UKC

Cover

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 Tom V 07 Apr 2021

How is a " cover" version of a song different from a simple rendition?

If If I made a recorded version of a given song, say Dylan's "To Make Me Feel Your Love", am I covering the song, or Adele's version of it: at what point do I get credit for simply doing my own version of it without the use of the word "cover"?

Was Adele's effort a " cover version"?

Is "All The Young Dudes" a cover of a Bowie song?

Post edited at 19:21
 Doug 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

always thought 'cover' meant a version by anybody other than the original artist, so Hendrix's cover of Dylan's All along the watchtower. But is an orchestra playing a piece by a composer playing a cover ?

In reply to Tom V:

If I remember it correctly Bowie offered the song to Mott and only recorded his own version much later - so not a cover, more a gift. Watchtower is a cover and an absolute stunner, it creates a totally different atmosphere and an iconic sound. I don't think Jimi asked Bob if he could do it.

PS There was a great couple of shows on Radio 2 over the weekend all about covers. One stand out surprise was that Bjork's version of 'Oh so quiet' was a cover from a 1950's song.

Post edited at 19:48
 Tom V 07 Apr 2021
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

It must be my interpretation of "cover" that's the problem: I think of it the same way I think of "tribute" bands ( and I know there are some brilliant tribute bands).

Massive thanks for mentioning Watchtower because it put me right on to the crux of the issue with an example that was in the back of my mind but I couldn't put a name to until you mentioned Hendrix

Hey Joe.

How many people will regard Hendrix's version as a cover?

Post edited at 20:07
 marsbar 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I'd say a tribute band would be doing a rendition and someone doing their own version of a song in their own style would be a cover version.  

 deepsoup 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> It must be my interpretation of "cover" that's the problem: I think of it the same way I think of "tribute" bands ( and I know there are some brilliant tribute bands).

I agree with Marsbar.  I don't think a 'tribute' band is really doing a cover as such, it's more of an imitation, maybe an homage.  A good cover version brings something new to the original rather than just imitating it.

> How many people will regard Hendrix's version as a cover?

Pretty much everyone really, it is a cover.  Even though it's one of those rare cover versions that has completely usurped the original to become the 'definitive' version, perhaps also the definitive example of one of those.

Post edited at 20:55
 Tom V 07 Apr 2021
In reply to marsbar:

So you don't see something slightly inferior/ second order/ ersatz about the phrase "cover version"?

It must be just my feeling for the phrase.

Anyway, to hi-jack my own thread, what are the best cover versions from your "era"?

For me, Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help From My Friends"  showed the Beatles what could be done with their limp original; whereas Jose Feliciano's "Light My Fire" didn't improve on The  Doors'  version so much as shake it about, pick up the pieces and start again.

 Philip 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I think bad covers are what have given covers a bad name.

A cover should be a reimagining of the original, whereas an orchestra playing is simply a rendition. A cover should trump a tribute band version, and in many cases do, but sadly there are plenty of awful covers.

Some are so different, for instance I didn't initially spot Comfortably Numb by the Scissor Sisters as a cover until I heard the track name.

 Jamie Wakeham 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I was caught out by Depeche Mode's version being the original of Personal Jesus - I'd heard Johnny Cash's version and it just sounded so Cash that I had assumed it must be his.

 Hooo 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Gary Jules cover of Mad World. When I heard it I thought it was an amazing song that I was sure was a cover, but why didn't I remember the original? Then I looked up the Tears for Fears version and it still sounded completely forgettable.

 Hooo 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

One of my current fave tunes is Prince Fatty's cover of Insane in the Membrane. I never liked Cypress Hill.

In reply to Tom V:

where does Carole King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” fit into all of this though? 

How about the late 1980s/early 1990s “I Drove All Night”? Written by Steinberg and Kelly for, and recorded by, Roy Orbison, in 1987, his version unreleased until several years after Cyndi Lauper’s 1987 recording had been a hit single in 1989. Who exactly is being “ersatz” in that scenario? 

In reply to Tom V:

“Cover” and “cover version” are not derogatory/pejorative terms according to the majority of recording and non-recording artists that I’ve witnessed referring to their renditions as covers. There is a minority who, like you, treat them as some sort of ersatz thing to do.

 NaCl 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Try Disturbed's cover of The Sound of Silence. The original is great but their version is also amazing. If it's not better than the original then it's very very close (this will probably be viewed as sacrilege)   

Deepsoup is right imo  - a cover should be a reinterpretation of the original with at least some changes and not just playing someone else's song in the same manner. 

 Doug 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Clearly Carole King recorded a cover of the Shirelles 'original' as she didn't record her version till something like 10 years later. Although as she co-wrote the song its a bit of an odd (& unusual ? ) situation.

