Uncovering the Covers
July 13, 2007 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Songs You Didn't Know Were Cover Versions: Good Lovin', Mambo No. 5, The City of New Orleans, Fernando, The First Cut Is the Deepest, I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Just A Gigolo, Without You, Don't Turn Around, Let's Live for Today, Dazed and Confused, Seasons in the Sun, Pass the Dutchie, There's Always Something There to Remind Me, Gloria, Respect, Turn Turn Turn, When the Levee Breaks, Do You Wanna Touch Me, Cum on Feel the Noize, Hanging on the Telephone, I Go Blind, I Will Always Love You, Take Me to the River, Louie Louie, The Twist etc. etc.
posted by jonp72 (111 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
I knew.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:22 PM on July 13, 2007


Songs You Didn't Know Were Cover Versions
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:24 PM on July 13, 2007


Um, this should get an Obvious tag...

Obvious that they are covers.
posted by Eekacat at 6:25 PM on July 13, 2007


Just to be clear, it's not precisely accurate to call the led zeppelin tunes "covers." I will always love the band, but there's a reason they had to pay muddy waters a whole mess of money to keep his lawsuit against them out of court.
posted by shmegegge at 6:25 PM on July 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


HEY EVERYONE, I ALREADY KNEW THEY WERE COVERS! LOOK AT ME!!!
posted by puke & cry at 6:31 PM on July 13, 2007 [9 favorites]


I was surprised to find a little while ago that Instanbul (Not Constantinople) was a cover song.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 6:33 PM on July 13, 2007


I got about four of that list (I didn't realise anyone else except Aswad did 'Don't Turn Around', which makes me feel old because I remember the original clearly).

So I learned something; thank you.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:33 PM on July 13, 2007


I didn't know. I found this post interesting. But don't mind me, I'll just be opening a dozen tabs in Firefox for the rest of the evening.
posted by artifarce at 6:34 PM on July 13, 2007


Sounds like the 90's version of Mambo no. 5 heavily sampled the original you linked to, not covered it. Some of the others , like "Seasons in the Sun" are adaptations into another language. If you were going ot include that, why not "Jet Boy Jet Girl/Ca Plane Pour Moi?"

The rules for this list are confusing.
posted by piratebowling at 6:37 PM on July 13, 2007


You can basically put all of Led Zeppelin 1 on there.
posted by PeteNicely at 6:37 PM on July 13, 2007


Stop wanking, all you I-knew-I-knew-I-knew people. Even if some of them were not surprises, it's nice to HEAR the old versions again.

Thanks for tracking all those down, jonp72. Lots of gems in there, and THAT is how to make a YouTube FPP useful.
posted by rokusan at 6:40 PM on July 13, 2007


Wait. . . who covered 'City of New Orleans'? The only version I've ever heard was one by Steve Goodman.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:48 PM on July 13, 2007


i think the post was worth it simply for that version of 'good lovin'.'
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:49 PM on July 13, 2007


Good Snarkn', Snark No. 5, The City of Snarks, Fernando, The First Snark Is the Deepest,
I Love Snark 'n' Snark, Just A Snark, Snark You, Don't Snark Around, Let's Live for Snark, Snarked and Confused, Snark in the Sun, Snark the Dutchie, There's Always Snarking There to Remind Me, Gloria, Snark, Snark Snark Snark, When the Snark Breaks, Do You Wanna Snark Me, Cum on Feel the Snark, Snarking on the Telephone, I Go Snark, I Will Always Snark You, Take Me to the Snarker, Snarkie Snarkie, The Snark
posted by mattoxic at 6:53 PM on July 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


Fernando shouldn't count. It's ABBA covering ABBA.

But I didn't know most of them. I knew The Twist,Cum on Feel the Noize, and I Will Always Love You.

Good Post.
posted by Bonzai at 6:56 PM on July 13, 2007


Wait. . . who covered 'City of New Orleans'? The only version I've ever heard was one by Steve Goodman.

