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Sometimes, the covers are not only as good as the original songs... but even better. Here is my list in chronological order:
1. Otis Redding: DAY TRIPPER (Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, 1966) – The Beatles: Day Tripper (Single), 1965
2. Otis Redding: (I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION (Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings the Soul, 1966) – The Rolling Stones: Out of Our Heads, 1965
3. Otis Redding: MY GIRL (Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings the Soul, 1966) – The Temptations: Temptations Sing Smokey, 1965
4. The Byrds: MR. TAMBOURINE MAN (Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965) – Bob Dylan: Bring it all Back Home, 1965
5. Wilson Pickett: EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO LOVE (Wicked Pickett, 1966) – Solomon Burke: Best of Solomon Burke, 1965
6. Them: IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE (Them Again, 1966) – Bob Dylan: Bring it all Back Home, 1965
7. Sam & Dave: SOOTHE ME (Double Dynamite, 1967) – Sam Cooke: Twistin’ the Night Away, 1962
8. Four Tops: WALK AWAY RENEE (Reach Out, 1967) – The Left Banke – Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, 1967)
9. The Byrds: PRETTY BOY FLOYD (Sweetheart of the Rodeo, 1968) – Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Ballads, 1940/1962
10. Wilson Pickett: HEY JUDE (Hey Jude, 1969) – The Beatles: Hey Jude (Single) 1968
11. Ry Cooder: TEARDROPS WILL FALL (Into the Purple Valley, 1972) – Wilson Pickett: In the Midnight Hour, 1965
12. Talking Heads: TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1978) – Al Green: Al Green Explores Your Mind, 1974
13. Aretha Franklin – JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH (Aretha, 1986) – The Rolling Stones: Jumpin' Jack Flash (Single) 1968
14. Joe Cocker: YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON (9 ½ Weeks, 1988)– Randy Newman: Sail Away, 1972
15. Cowboy Junkies: SWEET JANE (Trinity Session, 1988) – The Velvet Underground: Loaded, 1970
16. Cowboy Junkies: POWDERFINGER (The Caution Horses, 1990) – Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps, 1979
17. Saint Etienne: ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART (Foxbase Alpha, 1991) – Neil Young: After the Gold Rush, 1970
18. June Tabor: BEAT THE RETREAT (Beat the Retreat. Songs by Richard Thompson, 1994) – Richard & Linda Thompson: Pour Down Like Silver, 1975
19. Red House Painters: ALL MIXED UP (Songs for a Blue Guitar, 1996) – The Cars: Cars, 1978
20. Yo La Tengo: LITTLE HONDA (I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One, 1997) – The Beach Boys: All Summer Long, 1964
Well, I found out (not surprisingly) that my favorite covers are, for the most part, not rock songs.
In jazz, country and blues, a cover is a natural thing much more than in rock music especially after 1965 when the Beatles and Dylan established the album and singer songwriter models.
these are my favorite covers
1. Elvis Presley, « That’s All Right Mama », 1954 (original Arthur Crudup, 1946)
2. Doc & Merle Watson, “My Rough And Rowdy Ways”, 1967 (original Jimmie Rodgers, 1930)
3. Animals, ‘House Of The Rising Sun”, 1964 (traditional, but they said they took it from Bob Dylan, 1961)
4. Johnny Cash, “One”, 2000 (original U2, 1995, this one’s for you Anthony )
5. Jazz Gillum, “Key To The Highway”, May 9, 1940 (original Charlie Segar, Feb 23, 1940)
6. Doc & Merle Watson, “Roll in my Sweet Baby's Arms”, 1967 (original Buster Carter and Preston Young, 192? )
7. Jeff Buckley, “Hallelujah”, 1994 (original Leonard Cohen, 1985)
8. Jeff Buckley, “Lilac Wine”, 1994 (original Eartha Kitt, 1953 but Buckley only knew the Nina simone version, 1966)
9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “All Along The Watchtower”, 1968 (original Bob Dylan, 1967)
10. Asleep At The Wheel, “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, 1988 (original Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1941)
11. Brad Mehldau, “Exit Music (For A Film), 1998 (original Radiohead 1997)
12. The Pogues, “And The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda” (original Eric Bogle, 1976)
13. The Dubliners, “Lord Of The Dance” (original Sydney Carter, 1963)
14. Django Reinhardt & Stephan Grapelli, “Echoes of France”, 1947 (original, “La Marseillaise”, French national anthem by Rouget de Lisle, composed 1792)
15. Ray Charles, “Georgia On My Mind” (original Hoagy Carmichael, 1930)
16. John Coltrane, “My Favorite Things” (original Julie Andrews, 1959)
17. Richard Galliano, “Libertango” (original Astor Piazzola, 1974)
18. Glenn Campbell, “Gentle on My Mind” 1967 (original John Hartford, 1967)
19. Nat King Cole, “Caravan” 1956 (original duke Ellington, 1937)
20. Robert Nighthawk, “Sweet Black Angel”, 1949 (original Tampa Red, 1934)
another time I'll give you my favorite rock and r&b covers
Oh thanks, nicolas!
