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Old 04-23-2008, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Comparing covers to the original

I remember seeing a thread when I first joined that was about covers. Problem is that it was only a list and didn't really compare the original to the cover. I'd like to have a chance to discuss how the cover affected the original. Did the cover artist stay true to the original? Maybe change it and somehow improve it? Did they rape it and leave it for dead in a ditch? With the wonderful ability to embed Youtube videos, I think we can enjoy this thread even more.


First, I'd like to talk about Breadfan.

Originally by Budgie in 1973.

Covered by Metallica in 1988


I think that Metallica stayed true to the song. The Metallica version has a slightly faster feel and Hetfield's vocals are a bit rougher, but these are expected with the nature of Metallica's sound at the time.



Next up is Hurt.

Originally by Nine Inch Nails in 1994
(not an official video. This is the only studio version I could find on youtube)

Covered by Johnny Cash in 2002


My opinion is that Johnny Cash improved the song and added a level of depth and passion. I'm not saying that it is necessarily better, but Cash took it and made it his. He didn't settle for making a Nine Inch Nails song, he only used their words and beat and gave the song a new life.


Last up is American Pie.


Originally by Don McClean in 1971.
(its best to not watch the crappy video when listening to the song.)

Covered by Madonna (I think I just threw up a little) in 2000



I'd like to say that the Madonna version had some good qualities but I just can't. Its no shock that I'm not a fan of this version. I can't think of anyone that really is. It was a well done folk rock song in its original form, but Madonna turned it into a horrible pop/dance song.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the way i see it there are 3 ways to cover songs and you provide examples of all three. a copy / a personal take / a professional take

metallica did a straight copy. sure it's a little faster and a little rougher but still so close to the original that there's not much difference.

johnny cash didn't really improve on 'hurt' so much as record a personalized version. if anything rick rubin deserves far more credit for the end of johnny cash's career than the man himself. if it weren't for rubin pushing him to cover modern rock tunes i'm willing to bet most young people would have been saying 'who? / so...' when he died.

madonna's cover is a straight career move. hardly the first time a past radio hit gets reworked with a beat box. it's why disco lasted longer than a summer. i always hated that song, at least madonna has great tits when you drop the volume.

in any event the original artist usually does win out once their song is covered and released as a single whether it's a copy or crap. no one releases a cover of a single that's still getting airplay, so it will still draw indirect attention to the original song and group regardless of the quality of the cover.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr dave View Post

johnny cash didn't really improve on 'hurt' so much as record a personalized version. if anything rick rubin deserves far more credit for the end of johnny cash's career than the man himself. if it weren't for rubin pushing him to cover modern rock tunes i'm willing to bet most young people would have been saying 'who? / so...' when he died.
I'm not sure about that. True that most people knew him for Hurt and its one of his best songs (which is even more remarkable since it was one of his last) but the live albums in the 60's were good enough for him to be recognised as a brilliant artist in his own right and i still think he would have been remember fondly for them.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i think you're confusing the small minority of young music fans who would join sites like these with the majority of listeners who couldn't give two craps what a bunch of elitists think so long as the tv told them it was cool.

if you took away the video for 'hurt' i'm positive the majority of non-country music fans under 30 wouldn't have noticed his passing beyond a headline on a magazine.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Looking at other people like Arthur Lee, James Brown etc who have died and the reaction that got i think you may be right to be honest, i hope not though.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cash's versions in levels above the NIN original. It brings in a personal effect and he certainly did make it his as it was stated above. Cash also did an amazing job on Soundgarden's Rusty Cage.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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if you took away the video for 'hurt' i'm positive the majority of non-country music fans under 30 wouldn't have noticed his passing beyond a headline on a magazine.
I don't think that's true at all.
What about a whole decade of him working with Rick Rubin?
There was also his appearance at Glastonbury in the mid 90s where he said the reception he got was one of the highlights of his career.
And then there's him working with Nick Cave , U2 , Joe Strummer and a whole load of others.

I think you're selling him well short.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Although the original is not Metal, the cover has rock elements and is one of the best cover versions you will ever hear. It takes the original and makes it sound completely unique. Both rock.
The original:


The Cover:
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger View Post
What about a whole decade of him working with Rick Rubin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlier post i made in thread
if anything rick rubin deserves far more credit for the end of johnny cash's career than the man himself. if it weren't for rubin pushing him to cover modern rock tunes i'm willing to bet most young people would have been saying 'who? / so...' when he died.

youtube isn't loading. all along the watchtower. yay nay meh?
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Prefer Jimi's version myself.
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