Arlo Guthrie recorded a version in the 70s that was a Top 40 hit.
posted by jonp72 at 6:56 PM on July 13, 2007


Ewan McColl's original version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is now so old the recording's just gone out of copyright in the UK. Shame I can't find it anywhere.

Roberta Flack's 1972 cover left all the Scots lyrics in, notably.

(Oh, and he was Kirsty's father, yes. And he also wrote Dirty Old Town.)
posted by genghis at 6:57 PM on July 13, 2007


That version of "First Cut" is a cover - Cat Stevens wrote the tune.

Ditto "Turn Turn Turn" - Pete Seeger wrote it.


dinty_moore - Arlo Guthrie had a minor hit with his cover of "City of New Orleans".
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:01 PM on July 13, 2007


I heard the most amazing version of Night and Day by The Comedian Harmonists

Highly recommended version. I believe Hitler had them deported. Hitler had no soul, no rhythm and no jive.
posted by mattoxic at 7:04 PM on July 13, 2007


Arlo's version of City of New Orleans is perhaps his best song. Until now, I thought he wrote it. gonna have to do my homework better!

I heard him perform this last year....
posted by HuronBob at 7:04 PM on July 13, 2007


Perhaps my all time favorite song performed by the Who is Shakin' All Over from Live at Leeds. I was really knocked for a loop when I finally heard the original version.

Then there is this guy's version....
posted by Tube at 7:07 PM on July 13, 2007


More on the Jet Boy Jet Girl/Ca Plane Pour Moi connection, which I'd never heard of before tonight. (A little bit NSFW.) Thanks, piratebowling!
posted by kimota at 7:10 PM on July 13, 2007


That version of "First Cut" is a cover - Cat Stevens wrote the tune.

Cat Stevens wrote it, but P.P. Arnold had the first version that was released. Besides, it blows the doors off any subsequent version (especially Sheryl Crow).

Ditto "Turn Turn Turn" - Pete Seeger wrote it.

Check out the whole clip. Pete Seeger sings and plays guitar on it. I couldn't find a clip that had him singing solo.
posted by jonp72 at 7:11 PM on July 13, 2007


DEVO's covers were always good

Satisfaction, Secret Agent Man, Are you Experienced?, Five to One (I think)

I'm sure there are more, but I just woke up.
posted by mattoxic at 7:11 PM on July 13, 2007


My sister, in her mid-thirties didn't know the origin of Summertime, and thought one of the 8000+ covers was the original.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:12 PM on July 13, 2007



Just to be clear, it's not precisely accurate to call the led zeppelin tunes "covers." I will always love the band, but there's a reason they had to pay muddy waters a whole mess of money to keep his lawsuit against them out of court.

Actually, Led Zep's adaptations from the blues are pretty defensible, considering how radically they reinvented the songs and how much of a tradition that kind of thing is in the blues anyway. Sure, they should have given credit where credit was due in the first place, but the whole knee-jerk "rip off" argument doesn't hold much water for me.

And it's hard to say Jimmy Page was "covering" the Yardbirds version when he himself was in both groups.

"D&C" is, however, the one case of flat-out song theft in the Led Zeppelin catalog. Page stole it intact from a guy named Jake Holmes.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:15 PM on July 13, 2007


other bizarre facts about Jake Holmes:

In the 1970s, Holmes moved into writing advertising jingles. He is the composer of the popular "Be All You Can Be" slogan and jingle for the US Army. He also wrote "Be A Pepper" (1977) for Dr Pepper. In spite of the fact that his name is not known, Holmes might be at the top of the list of American singer songwriters because of his work with jingles. Not only are his lyrics famous and remembered, his voice has been heard millions of times on those countless commercials for Gillette, DeBeers, Winn-Dixie and Sears.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:17 PM on July 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


You forgot one.

*
posted by mds35 at 7:20 PM on July 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oops.


*
posted by mds35 at 7:21 PM on July 13, 2007


And it's hard to say Jimmy Page was "covering" the Yardbirds version when he himself was in both groups.