Gosh, I really can't stand that Johnny Cash remake! (As if I need to remind everyone of that fact).
i really like it
we disagered about that last summer and then it turned out that we have a lot of tastes in common but not that "one"
Yeah, it's funny how musical taste works sometimes. (I'm still planning on making my way over to your neck of the woods at some point. We can drink some good wine and talk Buckley/the Boss/Neil Young until the cows come home. Sound good?)
On Miguel's list,the only one I agree with is The Byrds' Mr Tambourine Man
I agree with Little Honda too. That's an awesome cover.
yeah the Little Honda cover is excellent.
Just a few:
Rod Stewart: Reason To Believe (Tim Hardin)
Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs: I See the Rain (Marmalade)
Bangles: Hazy Shade of Winter (Simon and Garfunkel)
Jimi Hendrix: Hey Joe (The Leaves)
The Byrds: Spanish Harlem Incident (Dylan)
Manfred Mann: Quinn the Eskimo (Dylan)
Talking Heads: Take Me To the River (Al Green)
Nirvana: Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Leadbelly)
Beatles: Words of Love (Buddy Holly)
cool people hate The chi->l.
since you're 19eighty8thing... it's a minus ..plus the sacrifice
All Along The Watchtower - Dylan/Hendrix
These Days - Dylan/Nico
Percy's Song - Dylan/Fairport Convention
Tomorrow Is A Long Time - Dylan/Nickel Creek
(My favorite artist all time by the way? Dylan! Other bands just seem to be really good at playing his songs for some reason.)
Soul Kitchen - The Doors/X
Gloria - Van Morrison/Patti Smith
Ouright better than the originals may be pushing it a bit, but I very much agree with Miguel that the Cowboy Junkies' renditions of Sweet Jane and Powderfinger are masterpieces.
Hi, Miguel. Coming back to the 250 songs I send to Moonbeam I’ve selected the covers and found on the web data about some of the original ones.
1. THE BYRDS “My Back Pages” (1967), original version by Bob Dylan (1964).
2. BJÖRK “It’s Oh So Quiet” (1995), original version by Betty Hutton (“Blow a Fuse”, 1948).
3. FRANK SINATRA & COUNT BASIE “Fly Me to the Moon” (1964), original version by Kaye Ballard (1954).
4. STAN GETZ & JOAO GILBERTO “The Girl From Ipanema” (1963), original version by Pery Ribeiro (“Garota de Ipanema, 1962).
5. ELVIS PRESLEY “Mystery Train” (1955), original version by Junior Parker (1953).
6. JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE “All Along the Watchtower” (1968), original version by Bob Dylan (1967).
7. JANIS JOPLIN “Me and Bobby McGee” (1971), original version by Roger Miller (1970).
8. ROBERT WYATT “Insensatez” (2003), original version by João Gilberto (1961).
9. JEFF BUCKLEY “Hallelujah” (1994), original version by Leonard Cohen (1985).
10. SOFT CELL “Tainted Love” (1981), original version by Gloria Jones (1964).
11. JAMES TAYLOR “You’ve Got a Friend” (April 1971), original version by Carole King (March 1971).
12. JOHN COLTRANE “My Favorite Things” (1960), original version by Mary Martin (1959).
13. ARETHA FRANKLIN “I Say a Little Prayer” (1968), original version by Dionne Warwick (1967).
14. THE SPECIALS “A Message to You Rudy” (1979), original version by Dandy Livingstone (1967).
15. THE MARCELS “Blue Moon” (1961), original version by Connee Boswell (1935).
16. JOHNNY CASH “Hurt” (2002), original version by Nine Inch Nails (1994).
17. RY COODER “A Canción Mixteca” (1985), original version not found (composed in 1919 by José López Álavez).
18. MARLENE DIETRICH “Sag’ mir, wo die Blumen sind” (1962), original version by The Kingston Trio (“Where Have All the Flowers Gone“, 1962).
