November 19, 2010
For me covers are hit or miss. I either love them or hate them. A lot of bands get attention through covering popular songs, and I've found out of a lot of great bands from the covers they've performed. But often covers are done wrong, and ruin songs.
There are a two things that will automatically make me want to avoid a cover.
I highly dislike it when a band covers a song for profit the SAME year the original artist released it. This makes me feel like the cover band is simply trying to steal another bands attention. Bands should wait awhile let the original cool off, let the artist that made it get the attention they deserve for it. It's more impressive to take a song from 30 years ago and make it relevant then to take an artists work from 3 months ago and attempt to "make it better."
If the band covering the song doesn't do anything different with the arrangement. If the cover sounds exactly like the original other than the voice, what's the point? This is so lazy, and over confident.
I do have some bands that I only know them because I've loved one of the covers they've done. One band would be the Australian indie/rock band Youth Group. In 2006 Youth Group covered the West German synthpop/rock group Alphavilles's "Forever Young" originally released in 1984. Youth Group released their cover of the track in 2006 and it peaked at #1 on the Australian charts.
Here is Youth Group with their cover of Forever Young.
Jay-Z also released a rather popular cover of Forever Young in early 2010. I prefer Youth Groups.
"Time After Time" was originally released by Cyndi Lauper in 1984. Wikipedia lists over 50 bands have covered this song, In 2006 Quietdrive released their cover. I didn't realize until I was typing this that both this and the cover above were both released in 2006 and covers of 1984 songs. Weird. Anyway I really appreciate this cover, it did pretty well on mainstream radio during 2006 as well. Good stuff.
Quietdrive - Time After Time (live)
I love the Shins, they're way great. Here they are with their cover of The Postal Service's song "We Will Become Silhouettes." The Shins did such a great job on the arrangment for this cover, I love it They gave the song a completely new sound. This cover was released on an album put out by The Postal Service.
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