Good Remakes

We’ve got a thread on songs that have been remade badly; how about good ones?

Right now I’m listening to Led Zeppelin’s Hey Hey What Can I Do, performed by Hootie and the Blowfish. Slap me, but I like it.

“All Along the Watchtower” - the Dave Matthews remake.
“Tangled Up in Blue” and “Down by the River” - Indigo Girls

And (hanging head) I liked the Hootie remake too.

The recent remakes -
“The Last Kiss” - Pearl Jam
“American Woman” - Lennie Kravitz

My favorite all time is the Bonnie Rait version of “Runnaway”

“The large print givith, and the small print taketh away.”
Tom Waites, “Step Right Up”

Going the other way, everyone knows the Manfred Mann version of “Quinn, the Eskimo”. How many have heard Dylan’s original? Gawd-awful.

“The large print givith, and the small print taketh away.”
Tom Waites, “Step Right Up”

Pearl Jam does some great covers, listed in the order I like most:

Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
Kids are Alright by the Who
Masters of War by Bob Dylan
Last Kiss by ?
Sonic Reducer by ?
Crazy Mary by ?
Yellow Ledbetter (ok its not a cover, but its a ripoff of Little Wing by Hendrix)

Other great Covers
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Voodoo Chile and Little Wing are **soooooooo[\b] much better than Hendrix’s.

Michael Hedges version of Sheila E’s “Love Bizarre” is great. So is his version of Come Together and All Along the Watchtower

I like all of the covers that The Lemonheads have done: My Name is Luka(Suzanne Vega), Beat of a Different Drum(Linda Ronstadt) and Mrs. Robinson(Simon & Garfunkle) come immediately to mind.

Another great cover band is The Dickies who have done Eve of Destruction, Knights in White Satin, Town Without Pity and Silent Night and a bunch of TV themes like The Banana Splits, Gigantor and others.

For instrumentals you can’t beat Man or Astroman?. The surf classic Out of Limits has been recorded by a million bands but no version even comes close to that by MoA?.

Other great covers:

Surfin’ Bird by The Ramones
Breathless by X
Rusty Cage by Johnny Cash
Hang on to Your Ego by Frank Black

Sweet Jane by the Cowboy Junkies. Even Lou Reed said it was the best remake he’d heard.

The covers I don’t like are the ones that don’t add a new perspective to the original song. That is they just sound like the band bought the sheet music and started playing. I’d put American Woman and Mrs. Robinson in this category, but it looks like some other Dopers don’t agree.

Dylan’s version was the remake, though. It came out several years after Manfred, who was the first to record it.

The Bonzo Dog Band’s remake of MONSTER MASH is infinitely better than the original.

Grace Jones doing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. WAY better than the original (though that it and of itself wouldn’t take much).

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I’ll toss in my two cents, since I’m the one that started the bad remake thread (The Best Part of Waking Up), which began due to Pearl Jam’s remake of “Last Kiss.”

While SRV is not one of my faves, he is a great player, without question, and IMO, his covers of Jimi Hendrix’s stuff are quite good.

The Beatles versions of “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Money,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Twist and Shout” are all arguably better than the original versions.

Lucky - The only thing wrong with Johnny Cash’s version of Ring of Fire is that stupid mariachi horn section. The best version I’ve heard is that by Blondie on the soundtrack for “Roadie”.

I love Bowie’s cover of “Sorrow”, originally by the Merseys, and I like Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl”, but I still think the Tom Waits version is better. And seeing as how I grew up a “Wonder Years” junkie, I like Joe Cocker’s “Little Help from my Friends” a little more more than the original.

I’m more or less of the opinion that “good remakes” is an oxymoron but I will admit that Richie Havens greatly improved on Mr. Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun”.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

Saterday Night (allright for fighting) Hard to say which is better, Elton John’s or the Who’s.

>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry…unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

—The dragon observes

The greatest triple play in music was Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye and Credence Clearwater Revival all doing a great job on “Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

Elton John and Rod Stewart both did superior remakes of “Pinball Wizard.”

Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” over Dylan’s original.

And Johnny Cash’s remake of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” which positively sent shivers down my spine.

How about this concept. I hate (with a passion) Led Zeppelin, and I like the Hootie version of Hey, Hey…

I agree that all the Beatles’ remakes were quite good so much so that most people think they are the originals.

Last Kiss is very good, better than the original IMHO, but that is partly due to the terrible recording and acoustics in the original.

All Along the Watchtower is one that I love, and had totally forgotten that its a remake.

I can’t recall the songs off hand, but Blues Traveller covered some songs for their last live album and they were all very good and unique.

Didn’t Johnny Cash remake Ring of Fire himself? IOW, redo his own song. I recall a rerelease in ideo form not to long ago that was better than the original.

One remake that I liked that got some bad press was Ugly Kid Joes’ Cats in the Cradle.

The entire Metallica Garage Inc. album is remakes and is great, admittedly some are of obscure bands and B-sides that no one has heard of.

Typically remakes are no better than an imitation of the original and therefore aren’t bad, but don’t warrant much acolade. The truely valuable ones are the modernized Motown and Doo Wap songs.

Adding to the Cowboy Junkies list, Walking After Midnight. Actually most of the covers Cowboy Junkies did are rather good.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I don’t think i chimed in on the Bad Remakes thread, but i figured i say that Sheryl Crow’s remake of Sweet Child O’ Mine is a bastardization of one of my favorite songs from the 80’s. she should be beaten for that, she’s tone deaf and has a monotone voice, but she had to go and screw up good songs instead of her own.

OOoo other good remakes. Most of UB40’s songs. If you like reggae, this songs usually are great covers, and are by no means a rip off of the first.