 Tom V 08 Apr 2021
In reply to NaCl:

>  just playing someone else's song in the same manner. 

More or less what I thought cover meant ( in the same way that tribute bands imitate the original) so probably why I put a negative slant on the word. I will change my ways.

 marsbar 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I think the Muse version of Feeling Good is probably my favourite cover.  Totally different to the Nina Simone version which I also love.  

 marsbar 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Meanwhile my most hated cover, probably All Saints version of Under the Bridge.  Or Florence and the Machine You've got the Love.  

 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I had a stand up argument with a bloke running a pub quiz once.  The question was "who sang all along the watchtower?" when he said the answer as Jimi Hendrix I called him out on it and he changed it to and said "well I meant who wrote it" "Also Bob Dylan" then went to "no but who recorded it first"...  "Also Bob Dylan"...

Then he said that it was Jimi Hendrix and refused to accept any other answer.  I believe I called him a prick.

Anyway.... Surprise covers - "Hanging On The Telephone" by Blondie is actually by a band called The Nerves.  And the original is actually pretty good...

Post edited at 10:13
 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Oh and another... First Cut is the Deepest was written by Cat Stevens but first recorded by PP Arnold and it's way better than the bloody Rod Stewart version.

In reply to marsbar:

There is also a superb extended live version of Feelin Good by Traffic on Last Exit.

Post edited at 10:29
 Tom V 08 Apr 2021
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Mention of Traffic raises the point - can you cover a traditional folk song?

 The Watersons recorded John Barleycorn five years before Traffic  but even then, there's probably a recording in Cecil Sharp House made in the twenties of some Norfolk thatcher warbling a version.

 Doug 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> Mention of Traffic raises the point - can you cover a traditional folk song?

If you are Paul Simon you can even claim the copyright while using the arrangement 'borrowed' from another singer.

 deepsoup 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

He should have asked who sang the definitive version.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say the next best example of a cover version usurping the original to become the definitive is 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin.  (Originally by Otis Redding.)

 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Doug:

Led Zep are guilty of this dozens and dozens of times...

Some traditional blues and folk tunes were been knocking about for decades then appear on a Led Zep album attributed to Page/Plant

Some of their biggest tunes too - Dazed and Confused, Babe I'm gonna leave you, Whole Lotta Love etc. 

Thing is the guys they ripped it off also ripped it off other people who also ripped it off other people.... Until you eventually get back to Robert Johnson or Elmore James.  The only thing is that Led Zep big money off something that they didn't really write... 

 graeme jackson 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

>  all along the watchtower...

I'm probably in the minority when I admit that I prefer Dylan to Hendrix.

My 'covers' band (we do 50% originals) like to play other people's music a lot harder and faster than you'd expect for a bunch of old blokes  We took our inspiration from Godsmack who do quite heavy versions of popular songs that we've tried to make even more aggressive so in a way, we're covering another band's cover versions

In reply to Doug:

As the Guardian put it a few years ago: 'Two artists recorded versions of Scarborough Fair. Only one of them still travels to gigs on Virgin Trains East Coast',  or something like that.

In reply to Tom V:

Mike Evans and the Electric Rhythm Boys cover of I put a Spell On You was sublime - close run thing between that and Nina Simone, in fact.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Don't forget the epic Screamin' Jay Hawkins version, not for the faint hearted!

 Tringa 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Generally I'm not in favour of cover versions and prefer the original - after all it is the way the original artist(or their producer) wanted it.

However, Joe Cocker's version of A little help is way better than the original and the Hendrix version of All Along the Watchtower is superb.

Dave

 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to graeme jackson:

> >  all along the watchtower...

> I'm probably in the minority when I admit that I prefer Dylan to Hendrix.

Wow.  A big call there!

> My 'covers' band (we do 50% originals) like to play other people's music a lot harder and faster than you'd expect for a bunch of old blokes  We took our inspiration from Godsmack who do quite heavy versions of popular songs that we've tried to make even more aggressive so in a way, we're covering another band's cover versions

I like it when bands cover a song but do it in such a way that it completely changes the character of the song. Have you heard Rage Against The Machine's version of Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad"?

 chris_r 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Mike Flowers Pops - Wonderwall

 petemeads 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Judy Collins version of Both Sides Now got me into Joni Mitchell - and it took awhile for the Joni version to take over top place in my affections. On the other hand, ever hear Goldie Hawn's cover of Carey?

In reply to Tom V:

Dunno, but I'll offer you The Warning, by  Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation as possibly better than Black Sabbath's cover version Warning (part1), although they ran it into part 2 so that may be grounds to say their cover was better. A lot of this is in the ear of the listener, simple cover versus rearrangement versus performing "traditional" (in Jazz or Blues) etc, etc 

Post edited at 15:04
 deepsoup 08 Apr 2021
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> Don't forget the epic Screamin' Jay Hawkins version, not for the faint hearted!