"D&C" is, however, the one case of flat-out song theft in the Led Zeppelin catalog. Page stole it intact from a guy named Jake Holmes.


I thought the clip of the Yardbirds doing Dazed & Confused was interesting, because they're still using some of Jake Holmes's lyrics in that performance. The original Holmes lyrics were basically about an acid trip gone bad, while the Zeppelin lyrics are all about bluesman evil woman mojo and "soul of a woman was created below."
posted by jonp72 at 7:24 PM on July 13, 2007


I used to think Bobby Darrin was the first to do Mack the Knife.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:26 PM on July 13, 2007


You can basically put all of Led Zeppelin 1 on there.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:30 PM on July 13, 2007


I knew some of these thanks to Crap from the Past. A few more from that list: Self Control, Barbara Ann, Queen of Hearts, and Kitty (which is much better known by another name) . (You can hear all of them at the Crap from the Past link!)
posted by SisterHavana at 7:32 PM on July 13, 2007


I had no idea about most of these. I'm finding I like the originals a lot better in most cases.
posted by katillathehun at 7:32 PM on July 13, 2007


I always thought it was pretty funny/sad that Quiet Riot actually covered TWO Slade songs, on two different albums.
posted by nevercalm at 7:32 PM on July 13, 2007


I had no idea about most of these, either. Quiet Riot -- I must've listened to Cum on Feel the Noize a million times, no clue. Great post!

And damn... garry glitter was one scary dude.
posted by ph00dz at 7:36 PM on July 13, 2007


I don't think Louis Prima's "Just A Gigolo" is the original, but it's probably the swingin'est. Although it does have Keely Smith!
posted by tommasz at 7:43 PM on July 13, 2007


mattoxic: "DEVO's covers were always good

Satisfaction, Secret Agent Man, Are you Experienced?, Five to One (I think)

I'm sure there are more, but I just woke up."


I like the Devo covers you've listed, but I also really like the other two I know of: their cover of Nine Inch Nails' Head like a Hole (better than the original) and their cover of the song from West Side Story, Somewhere. Sincerely, that cover of Somewhere, which I think was a demo for one of their records, includes about five other songs in the middle, and clocks in around twelve minutes, is well worth digging up, if you can find it.
posted by koeselitz at 7:44 PM on July 13, 2007


Another one I forgot... Money Changes Everything (originally by The Brains, but a hit for Cyndi Lauper)
posted by jonp72 at 7:49 PM on July 13, 2007


More: New York Groove! Elvira! And "Don't Turn Around" was originally done by Tina Turner!
posted by SisterHavana at 7:49 PM on July 13, 2007


Me & Bobby McGee
posted by ColdChef at 7:51 PM on July 13, 2007


I know everyone discovers the little bits of music history at a different rate and at different times for all sorts of different reasons, but anyone who ever thought that the Talking Heads wrote Take Me To The River should have their License to Listen revoked! Or at least be put on suspension. The linked Soul Train clip of said song, by the way, wow! Even though Al Green was not in top vocal form (sounds like he might've had a bit of a sore throat or something) the band, whoa, that was just a fabulous soul revue combo there. Superb!

Now lessee, what else might there be? Hmmm... I know some folks are under the impression that the Beatles wrote Twist and Shout, and this interesting little clip takes a look at the Isley Brothers' version (they were covering it, too) vis-a-vis the Beatles' version. And just the other day a MeFier posted his cover of the song a couple of doors down at MeFi Music. The Fab Four also covered the Isley Brothers' Shout.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:53 PM on July 13, 2007


bottlebrushtree: Telephone Call from Istanbul
posted by Meatbomb at 7:53 PM on July 13, 2007


I'm sure there are more, but I just woke up.

"Morning Dew," in addition to the previously mentioned "Head like a hole" and "Somewhere."

Koeselitz -- the "Somewhere" cover is on Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace.
posted by eriko at 7:56 PM on July 13, 2007


The Trevor Horn Orchestra cover of Istanbul on the Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack is almost worth the price of the CD alone...

