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Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


There are certain original hit songs that most of us identify with and swear by them...that is...NO ONE could ever record a better version!  (Like, how could anyone top Led Zeppelin's version of "Stairway to Heaven", or the Doors' "Light My Fire"?)

But have you ever been so surprised by a cover that you could admit that it was BETTER than the original?  Especially one that you could admit that after only hearing it once or twice?

A couple of years ago, I was totally caught by surprise by a Collin Raye cover of one of Journey's biggest hits: "Open Arms".  As much as I like Collin Raye, when I saw that he had covered a JOURNEYS song...and OPEN ARMS...of all songs - I just about had to laugh.  But that was only until I actually heard his version...and I was BLOWN AWAY!

Hear for yourself (and please listen to it until at least the 1:30 point before making a judgement):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXPRlZEKi5I


A different sort of "cover" that took me much longer to appreciate: "I shot the sheriff" by Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Eric Clapton had the biggest hit off that song, but once you get used to Bob Marley's version - which is QUITE different than Eric Clapton's - Clapton's version just doesn't quite sound right anymore (not to me anyway).  Of course - since Bob Marley wrote the song, that probably has something to do with that.
Mar 29 13 10:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-Ira
Posts: 2,180
New York, New York, US


Mar 29 13 10:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,577
Salinas, California, US


The song "I Need You Now" was such a huge hit for Lady Antebellum,
... but I prefer this version; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7FP9XYNGCQ
It's far better in my opinion than the original, but then I maybe biased, as
I'm a huge fan of both Sara Niemietz & Jake Coco.  There are some amazing
performers on Youtube!  I've heard other versions which I've compared to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM213aMKTHg  which even though it's
the original, they just don't sing like they really mean it.  Even the version
by Lisa Lavie & David Sides sounds like they are on valium or something. 

I judge singing voices often by how believable they are to me.
Mar 29 13 10:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 26,986
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


UB40 covering Neil Diamonds "Red Red Wine"
Mar 29 13 10:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,395
Palm Beach, Florida, US


Mar 29 13 10:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,395
Palm Beach, Florida, US


Mar 29 13 10:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Schlake
Posts: 2,343
Socorro, New Mexico, US


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaxkH9sTzuU

Black Simon And Garfunkle covering Thrift Shop.
Mar 29 13 10:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,507
San Diego, California, US


Israel "Izzy" Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I


Social Distortion - Ring of Fire
Mar 29 13 10:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 16,096
New York, New York, US


Gary Melton wrote:
There are certain original hit songs that most of us identify with and swear by them...that is...NO ONE could ever record a better version!  (Like, how could anyone top Led Zeppelin's version of "Stairway to Heaven", or the Doors' "Light My Fire"?)

But have you ever been so surprised by a cover that you could admit that it was BETTER than the original?  Especially one that you could admit that after only hearing it once or twice?

A couple of years ago, I was totally caught by surprise by a Collin Raye cover of one of Journey's biggest hits: "Open Arms".  As much as I like Collin Raye, when I saw that he had covered a JOURNEYS song...and OPEN ARMS...of all songs - I just about had to laugh.  But that was only until I actually heard his version...and I was BLOWN AWAY!

Hear for yourself (and listen to at least half of it before making a judgement):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXPRlZEKi5I


A different sort of "cover" that took me much longer to appreciate: "I shot the sheriff" by Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Eric Clapton had the biggest hit off that song, but once you get used to Bob Marley's version - which is QUITE different than Eric Clapton's - Clapton's version just doesn't quite sound right anymore (not to me anyway).  Of course - since Bob Marley wrote the song, that probably has something to do with that.

Nothing beats Steve Perry singing that tune.
Huge fan, one of my most favorite singers.

Mar 29 13 10:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Jules NYC wrote:

Nothing beats Steve Perry singing that tune.
Huge fan, one of my most favorite singers.

I HEAR you - Steve Perry is GREAT...but take a listen to Collin Raye's cover - you might be surprised!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXPRlZEKi5I

Mar 29 13 10:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


-Ira wrote:
Cash covering NIN's Hurt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go

very nice!

Mar 29 13 10:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 16,096
New York, New York, US


Not better but as good
Careless Whisper - Seether

Better?
Hummmm

Little Girl Blue
Janis covering the great Nina Simone
Mar 29 13 10:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 16,096
New York, New York, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I HEAR you - Steve Perry is GREAT...but take a listen to Collin Raye's cover - you might be surprised!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXPRlZEKi5I

I did.
I wasn't.

Sorry!