Is the Nina Simone version another case of a masterful cover version usurping the original?  I think a lot of people assume Jay Hawkins covered her song and not the other way around.

In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> Don't forget the epic Screamin' Jay Hawkins version, not for the faint hearted!

i have two words for you

Diamanda Galas !

 wercat 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

No one covers like William Shatner

youtube.com/watch?v=ainyK6fXku0&

come to think of it Telly Savalas in his time ...

or Peter Sellers Hard Days Night

Post edited at 15:24
 Tom V 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Say I Put A Spell On You and my first reaction is Alan Price/The Animals.

In reply to deepsoup:

He did indeed write it, the paragraph about it on the Wiki entry is worth a read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screamin%27_Jay_Hawkins

In reply to Iamgregp:

> Oh and another... First Cut is the Deepest was written by Cat Stevens but first recorded by PP Arnold and it's way better than the bloody Rod Stewart version.

If you like virtuoso slide guitar playing, check out Martin Simpson's instrumental version/cover/extraordinary rendition.

In reply to Iamgregp:

> Led Zep are guilty of this dozens and dozens of times...

> Some traditional blues and folk tunes were been knocking about for decades then appear on a Led Zep album attributed to Page/Plant

> Some of their biggest tunes too - Dazed and Confused, Babe I'm gonna leave you, Whole Lotta Love etc. 

> Thing is the guys they ripped it off also ripped it off other people who also ripped it off other people.... Until you eventually get back to Robert Johnson or Elmore James.  The only thing is that Led Zep big money off something that they didn't really write... 

I was always very disappointed with Zep's attitude to the bluesmen they pilfered back in the early days. I remember Plant joking about the trick being not to get caught. This was in stark contrast to the respect shown them by people like Keef and Clapton - who not only credited them, but also went to great lengths to support them in touring again and making some long-overdue money in what was often a pretty straitened old age. It was quite right and proper that Zep never attained the majestic musical heights of the Stones. Karma.

In reply to deepsoup:

> I'm going to stick my neck out and say the next best example of a cover version usurping the original to become the definitive is 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin.  (Originally by Otis Redding.)

I wonder how many people realise that Otis's signature "Try A little Tenderness" is actually a cover of a song from the 30's that had previously been done by Crosby and Sinatra and that the publishers didn't want a recording in a "negro" style?

 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Yeah it was a bit naughty, but Peter Grant was their manager and I’m not sure he would have been up for sharing a penny their profits with anyone.  

And then once the money started rolling in, I doubt any of the band were either!

 Iamgregp 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Been thinking about Hey Joe... Its widely thought that Hendrix Covered the version by The Leaves, as that came first as was the first with that little rising riff in it that is also in the Hendrix version... But the song wasn’t by the Leaves, so that makes Hendrix’s version a cover of a cover I guess?

same for UB40’s Red Red Wine. They heard a reggae version by a Jamaican artist and decided to cover it, it was only afterwards that they found out it’s a Neil Diamond song!

Any more covers of covers?

In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I was always very disappointed with Zep's attitude to the bluesmen they pilfered back in the early days. I remember Plant joking about the trick being not to get caught. This was in stark contrast to the respect shown them by people like Keef and Clapton - who not only credited them, but also went to great lengths to support them in touring again and making some long-overdue money in what was often a pretty straitened old age. It was quite right and proper that Zep never attained the majestic musical heights of the Stones. Karma.

The Rolf Harris cover of 'Stairway to Heaven' could also be regarded as Karma.

 Tom V 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Andy Clarke:

>  It was quite right and proper that Zep never attained the majestic musical heights of the Stones

That sounds a bit contentious and i assume you phrased it deliberately so.

 Hooo 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> same for UB40’s Red Red Wine. They heard a reggae version by a Jamaican artist and decided to cover it, it was only afterwards that they found out it’s a Neil Diamond song!

I never knew that! 

> Any more covers of covers?

I think The Animals version of House of the rising sun might be a cover of a cover of a cover, and then Bob Dylan had a version in there too.

In reply to Tom V:

> That sounds a bit contentious and i assume you phrased it deliberately so.

Guilty as charged.

 graeme jackson 09 Apr 2021
In reply to marsbar:

> I think the Muse version of Feeling Good is probably my favourite cover.  Totally different to the Nina Simone version which I also love.  

We used to do a heavy version of the Muse version. Fretless bass with a lot of chorus and distortion. 

 waitout 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> The Rolf Harris cover of 'Stairway to Heaven' could also be regarded as Karma.