Can't seem to find anything but a bare sample of it...
posted by Samizdata at 7:57 PM on July 13, 2007


Seasons in the Sun? cool in every version. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on July 13, 2007


One of my favorite covers.

Original (ignore cheesy fan video)
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:09 PM on July 13, 2007


I enjoyed this post greatly! Thanks for the,um, memories.
posted by newfers at 8:12 PM on July 13, 2007


"When the Levee Breaks" always makes me think of that line from a Rolling Stone Record Guide - "the first Zep blues rework that didn't sound like a bizarre parody." I've always been fond of this one. I'm sure these are all very obvious to big ol' music nerds.
posted by nanojath at 8:33 PM on July 13, 2007


bottlebrushtree: Telephone Call from Istanbul

I do love that song ever so much. Has anyone ever covered THAT?
posted by davejay at 8:37 PM on July 13, 2007


Oh man, I forgot all about Ian Hunter. Thanks nanojath.
posted by marxchivist at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2007


Um, jonp72?

Thanks. Nice post.

Didn't see that much in this thread. Mefi's oft the best of the web, but it's definitely the worst of the snarkweb sometimes.
posted by WCityMike at 8:54 PM on July 13, 2007


i thought you meant this gloria ... (you can sit through the first song - this is worth it)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:06 PM on July 13, 2007


Didn't see that much in this thread. Mefi's oft the best of the web, but it's definitely the worst of the snarkweb sometimes.

Didn't see that much? Reckon you didn't look that much. Aside from the first 2 or 3 comments, I'm damned if I can find any snark at all. Most everybody else has linked to more covers and/or praised the FPP.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:16 PM on July 13, 2007


Just a Gigolo was a German song called "Schöner Gigolo" ("Pretty gigolo") written in 1928. So no, Louis Prima's 1956 version wasn't the original.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:48 PM on July 13, 2007


eriko: "Koeselitz -- the "Somewhere" cover is on Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace."

Well, yeah, live, but the great studio version, with all the other stuff, is actually on the Recombo DNA collection.
posted by koeselitz at 9:51 PM on July 13, 2007


No More I Love You's by The Lover Speaks
posted by dinah at 9:52 PM on July 13, 2007


I know some folks are under the impression that the Beatles wrote... Wasn't Beatles for Sale the first album that had no covers? Up until then the albums had a heady 50/50 mix of [godawful] covers.
posted by mattoxic at 10:35 PM on July 13, 2007


Terrific post.

I've never heard the Joan Jett version of Do You Wanna Touch Me. If you were responsible for selling Gary Glitter's Greatest Hits to high schoolers ten years ago, congratulations! I bought it.

And Kirsty McColl's dad wrote Dirty Old Town? Well, neato.

Another classic cover.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:39 PM on July 13, 2007


Wow! I grew up on ABBA and the Swedish version of Fernando is beautiful, so much more than the English version (which I couldn't care about).

Oh for MP3s of these, I live for these things.
posted by divabat at 11:09 PM on July 13, 2007


koeselitz, weird I am listening to Tom Waits cover Somewhere as I read your comment.
posted by 4Lnqvv at 11:16 PM on July 13, 2007


Then of course, there's the bastard stepson (or something like that) of the cover version, and that's PLAGIARISM!

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
My Sweet Lord
etc. etc.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:28 PM on July 13, 2007


That's a great cover, that cover of "Somewhere" from Blue Valentines.

That's a good record in general.
posted by koeselitz at 11:31 PM on July 13, 2007


Jersey Girl
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:33 PM on July 13, 2007


and that's PLAGIARISM!

And that's pretty much all of the Billy Joel catalogue
posted by mattoxic at 12:31 AM on July 14, 2007


Tainted Love
posted by McLir at 12:41 AM on July 14, 2007


Actually, Led Zep's adaptations from the blues are pretty defensible, considering how radically they reinvented the songs and how much of a tradition that kind of thing is in the blues anyway. Sure, they should have given credit where credit was due in the first place, but the whole knee-jerk "rip off" argument doesn't hold much water for me.

