Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original

I like cover songs. Sometimes I like the covered version better than the original. Like Casey James singing John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" on American Idol:

Just him and his guitar, and it was such an honest version. Such vulnerability open for the world to see is rare. Lennon struck that note as well, but I got the feeling that Casey was about to break down, whereas Lennon almost seems proud of his jealousy.

I also love Mika's totally fun, live version of the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)":

If you're surprised that I'm a huge Mika fan, you do not know me very well.

And despite being an even bigger MJ fan, I love the spunkiness of Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal":

Lately, I've been working on a private project, just for myself, in which I tie the roots of early blues to later rock and roll, making connections that are not always openly acknowledged. Everyone from Led Zeppelin to Nirvana to punk bands to country singers have covered stuff by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, and, most notably, Lead Belly. CCR's "Midnight Special" is a direct lift:

One of the few times I like the cover more than the original Lead Belly. 

If you've got favorite cover songs, leave a link. 

On an unrelated note, B says the last song he would choose to hear before dying is Prince's "Purple Rain." Dude. That is so epic. I don't think I can choose one for myself that is more righteous. And I been thinking about this for a week.

So, if you know what song you'd like to hear last before kicking it, let me know. 

PS I know it's "I've been thinking..." but sometimes I write like I talk, which is pretty much loaded with slang, like I'm a kid from the projects instead of a middle class white girl from Connecticut.


  1. I just want to kiss Mika!

    Check these out!

    Amanda sings Kurt =)

    And this. This lady rocks.

    As for my dying soundtrack it would have to be something dramatic... I´m a drag queen trapped in a woman´s body =) ...or something melancholic, maybe... Or maybe I´ll just go with Is there life on Mars? or Another one bites the dust =) Hehe, it´s a good question, though, I´ll keep thinking.

  2. I want her deep voice. I don't think I've ever heard a woman pull off that song. Few men can!

    My vote is for Another One Bites the Dust. That made me laugh. :)

  3. Cool Question. I am going to go with:

    "The Man Who Sold the World" Nirvana

    "Goin Back to Cali" Sevendust

  4. I just read a whole article on this here:

    I'm with Mr. Reardon on "The Man Who Sold the World" but I have to go with the article and say that Johnny Cash singing "Hurt" gave me chills the way Trent only kinda did.

    Last song before I go? There's probably a thousand of them - but let's go with another cover- Apocalyptica covering "Fade to Black."

    Great post!

  5. You're both on with "The Man Who Sold the World," but Chris... how could I have forgotten Cash's rendition of "Hurt"? I love everything from his last albums, but that one wrenches deep.

    "Fade to Black" is great. And if you've got a minute, Apocalyptica's "Farewell" makes me swoon and sob. They're pretty much awesome to listen to while writing just in general.

    Off now to look up the Sevendust cover of "Going Back to Cali." HIGHLY intrigued.

  6. I'd have to go with anything by Billie Holiday. Most days that's my saving grace.