The Harris version originally came from a performance he did on an Australian show called The Money or the Gun  where each week a guest could perform any song they liked so long as it was STH. Lots of semi-obscure Australian 90's bands did it. This one's particularly ridiculous  youtube.com/watch?v=nI6dQMR4P2Q&

The Harris one went big because it's just so stupid and in an interview he claimed he'd never even heard the song before he was asked to do it.

 joeramsay 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Funny you mention that quote, I once met Martin Carthy getting off a train at Birmingham New Street on his way to a gig. He looked thoroughly fed up, maybe he was thinking the same thing

 Tom V 09 Apr 2021
In reply to waitout:

>  he claimed he'd never even heard the song before he was asked to do it.

That's probably because he played the didgeridoo and wobble board.. If he'd ever frequented guitar shops he'd have been fairly familiar with it.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> As the Guardian put it a few years ago: 'Two artists recorded versions of Scarborough Fair. Only one of them still travels to gigs on Virgin Trains East Coast',  or something like that.

Dylan also took the melody for Girl from the North Country, but I think he was always quite open about how much he'd learned from Carthy on his first visit to Britain, including this and the tune of Lord Franklin that he used for Bob Dylan's Dream.

In reply to Tom V:

Possibly the most famous of all Tamla Motown hits is Marvin's I Heard it through the Grapevine - but I wonder how many now remember that it had already been a big hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips. This might make it the most successful cover ever - except Marvin had recorded it first. However, Berry Gordy, the boss hated it so much it had to be re-recorded by Gladys.  He only allowed Marvin's version to be released as a single after DJs started playing it from  the album on which it finally escaped.

There's some great guitar playing on Creedence Clearwater's epic 11 minute cover which is worth checking out.

In reply to joeramsay:

Ha! I saw Carthy waiting for a train on York Station, he looked miserable as well then.

In fact, I think he always does. Went to a gig at the Winning Post once, watching Dave Swarbrick cheering the support band on was a delight, Carthy on the other hand was obviously wishing he was somewhere else.

 Doug 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I've seen him smiling, but I think it was around 1975 (but then I'm not sure I've seen him since)

 Tom V 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Doug:

About 1969 my brother and I were walking down to the Swan at Dobcross for a Friday night session where Carthy was main guest.  A white van pulled up at the side of us and out of the passenger door  a man stood up, asking for directions. It was , unmistakeably, Carthy. I told him how to find the venue, about half a mile further on,  and added that we were actually going there ourselves. He said thanks, shut the door and the van drove off. In my glass half full moments I always tell myself the van was packed to the gunnels with sound equipment.

 Boomer Doomer 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

Not in any guitar shop I've been in... along with Smoke on the Water and House of the Rising Sun it's a hanging offence!

youtube.com/watch?v=_2Z-5Bop7-g&

 Tom V 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

That was my point. For it to become an offence it had to have happened ad nauseam. 

Oh well....

 Iamgregp 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I love Otis, and I’m not much into Creedence, but I’m with you on this. That Creedence version is absolutely brilliant. 

Have argued this with a mate and he went off and checked it out and he came back to me “you know what mate... You might have had a point there”

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Trump card! Wow.

In reply to Andy Clarke:

Otis' version of Try... is just so good though. One of my all-time great soul songs. Bing & Frank don't cut it.

In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I would ask "did you like it?" but I really don't think "like" is the appropriate word  

 

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Survived it!

 waitout 09 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> That's probably because he played the didgeridoo and wobble board.. If he'd ever frequented guitar shops he'd have been fairly familiar with it.

Or just lived outside of the silly revisionist hillbilly stereotype of 'outback' he peddled whilst the world was actually listening to T.Rex and the Pistols instead.

Anyway...it's funny to listen to the novelty covers of the song because stripped of LZ's pseudo-mystic ambience and virtuoso noodling it's pretty urbane. Could be a Springsteen song without much rearranging.

In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> Otis' version of Try... is just so good though. One of my all-time great soul songs. Bing & Frank don't cut it.

I completely agree. But it wouldn't have been seen as soul until Otis transformed it. I guess it shows just how fluid genres can be.

Another soul classic, James Carr's Dark End of the Street, often seems to metamorphose into a country song - eg the Flying Burritos.

In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> Survived it!

Imagine an entire concert !

 Wilderbeest 10 Apr 2021
In reply to NaCl:

The “original” version of Sound of Silence was pretty much a cover. Simon and Garfunkel recorded an acoustic version and it was going nowhere, and in fact they were so unsuccessful they split up and Paul Simon was playing solo in Europe.

Their producer Tom Wilson completely changed it adding big drums and bass and it rapidly became a huge hit. So S&G got back together and re-recorded it again. Apparently Paul really disliked it.

 NaCl 10 Apr 2021
In reply to Wilderbeest:

I did not know that. Everyday's a schoolday!


Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...