Which would explain why I never said they were rip-offs. My only point is that they don't quite count as covers. Yes, credit where credit is due, but since covers are credited as such, the led zep tunes don't seem to me to count quite as covers.
posted by shmegegge at 1:10 AM on July 14, 2007


...the led zep tunes don't seem to me to count quite as covers.

Covered with a shroud, as we say.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:19 AM on July 14, 2007


I got into a wicked fight over the original authorship of this song which would have certainly come to fisticuffs if it weren't an internet fight.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:27 AM on July 14, 2007


Check out the whole clip. Pete Seeger sings and plays guitar on it. I couldn't find a clip that had him singing solo.

Therefore, he never did? Seeger seems to have written the song in the '50s; he released it on a 1962 record, Collins did not release it until 1963. Your clip has Collins singing it on Seeger's TV show, which aired in 1965.

I also don't buy a definition of 'original' that says it's the first released recording of a song, even if the author has performed it earlier. Unless you can show that Cat Stevens never performed the song in public before Arnold did, his is still the original.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:24 AM on July 14, 2007


Here's one of my favorite original versions: "Every Time You Go Away" -- which kicks the Paul Young version's musical ass in just about every way. (So it's Hall and Oates. So what? It's great.)

I remember in 1985, playing this version for my ex-boyfriend and his bitchy new girlfriend, whose response was: "Well, we like songs you can dance to." Hmph.
posted by litlnemo at 3:52 AM on July 14, 2007


Tavares vs. Hall and Oates
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:21 AM on July 14, 2007


Hall and Oates version
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:26 AM on July 14, 2007


Great post—I'm going to spend a lot of time checking out these links. I've already been blown away by P.P. Arnold, who I'd never heard of, and Steve Goodman, whose name I knew but who I'd never seen perform. Thanks, jonp72!

I swear, sometimes I think if your average MeFite were crawling through the desert, dehydrated, tongue turning black, about to pass out, and were offered a choice between a glass of cool, fresh water and a chance to make one last snark, he'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.

That version of "First Cut" is a cover - Cat Stevens wrote the tune.


"Cover" does not mean "perform a tune written by someone else"; if that were the case, virtually every pop song before the '60s would be a cover. It means specifically "perform a song that someone else has put out a record of" (normally a hit record, or why would you be covering it?). "Big Mama" Thornton did not write "Hound Dog" (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller did), but hers was the first recording, not a cover version. When Elvis recorded it, he was covering it. This is not rocket science.
posted by languagehat at 5:53 AM on July 14, 2007


Did you know that EVERYTHING Frank Sinatra sang was a cover? The nerve.
posted by nax at 6:00 AM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about Richard Simmons and an embarrassed Linda Ronstadt doing "Tumbling Dice". (Okay, it's really Leo Sayer, but, DAMN!) I know, the visuals are a real "zee goggles, zay do nothing!" moment, but close your eyes and listen... the vocals are great.

'Course, I would listen to her sing a phone book.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:26 AM on July 14, 2007


OK. Who covered "I go blind"? The only version I know is the 54-40 original.
posted by djfiander at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2007


You forgot "Money Changes Everything." The Brains version is the original and far superior to Cyndi Lauper's still pretty good version.
posted by jonmc at 8:22 AM on July 14, 2007


The original version was by Jackie Lee of the group Bob & Earl, but here's a cool French scopitone of Harlem Shuffle that predates the Rolling Stones cover version from the 1980s.
posted by jonp72 at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2007


Who covered "I go blind"? The only version I know is the 54-40 original.

Consider yourself fortunate. Or Canadian. (The two groups are definitely not mutually exclusive.) The 54-40 version earned nowhere near the sales of the remake done by Hootie & the Blowfish, even though the Hootie version does not have the haunting harmonies of the 54-40 version.
posted by jonp72 at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2007


Funny how in some cases the originals are obscure and covers become more well-known with basically the same arrangement. "Good Lovin'" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in particular.

