The White Stripes’ cover of “Jolene” got me to thinking about covers done by singers the opposite gender of the original versions. Some of them, like various covers of “Baby, One More Time” by the likes of Travis, Children of Bodom and Marilyn Manson can be amusing. Others like “Heart of Gold” and “Strange Little Girl” covered by Tori Amos are just sort of…interesting.
In any case, having the singer be the opposite gender brings something to a cover. More than duplicating the source material note-for-note, any way.
I’d like to hear female singers tackle “You Spin Me Right Round” by Dead Or Alive and “Strange & Beautiful” by Aqualung. And maybe have a male singer take on “Untouchable Face” by Ani DiFranco.
Oh, no, all the lyrics would remain the same. It chapped my hide that when it was first released, the band was interviewed as saying, “Oh, it’s totally tongue in cheek,” when it was sung totally straight-faced. I thought to really make it tongue in cheek, get some brassy chick to sing it like she was singing Barry Manilow.
I was listening recently to Bob Seeger’s “Still the Same” and it seemed like a natural song to be covered by a female singer, maybe a country artist (a genre I know practically nothing about). Has anyone done it?
She also sings Tush by ZZ Top, The Cure’s Just Like Heaven, Somebody Told Me by the Killers, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealer’s Wheel and a few others - and they sound pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
In Joan Jett’s recording of “Crimson & Clover”, perhaps she felt that changing the gender would mess up the rhyming?
Well I don’t hardly know her
But I’ve been waiting to show her
Crimson and Clover
(But yeah I think she’s dropping a hint about her alternative sexual lifestyle).
That is quite a band you have there. (I listened to “Tainted Love”).
Your singer, Mary, can really belt out that tune.
Interesting guitar work toward the end - (out of phase perhaps?). In any case it has a strong attack.
Great stuff WordMan.
“Brand New Baby” by Semisonic. A song about the narrator encountering an old flame pushing a baby carriage would definitely gain an added dimension with the gender flip. The line about finding [her] enjoying her life “out of the mainstream” [as a stay-home mom] would now be about an apparent stay-home dad, and if sung by an older woman, could have the added poignancy of her implied biological clock issues.