06:39 PM
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I think I like Eric Heatherly's version of Flowers on the Wall better than the Statlers'.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9f7uhZcbfQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s8nRL2bPCU
  #141  
Old 11-06-2019, 07:39 PM
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And this acoustic live version is pretty cool.


Somebody upthread mentioned Leo Moracchioli, somebody I've been following for a while. I love what he does with his metal covers of songs, especially the way he took a very lame Taylor Swift song (Look What You Made Me Do) and injected some freaking life into it. Also, his daughter is simply adorable
  #142  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:53 PM
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Treading on some iffy ground here. Almost all of Led Zeppelin I.

On more stable ground because they credited the originators, Cream.

Spoonful
Crossroads
Cat's Squirel
Rolling 'n Tumbling


Yes, I've listened to the originals, but it's still Cream's versions that I listen to the most.
  #143  
Old 11-06-2019, 11:39 PM
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It's My Party. The Lesley Gore version is so familiar I won't bother to link it, but the first recorded version was by English singer Helen Shapiro. It comes off so dour it's downright morbid. And why on earth was a teenage girl sounding like a middle aged guy?
  #144  
Old 11-07-2019, 12:40 AM
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I like ZZ Top's instrumentation on "Viva Las Vegas" better than Elvis's, but not the vocals.
  #145  
Old 11-07-2019, 03:22 AM
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The song "It's My Party" has a complicated history. It was written by Seymour Gottlieb, but it was credited to John Gluck, Wally Gold and Herb Weiner. A demo recording was done by Barbara Jean English, but it wasn't released. It was first released by The Chiffons. It was next released by Helen Shapiro. It was also sung (and perhaps released) around that time by Leslie Gore, Lill-Babs, the Paris Sisters, and Richard Anthony in various language versions:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s...ley_Gore_song)
  #146  
Old 11-07-2019, 04:12 AM
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"Evil" is a great classic blues number first recorded by Howlin' Wolf, but Cactus's hard rock cover is much better. So good, in fact, that when other rock bands play the song, they stick very closely to the Cactus arrangement, sometimes to the extent of performing a note-by-note cover: see for example the versions by Monster Magnet, Clutch, Widowmaker, and The Dead Daisies.
  #147  
Old 11-08-2019, 06:34 AM
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I discovered Michael Jackson's cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" today, and I like it better than the original by Bill Withers.
MJ was roughly 13 when he recorded that. Wow. Incredible control.
  #148  
Old 11-08-2019, 07:50 AM
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Dylan is always better in cover form. Although I think GnR is absolute shit, so I don't like their cover any better than Dylan's original.
I'm not really into GnR, but I do think Appetite... is one of the greatest balls-to-the-wall hard rock albums ever recorded. That said, "Knocking on Heavens Door" (which iis on one of the Use Your Illusions) just sounds so overwrought to me and loses its soul in the process--can't stand that version.

And, while I'm not much of a Dylan fan, I think a number of his originals are definitive, like "Rainy Day Women ... [whatever the numbers are]" and "Like A Rolling Stone," so not all his songs are better as covers.

Last edited by pulykamell; 11-08-2019 at 07:52 AM.
  #149  
Old 11-08-2019, 09:13 AM
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Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" is a cover of this song by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swhEa8vuP6U

U2's "With or Without You" has a number of intriguing covers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJvTT-x8ZAI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGhWRMGHHe8&t=63s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TJBVUX0pqY
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  #150  
Old 11-08-2019, 01:16 PM
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I'll see your Outlaws and raise you a Dick Dale.
https://youtu.be/5367CsDAkf8
Thank you. I've heard his earlier cover of "Ghost Riders" where he blends it with "Apache" but not this one.
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