"I Will Always Love You"
"From a Distance"
posted by kirkaracha at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2007


What, no Jet Airliner?
posted by fings at 9:02 AM on July 14, 2007


Funny how in some cases the originals are obscure and covers become more well-known with basically the same arrangement. "Good Lovin'" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in particular.

In both cases it was due to superior vocals, IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2007


Torn by Anne Previn of Ednaswap
posted by edverb at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2007


XTC covers "All Along the Watchtower"
posted by McLir at 9:11 AM on July 14, 2007


The music for Bryan Ferry's "The Right Stuff" is actually a Smiths instrumental tune entitled "Money Changes Everything" (nothing to do with Cyndi Lauper, etc.).
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 9:12 AM on July 14, 2007


Funny how in some cases the originals are obscure and covers become more well-known with basically the same arrangement. "Good Lovin'" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in particular.

In both cases it was due to superior vocals, IMHO.


As for "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," I think it shows how cover versions can completely change the meaning of the original, even without substantially altering the lyrics, by switching the gender of the lead vocalist from male to female. When the Arrows sing about picking up a "girl about seventeen," it seems more like trolling for jailbait than when Joan Jett sings it about a boy of the same age. The same dynamic is at work with the Brains vs. Cyndi Lauper's version of Money Changes Everything. When the Brains sing it, it's from the viewpoint of the guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend for a rich snob. When Cyndi Lauper sings it, it's from the viewpoint of the woman who dumped the guy, even if the lyrics only have minor alterations. And the Nerves' version of Hanging on the Telephone is 70s nerd rock sung with raw emotional desperation and complete lack of vanity, as only a lovestruck guy could sing it. It's what emo should have been.
posted by jonp72 at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2007


I have such a passion for covers. I don't know where it comes from. Many of the ones listed here are fantastic, but what I really enjoy is when an artists takes someone else's song and does a completely different version of it, while keeping sort of true to the original.

I think my first conscious exposure to this would be Nine Inch Nails cover of Get Down Make Love [nsfw fan video] (Queen original)

And then there is the Limp Bizkit's take on Faith vs the George Michaels version.
posted by quin at 9:50 AM on July 14, 2007


Thank you jonp.... You've made my Saturday! (My girlfriend is bitching at me to get brunch, but I'm totally immersed in these links.) I third and fourth the sentiment that THIS is what youtube is for!!!!

I knew about "I will always love you" and a few others, but had no idea about most of the songs... I especially enjoyed the Spanish version of "Gloria"


Excellent post. Would definitely click on user's future posts! A+++++++++


:)
posted by Debaser626 at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2007


Can't Take My Eyes Off You
posted by kittyprecious at 10:02 AM on July 14, 2007


Jonp: I'm definitely both. Hootie and the Blowfish? ew.
posted by djfiander at 10:03 AM on July 14, 2007


jonmc: since you're around here, and since somebody just linked that awful video of Ronstadt and Sayer doing "tumbling dice" (what an abortion), this is probably a sufficiently obscure place to say: I took your advice, I listened to it a dozen times, and you were right. Exile on Main St is one of the greatest records ever made. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

God, and I used to hate the Rolling Stones.
posted by koeselitz at 11:30 AM on July 14, 2007


also, you can't forget Faster Pussycat's awesome metal cover of "You're So Vain."
posted by koeselitz at 11:31 AM on July 14, 2007


thanks koeselitz, I'm glad you dug it. (although Linda Rondstadt has her moments, but that cover is not among them).
posted by jonmc at 12:01 PM on July 14, 2007


"Cover" does not mean "perform a tune written by someone else"; if that were the case, virtually every pop song before the '60s would be a cover.

I didn't say that's what it meant. We're not talking about Bachrach & David here. The First Cut was written by a performer, who presumably played it somewhere that Arnold heard it.

It means specifically "perform a song that someone else has put out a record of" (normally a hit record, or why would you be covering it?).

Do you know that Arnold's version was, in fact, recorded before Cat Stevens', or are you just going by the release date? By all accounts Stevens was very particular about the records he released. It's entirely possible that his version was a finished recording before Arnold ever heard the song.