19. JOSELE SANTIAGO “Con las manos vacías” (2004), original version by Chavela Vargas (date release not found).
20. THE POGUES “And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda” (1985), original version by Eric Bogle (1976)
Yes, Nicolas, the last one was not in my original list but 19 is not a number as good as 20 (and I’ve copied from yours, hope you don’t mind). Anyway it’s a song that I love (and that always makes me cry, that’s why I don’t consider it as a favourite, usually I prefer not to listen to it).
Honorio, that Mixteca song on "Paris Texas" is great !
I think the album is my favorite soundtrack of a movie I've seen (Harder They Come don't count)
"Quisiera llorar, quisiera morir de sentimiento"
Yes, Nicolas. Just found in You Tube the wonderful Super 8 scene with those faces turning smiles into sadness when Nastassja Kinski appears, with the character played by Harry Dean Staton nervously squeezing his hands (you almost can touch his pain) and, of course, with the beautiful Nastassja turning round and round on the beach (one of the simplest but more powerful and precious images ever from a movie). And, above all, that wonderful traditional Mexican song played by Ry Cooder with such exquisiteness. I should have put this song higher on my list. But no more words. Just see this…
I'd really have to see that movie again
Yesterday night I was alone (wife and kids away, and a friend I had to see dumped me), I had a few drinks and I really wanted for a moment to record and film myself singing the song and post it here, but I didn't do it because I didn't know how to. Happily, because I think the result would have been awful..
Ry Cooder is a great guitar player. He knew he wasn't a genius at writing songs and he dedicated himself to discovering and presenting beautiful music from all around the world. He has this great ability to play a lot of styles.
He made beautiful covers, like his theme from Paris, Texas (taken from great gospel slide guitar player Blind Willie Johnson in 1927), or "Ditty Wah Ditty" on "Paradise and Lunch" (original by the one of the best prewar acoustic guitar player, Blind Blake, 1929)
But both originals were better or equal. BUt Ry's cover is great too.
This is Blind Willie Johnson's thele that inspired "Paris, Texas" soundtrack
NB : the guy you see on the first photo (around 1:30) isn't Blind Willie Johnson but Blind Willie McTell another great bluesman but very different indeed He was from Georgia and played a jumbo 12 string while Johnson was from Texas and played slide. Next photo is Johnson
This is Blind Blake's music with a funny clip. Enjoy his incredible guitar playing. There are tons of clips on YT with guys playing Blind Blake. THey can more or less reproduce what he's playing but none of them has his feeling.
Cheers for the Candyflip, Netjade. They were local zeroes round here- I remember seeing them on Top Of The Pops an Thursday and then shopping together at the supermarket where I worked on Saturday. I think they came in to buy themselves a clue, but we must have been out of stock. That cover stunk worse than a skunk's colostomy bag.
My favourite cover versions are Husker Du's version of 'Eight Miles High' and This Mortal Coil's version of 'You And Your Sister' (Chris Bell) with Kim Deal on vocals.
I liked a lot your comments, Nicolas. You’re right, “Canción Mixteca” is the perfect choice for singing after a few drinks. It’s a song about longing your homeland when you’re away, and alcohol is useful to take out these kind of feelings.
I’ve got an idea. I can play that song with the Spanish guitar quite well (but not as well as Ry obviously). What about recording it and sending to you on mp3? You could add a vocal part to my recording and then posting in the forum.
What would be the name of our band? “The Mixtecas” maybe? Or “Nic & Hon”? Or “Paris-Valencia” (is the name of an old book store of my city)?
And, pushing the thing further… what about Anthony recording an electric guitar part? And Paul a bass part? And Jonmarck backing vocals? And Moonbeam a piano part? Any drummer there? Anyone who can play accordion? Or a mariachi trumpet? We can call the band “The Acclaimed Band”.
Not (completely) kidding. Think about it, Nicolas. If you are interested I could record it…
Great idea !
