Monday, November 28, 2011

Cover Songs

As I was listening to Johnny Cash sing Personal Jesus last weekend, I said to C that this song makes more sense in this arrangement. I didn't mind some Depeche Mode songs back in the day, but I was never a huge fan, and I didn't really like Personal Jesus, until I heard Johnny Cash sing it. On the same note, I have to say that Johnny's version of Hurt is fantastic and maybe even better than the original, though I personally do not like the distortion at the end of the song.

This made me think of some other cover songs that are better than the originals. I don't think Dyan would mind me saying that Hendrix does a better version of All Along the Watchtower.  Still, we have to give credit to Dylan for writing such a great song.

And then, I was forced to think of all of the cover versions that are worse than the original, like Knockin' on Heaven's Door. In my humble opinion, Guns n' Roses ruined this song, but I guess it had the benefit of introducing the song to many people who had never heard it before, though now they probably assume that it was written by GnR, which I guess has happened many times with cover versions.

Although I am a huge Bowie fan, I was less than impressed by his cover of Cactus. I don't think it's possible to improve on the Pixies recording. I feel the same way about Bowie's cover of Jonathan Richman's Pablo Picasso. On the other hand, John Cale's cover of that song is awesome. And, speaking of Cale, I just picked up his new EP, which is OK, but I need to give it a few more spins to be sure (yes, spins: I still buy CDs).


mister anchovy said...

Check out the Beau Joques cover of Knockin' on Heaven's Door...and speaking of Weird Bob, I love the Johnny Winter version of Highway 61 Revisited and the Fairport Convention version en Francais of If You Gotta Go.

zydeco fish said...

I just checked it out. Interesting.

Super Happy Jen said...

There's always William Shatner's cover songs. Terrible, but you have to love his enthusiasm.