Sometimes I really have issues with cover versions… especially when it’s a song I truly love, and the cover doesn’t manage to live up to the original. That always makes me feel like ”don’t make the cover if you can’t beat the original!”
But on the other hand – music is also supposed to be fun and make you happy – and it’s not always necessary to be dead serious about everything. It’s okay, no – it’s more than okay to do things simply because you’re having fun with it. In fact, we should all be doing more things just because they are fun.
And sometimes a cover version can make you explore new music and find even more songs to love.
And sometimes it just basically pisses me off. Like the German fun metal band J.B.O. a few years back when they covered the Nena song ”Nur geträumt”– I absolutely hate that version and that they spoiled a perfectly great song. Well, I still love the original, so the love is still there. But still. I don’t like getting angry when it comes to music. (And for some strange reason, I don’t mind the Blümchen cover of the same song, which makes no sense, I know…)
And speaking of Nena – it maybe doesn’t really qualify as a cover, but the version of ”Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann” she made together with Kim Wilde as ”Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime” is just absolutely brilliant. (and it upsets me that it’s STILL NOT on Spotify). And that is a song I would personally just love to make a heavier cover of, haha. (yes, that is how true I am to my own principles)(but of course, it would be an amazing version!) (oh well, I would at least have fun!!) ”’cause girls just wanna have….”right, there goes the brain again, bye bye…which is a song by N’Sync, yes. Some words and expressions just trigger song lyrics and then they start spinning in my head and refuse to leave. And actually, the Cyndi Lauper song IS a cover.
Which takes us back to the topic, yes… and some are simply brilliant – like when Chris Cornell made an amazing ballad of Michael Jackson’s ”Billie Jean”, and also when he put together Metallica and U2 as ”One”…. And Jeff Buckley’s version of the Leonard Cohen song ”Hallelujah”, the Nine Inch Nails song ”Hurt”, so beautifully interpreted by Johnny Cash… and the list just goes on and on. There are some songs I didn’t even know were covers, because they sounded so original and fit the band/artist perfectly.
And then there are cover versions of cover versions of original cover versions (or something like that) that turn out better than the first ones… Let’s take ”Tainted Love” as an example here. It was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964. Soft Cell made it a hit song in 1981, and since then it has also been covered in all kinds of possible and impossible styles – by Scorpions, My Ruin, Coil, Shades Apart, The Living End and so on, and of course my favourite version by Marilyn Manson. A version I absolutely love.
By the way… I am sure I am not the only one who thinks metal when I hear just about any hit song Britney Spears has ever recorded. A lot of pop songs truly are metal songs in a shiny, glittery pink bubblegum package.
And I love love love the two covers on the latest Beast In Black album, Motörhead’s ”Killed by Death” and the brilliant version of Robert Tepper’s ”No Easy Way Out”. And while we are on the subject – let’s stick with this guy here…who obviously can’t make anything wrong when it comes to singing. And I’m not really a Nightwish fan, but this song is breathtaking, especially live with the amazing Floor Jansen.
But this version…is just PURE LOVE.