I'll work my Spanish accent. Do it in A, like in the movie, it'll be perfect !
In A... OK!!
great idea again, Honorio !
I'm definitely in !
"My favourite cover versions are Husker Du's version of 'Eight Miles High' and This Mortal Coil's version of 'You And Your Sister' (Chris Bell) with Kim Deal on vocals."
And of course This Mortal Coil's best-known song - their tour de force cover of Tim Buckley's 'Song To The Siren'(which I can't believe no one has mentioned). Aretha Franklin - Respect? Did it just go without saying?
Pseudo Echo - Funkytown. The Lipps Inc original is crap
Hah! What a cool idea!
A suggestion: let's do a version of Neil Young's "Cripple Creek Ferry" - an ensemble performance with an extended coda (or something like that). Everyone can sing along on the chorus, and we can pull a "Hey Jude" and make it five or six minutes long! (on one condition though - that I get to play a mandolin part).
I'm in for Neil Young too !
I can play the harmonica and sing. I leave the guitar parts for better accomplished gtr players like Anthony or Honorio.
So we already have 2 songs
So here we are, The Acclaimers, a trio with two guitar players (one from Canada and another from Spain) and a singer from France. C’mon, jonmark, won’t you join us?
So let’s do a schedule:
1) First of all I won’t be able to record my part till a couple of weeks or so. I don’t have a home-studio so I need to go to my brother’s house. I’m planning to record a (a) track 1 with a rhythm pattern, a (b) track 2 with a basic acoustic rhythm guitar (that could be removed after and replaced with other take by Anthony or Jonmark ) and a (c) Spanish guitar part with some Mexican flourishes. After that I will made a temporary mix, convert into 192 Kbps mp3 and send by e-mail to Anthony and Nicolas. Hope there’s no problem in sending the file by e-mail.
2) Anthony, you could record a nice mandolin part. Go rehearsing… it could be perfect. Then you could send me by e-mail your mandolin track. You can do the same as me with “Cripple Creek Ferry”, recording a rhythm pattern, a basic track (to overdub later) and a “definitive” guitar part.
3) Nicolas, go rehearsing the vocal parts. Some advices about Spanish pronunciation: the most difficult is the “R”: French-speaking people tend to say it as a G (“quisiega moggig”) and English-speaking people (well, except Scottish) as a W or a OO (“quisiewa mowwiw”). And often people when imitate the strong Spanish “R” tend to exaggerate, like Harry Dean Staton on the Ry Cooder version (“quiserrrrra morrrrirrrr”). So I wish you luck with that.
4) With all the tracks I could make a gorgeous mix in my brother’s house and release it world wide. No doubt, we have already the song of the year from 2008.
Of course, anyone who wants to join is welcome…
A few things
1) Sending a file is not a problem. E-mail may not be the best solution, but Paul gave me the name of a site where you can upload your file, give our addresses. Then we get an e-mail notice and we can download the said file. I'll give you the name of this site (I have it at home)
2) How will we record our own tracks ? On a separate mp3 file ? I've never done that myself. I can go to a friend's home studio ro record the vocals.
3)The key for that song is A I guess, I personnally would prefer G (more comfortable for my vocals) but if you prefer to stick to the original key it's Ok for me
4) I'm not worried about the "r"'s prononciation (I think I can manage with that, I can speak some very limited Spanish and am used to hearing it in songs, in my cousins' family, etc...), but of my French accent showing sometimes. I'll do what I can, but I suppose it will have its own charms.
Anyway, great project
Twist and Shout- The Beatles
Money That's What I Want- The Beatles
Words Of Love- The Beatles
I Put a Spell on You- Creedence
Mr. Tambourine Man- The Byrds
All Along the Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix
Rock And Roll Music- The Beatles
Not sure they're all better than the originals but i love these :
Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane
Creedence - Susie Q (Dale Hawkins)
Patti Smith - Gloria
Urban Dance Squad - Deeper shade of soul (Ray Barretto)
Blondie - Hanging on Your Telephone (The Nerves?)
Tricky - Black steel (Public Enemy?)
Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe
Devo - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
The Kingsmen Louie, Louie
Johnny Cash - Hurt
Devo - Working in a Coalmine
Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Nouvelle Vague - Dance With Me (Lords of the New Chruch)
Dandy Warhols - Ohio
Dandy Warhols - Hells Bells
I think I made a mistake on my list.