This is not rocket science.

Maybe not, but tell me, whose version of Wooden Ships is a cover - Crosby, Stiil,and Nash's, or Jefferson Airplane's?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:53 PM on July 14, 2007


First, great post. I like a good cover, when done right its like a tribute to the original. jonp72: that Brains album is excellent! I must say I prefer the original Money Changes Everything to any cover I've heard. And the song Gold Dust Kids is just begging to be on a soundtrack. And finally, when it comes to doing a good cover song, the Detroit Cobras have made a career out of it. For a list of the original artists and songs that they cover, check this out.
posted by Sailormom at 3:00 PM on July 14, 2007


Kirth: I have no quarrel with your revamped version, but here's what you first said:

That version of "First Cut" is a cover - Cat Stevens wrote the tune.

Not exactly nuanced, I think you'll agree.

I must say I prefer the original Money Changes Everything to any cover I've heard.


Me too. I hope I still have my copy of the Brains record...
posted by languagehat at 3:13 PM on July 14, 2007


It means specifically "perform a song that someone else has put out a record of" (normally a hit record, or why would you be covering it?).

The why could be homage, or because you think the previous artist did a lousy job, or because the originals are hard to find and you want to spread the word. Among others, consider the Rolling Stones early work for the latter case. Most of their early work was covers of old American blues records, at the time desperately hard to get ahold of in Britain. Story I read was Jagger/Richards never even considered composing themselves until their manager Andrew Loog Oldham locked them in a room and told them to get on with it. He, at least, saw money in publishing.

Nice post, by the way. More to point, nice idea of a post. I like it when a good one seeds other suggestions.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:04 PM on July 14, 2007


This is not rocket science.

Rocket Science.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:29 PM on July 14, 2007


l-hat I don't really think I revamped - I guess I assumed that it was obvious that Stevens was a performer, and I didn't bother explaining that part of my rationale.

Not going to try the Wooden Ships question? It's a trick.
Wooden Ships is a folk-rock song written by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kantner (of Jefferson Airplane fame) in the late 1960s. The song was written on Crosby's boat in Florida. Crosby wrote the music, and Stills and Kantner wrote most of the lyrics.[1].

Kantner could not be credited on the original release of Crosby, Stills & Nash due to legal issues, but he is credited on the 2006 re-release. The song was also released by Jefferson Airplane the same year on the album Volunteers. Both versions are considered to be original versions of the song, although they differ slightly in wording, melody, and considerably in meaning.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:31 PM on July 14, 2007


The First Cut was written by a performer, who presumably played it somewhere that Arnold heard it.

Cat Stevens recorded The First Cut Is The Deepest as an unreleased demo first, but Arnold's version of the song was released before the Cat Stevens version was released officially to the public, at least according to the Wikipedia entry on the song. But hey, I just like the P.P. Arnold version the best. So sue me.
posted by jonp72 at 7:03 PM on July 14, 2007


City of New Orleans - only version I recall hearing is Willie Nelson's.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:40 PM on July 14, 2007


The original version of that song from the Sony Bravia ad with the colored balls is way cooler...
posted by snoktruix at 12:01 PM on July 15, 2007


Bob Dylan gave Sheryl Crow "Mississippi" before he released it. Then he did release it a few years later. Which, if any, version was a cover?
posted by stevil at 12:21 PM on July 15, 2007


Huh, I didn't know this was a cover.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:40 PM on July 15, 2007


Awesome! I didn't know any of them except the Al Green/Talking Heads cover.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2007


goodnewsfortheinsane, I can't believe I didn't think of that one first. It's one of my favorites!
posted by Locative at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2007


Hall and Oates version

Hmm. What is the story with that video?
posted by pracowity at 12:01 AM on July 16, 2007


Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.
posted by barjo at 6:56 AM on July 17, 2007


Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 AM on July 17, 2007


Damn you, goodnewsfortheinsane...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:24 PM on July 18, 2007


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