Monday, March 07, 2005

disCOVER me

All my friends and acquaintances know that one of the things I like to do is rankings. Movies, films, TV programs, whatever. It is important to me to ask people for such type of rankings in order to conclude which are the things they value the most at the time of sorting out their preferences. As I like to ask for rankings I also enjoy doing them.

As you have already imagined this post will be about a ranking. The subject: MUSIC COVERS.

A lot of people hate music covers just because they think that a new version cannot work better than the original one and that also represents a lack of talent from the artist doing the cover. Another bunch love them because is the only way they have for discovering songs, this applies in the case where the artist doing the cover is a popular one and the song covered is from a band or singer from the underground, a very common situation by the way.

I do not hate covers nor love them. When I face one at the very beginning I just try to isolate it from the original version in order to see if it really entices me, as though a mere song from a particular artist. Then comparisons start to loom inmediately. That is the second step in order to complete the assessment. Anyway, considering the aforementioned this is my top 15 of music covers.

#15 Echo & The Bunnymen - People Are Strange: I really think The Doors were a scam. However, this version released in the soundtrack of "The Lost Boys" in 1987, is enhanced by Ian Mc Culloch's voice.

#14 The Wallflowers - Heroes: originally released by the amazing David Bowie, this song has been covered many times, including Oasis among others. This version is included in the Godzilla soundtrack and it also has a video.

#13 Pearl Jam - Timeless Melody: The La's were a British band in the beginning of the 90's. They just released one great album which attracted the attention of all the British press. Along with "There She Goes" this song stand out in that album. Eddie Vedder and his pals made a great live version of this song available in the internet.

#12 Fiona Apple - Across The Universe: The Beatles created a vast catalogue of songs which have been covered many times. In particular, Across The Universe is one of my favourite Beatles' songs. Included in the soundtrack of Pleasantville helped Fiona to fuel her career.

#11 Twilight Singers - Hyperballad: I have some points about Bjork. I admire her but I cannot get to the point of really like her. Anyway, the lyrics in this song are amazing. If you have the chance please check them out. Twilight Singers are not a very famous band certainly, bus this cover included in the album She Loves You of 2004 is really impressive.

#10 Johnny Cash - Hurt: I love the original version of this song by Nine Inch Nails. Johnny Cash takes it to another dimension, where you can feel the same isolation, but not in the same way as with NIN. I do not know. It is hard to explain. Awesome.

#9 Lemonheads - Mrs. Robinson: Original by Simon & Garfunkel. In some rare opportunities, bands become famous for releasing a very good version of a very well known song. (For instance, you have Orgy and their version of Blue Monday, not included in this list). This fact also explains the success of Lemonheads. In July 2003, I saw them live in Chile and they did not play this song at the concert. Surely, they do not like the fact of being known by a lot of people just for this cover

#8 Sleeper - Atomic: I have to say that the first time I heard Atomic was this version from Sleeper included in the Trainspotting soundtrack. Blondie's original version is also superb. I had the chance of see them live (Blondie) at San Carlos de Apoquindo and they started the concert with this song. What a fucking amazing moment!

#7 Ivy - L'Anamour: original by the famous Serge Gainsbourg. Ivy's version is incredible, although it is sung by a woman. The lyrics are in French and in spite of my very very basic knowledge of this language I was able of singing it during a certain time.

#6 Scissor Sisters - Comfortably Numb: This is the most recent cover included in this list. It is from the debut album of Scissor Sisters in 2004 and it is a very different version from the original luckily. The song features some lyrics that many people think have a palliative effect. Perhaps.

#5 Siouxsie and The Banshees - Dear Prudence: another one from the Beatles' catalogue. Dear Prudence is just amazing. I do not know where this version came from but I love it. The smart lyrics are accompanied by Siouxsie's voice which really have an impact on the song. I have to recognize it, I like more this version than the original from Beatles. And that is a lot to say.

#4 Travis - Baby One More Time: according to the legend this Britney Spears' cover started as a mockery, nonetheless the public received it very well and the band was surprised by this fact. It is really good and hilarious. In some parts it seems they feel exactly what Britney feels in her version. Finally, Travis released it as a B-side in the USA.

#3 Scott Weiland - But Not Tonight: it is very contradictory that such a good song as this version of But Not tonight (original from Depeche Mode) it is included in the soundtrack of an awful movie ("Not another teen movie", I have not seen it, thank God). Although the latter mistakes Scott has made (What is that bullshit: Velvet Revolver?) he is a rock star and what he has got through his career deserves recognition. Alongside with his pals at STP he also has covered classics like Andy Warhol (original by Bowie) and Dancing Days (original by Led Zeppelin).

#2 Nick Cave - Let It Be: Several artists were involved in the I am Sam soundtrack covering famous Beatles' songs. Eddie Vedder, Sarah MacLachlan, Wallflowers, Nick Cave among others. Almost all of the version are quite good, but this one from Nick Cave is marvelous. "Let it Be" is an hymn and only an artist with Nick Cave's class could have done a version without destroying it. He also included a litle twist in the lyrics. It is the final track on the album. Give it a listen. Very rewarding and uplifting.

#1 Rolling Stones - Like a Rolling Stone: "once upon a time you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?" This is the beginning of this incredible song originally written by the great Bob Dylan and included in his album "Highway 61 Revisited" from 1965. Very short time ago I thought the title of the song was a reference to the Rolling Stones, and it has nothing to do with them, it is taken from the phrase " A rolling stone gathers no moss". In 1995 the Rolling Stones included this cover version for their album Stripped, gaining a lot of media coverage. Besides all this facts, I have to say that both the original and the cover are great versions.
A must-have.


Mar said...

me gusto tu idea de hacer rankins, y tambien soy una gran amante de los voers, pero a la vez soy muy exigente y hay algunos con los que no concuerdo mucho, entre ellos, Fiona Apple y Across the Universe... bueno , eso, sigue asi, ke me encanta como escribes y lo que escribes
un bexo

Yo... golondrina... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yo... golondrina... said...

Me hace falta un poco de Rock Chileno por aquí.
No se puede olvidar a Los Tres versionando a Buddy Richard. Es una buena versión, pero sobre todas las cosas... es un clásico...

Fatboy_Jimc said...

Buen Ranking...concuerdo con el numero 1....100%...Me hubiera gustado ver por ahi el cover de Cake a "I will Survive" y el de Mikel Erentxun para "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" juajauajauajau no mentira....lo de mikel era webeo, pero lo de cake fue en serio!

Yo... golondrina... said...

Sería bueno explorar a Dave Matthews Band versionando Wild Horses de los Rolling Stones... una delicia acústica imperdible...