"These Days" is a Jackson Browne cover, and it's "I'll Keep It With Mine" on the same album which is a Dylan cover.
Chelsea Girls is a pretty good album, but it's like 3/5 written by Lou Reed and 2/5 written by Jackson Browne, and most of Velvet Underground played on the album, so I'm left wondering how much credit to actually give Nico herself for it. Her contribution is pretty much just the cool exotic vocals.
These Days is an interesting cover because it's not really a cover at all. In fact, Jackson Browne was covering a Nico song written by Browne. So was he covering Nico and himself at the same time? Either way you can't call the Nico song the cover since it was released way before Jackson Browne recorded it.
I just heard Gary Jules cover of Tears For Fears "Mad World" used in a very powerful play about the Columbine shootings, and in definitely deserves recognition on this thread. I remembered hearing it from the movie Donnie Darko as well, and never knew it's origins.
Yeah, it was written for Donnie Darko. Really great song, it varies from day to day which version I like better, right now I prefer the Gary Jules version because of this video:
Just stumbled through my Dad's record collection once again and got me some decent shivers of nostalgia with Awesomenities like this little gem. Holy summer of 1999, you were my own private Haight-Ashbury...
All Along the Watchtower - Hendrix better than Dylan
Jesus is Just Alright - The Doobie Brothers better than The Byrds (it's actually pretty close)
Hallelujah - Buckley better than Cohen
All Along the Wathtower - Jimi Hendrix (Orig. Bob Dylan)
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley (Orig. Leonard Cohen)
Hurt - Johnny Cash (Orig. Nine Inch Nails)
Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
I See a Darkness - Johnny Cash
Respect - Aretha Franklin
There are others, but these are the ones I can think of at the moment.
jawsome... i STILL (3-11) love that Candy Flip abomination
Aretha Franklin - Respect and (especially) The Weight
The Beatles - Twist and Shout, Baby It's You
Beck - Sunday Morning, I'll Be Your Mirror (easily first overall on this list)
Beyonce - At Last
Dave Matthews Band - The Long Black Veil (Daniel Lanois), All Along the Watchtower, Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)
Dinosaur Jr - Just Like Heaven
The Flaming Lips - Bohemian Rhapsody
Foo Fighters - Baker Street
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along the Watchtower
John Mayer - Kid A (#2 overall), Free Fallin'
Radiohead - Ceremony
Rage Against the Machine - Renegades of Funk
Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
My Way (Paul Anka) better than Comme d'habitude (Claude François)
Among many others
Booker T & The MG's : Melting Pot (Boris Gardiner)
Dead Boys : Ain't It Fun (Rocket From The Tombs)
Incredible Bongo Band : Apache (The Shadows)
Scissor Sisters : Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
Lee Moses : The Dark End of the Street (James Carr)
Laibach : Across the Universe (The Beatles)
Manfred Mann's Earth Band : Visionary Mountains (Joan Armatrading)
Ros Sereysothea : Superstar (Delaney and Bonnie / The Carpenters)
Isaac Hayes : Something (The Beatles)
Material : Cosmic Slop (Funkadelic)
Nico : I'll Keep It With Mine (Bob Dylan)
Sly & The Family Stone : Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (Doris Day)
Ruth Copeland : Gimme Shelter (The Rolling Stones)
Soul Hooligan : Evil Woman (Electric Light Orchetstra)
The Slits : I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Smokey Robinson)
Johnny Cash : The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave)
Rockets : On The Road Again (Canned Heat)
Frida Hyvönen : Jesus Was A Crossmaker (Judee Sill)
Marianne Faithfull : Working Class Hero (John Lennon)
Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings : This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
The Blind Boys of Alabama : Way Down In The Hole (Tom Waits)
Karen Dalton : When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
Blondie : Hanging On The Telephone (The Nerves)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk : I Say a Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick)
Beta Band : One is the Lonliest Number (Nilsson)
Richie Havens : Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)
Nostalgia 77 : Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
(1) Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris - Love Hurts
As much as I love the Everly Brothers' version, this song was made for Gram and Emmylou.
(2) Love - My Little Red Book
This is a David/Bacharach number originally recorded by Manfred Mann. Love's version is definitive.