I usually tend to shy away from cover songs, because most of the time the covers aren’t that impressive. They usually end up sounding just the same, or the band who covered the song, didn’t put any effort in making it sound like it was theirs. To me that’s one of the most important aspects of a good cover song. If you’re going to remake something, at least put a different spin on it and make it sound original. Sometimes that still doesn’t help and the bands should just leave well enough alone.
So I what I did was compiled a few songs that I really liked that were covers. Each one of the songs has the cover bands’ style all over it and it sounds like it could be an original. I apologize in advance for the sloppy examples. What I’m trying to do is let you compare the originals to the remakes, but they’re all in different formats. So, let’s get started.
Blue Flower – The original band that performed this was Slapp Happy in 1972. They were an avant-garde band formed in Germany by an an experimental English composer. Now that sounds avant-garde to me. Two remakes that were most noticeable of this song were Mazzy Star’s version from the album She Hangs Brightly and Pale Saints off the album In Ribbons.
Slapp Happy – Blue Flower
Vapour Trail – This song I hold dear and so does every other shoegazer fan. Ride’s Vapour Trail off the album Nowhere was a song that captured it all and was one of those songs that was always on a British Indie / Shoegazer compilation album. Now the band that covered the song were originally from Southern California, but relocated to a much cooler Seattle, Washington. In cooler I mean a great place to live type of cool. The cover band’s name is Trespassers William. My friend had this song playing on his Itunes and I was like ” Who the hell is this?! This is a Ride song!” After calming down I thought this was actually a pretty good cover and I like what they did with it.
St Swithin’s Day – The original was written and performed by an English musician named Billy Bragg. He’s more of a mix between folk, and rock and he knows how to write a damn good song. Without this song I may have never heard of a band called Dubstar. Their version of St. Swithin’s Day is epic with its electronic pop grooves and Sarah Blackwood’s voice is just icing on the cake. This is such a good song and has been on many of my self made compilations. The video for Billy Bragg’s version is not the real video, but I wanted the full song to compare to and it’s the only example I can find.
Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson’s 1969 song was made popular by the movie Midnight Cowboy starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. For some reason whenever this song comes on everybody just has to sing it, and you know which part I’m talking about. Now the cover version done by the English band Moose is another great remake. Moose may of started as a shoegazing band way early in their career, but they definitely moved on and found their own unique sound. They’re a great band if you are into the whole British indie / rock scene.
Stay tune later in the week for part 2 of My Favorite Cover Songs.