Mar 29 13 10:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:
The song "I Need You Now" was such a huge hit for Lady Antebellum,
... but I prefer this version; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7FP9XYNGCQ
It's far better in my opinion than the original, but then I maybe biased, as
I'm a huge fan of both Sara Niemietz & Jake Coco....

Very nice cover!

Mar 29 13 10:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 16,096
New York, New York, US


Leo Kottke covering Sleepwalk
Mar 29 13 10:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Kaiser
Posts: 1,306
Portland, Oregon, US


-Ira wrote:
Cash covering NIN's Hurt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go

I totally concur with this one.  When I hear the NIN version I find it pretentious but the Johnny Cash version is beautiful.

I know some people will give me crap for this one, but I really like the David Bowie version of "Cactus" which was originally done by the Pixies.

Also, I'm not going to necessarily say it's better, but I do think the version the The Sundays did of "Wild Horses" is just as good as the Rolling Stones.

Mar 29 13 10:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Schlake wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaxkH9sTzuU

Black Simon And Garfunkle covering Thrift Shop.

Hilarious!!!

Mar 29 13 10:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tropic Light
Posts: 7,259
Kailua, Hawaii, US


Joe Cocker covering "A Little Help From My Friends".
Mar 29 13 10:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,720
Upland, California, US


No Doubt covering 'It's My Life'... borat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubvV498pyIM
Mar 29 13 10:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Instinct Images wrote:
Israel "Izzy" Kamakawiwoʻole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

I loved this version of the song from the first time I heard it...it has been on the soundtrack of at least 2 major motion pictures!

Mar 29 13 10:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Jane's Addiction - Sympathy for the Devil. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6p3GnxBYOQ

And I don't say that lightly.  I revere the Stones version
Mar 29 13 10:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Tropic Light wrote:
Joe Cocker covering "A Little Help From My Friends".

While The Beatles original version of this song is great - it's really hard NOT to think of Joe Cocker's version as being the original!

Mar 29 13 10:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
K I C K H A M
Posts: 14,630
Los Angeles, California, US


Andrew Kaiser wrote:
I totally concur with this one.  When I hear the NIN version I find it pretentious but the Johnny Cash version is beautiful.

I know some people will give me crap for this one, but I really like the David Bowie version of "Cactus" which was originally done by the Pixies.

Also, I'm not going to necessarily say it's better, but I do think the version the The Sundays did of "Wild Horses" is just as good as the Rolling Stones.

I once had an hour long conversation with someone who was CONVINCED that Cash was the original version!

I like both a lot. smile

Can I put this here?
original: Warning vulgar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwPMKozHPCM

new: Warning vulgar and white people saying the n word.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeL9gagV_VA

I don't think I *actually* can think of a good song that was covered better that hasn't been mentioned.

Mar 29 13 10:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Compass Rose Studios wrote:
Jane's Addiction - Sympathy for the Devil. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6p3GnxBYOQ

And I don't say that lightly.  I revere the Stones version

I'm going to have to say after hearing this version...I still prefer the Stones version...

Mar 29 13 10:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,577
Salinas, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I HEAR you - Steve Perry is GREAT...but take a listen to Collin Raye's cover - you might be surprised!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXPRlZEKi5I

Of course Steve Perry is a great singer, but I like this version!   Open Arms is a good song to put the country twang to with the steel pedal guitar and Collin sounds great!  This coming from a hard core Journey fan who normally ONLY likes Journey with Steve Perry on lead vocal.  wink

Mar 29 13 10:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I'm going to have to say after hearing this version...I still prefer the Stones version...

I like them both but Jane's version resonates with me more.

Mar 29 13 11:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:
Of course Steve Perry is a great singer, but I like this version!   Open Arms is a good song to put the country twang to with the steel pedal guitar and Collin sounds great!  This coming from a hard core Journey fan who normally ONLY likes Journey with Steve Perry on lead vocal.  wink

Glad to hear someone agrees with me on this one.

Trust me - there are few bigger Journey fans than me...which is why when I saw that Collin had covered it, I had to nearly laugh - but Collin NAILS the choruses even more strongly than Steve Perry.  If someone doesn't listen to the youtube link at least until the end of the first chorus (at 1:30), they're not giving it a fair shake!

Mar 29 13 11:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
K I C K H A M
Posts: 14,630
Los Angeles, California, US


I FOUND ONE! big_smile

This was voted the best cover of all time by the Rolling Stone.

All Along the Watchtower. And I wholeheartedly agree. smile

Original
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanjY9CsPDQ

Jimi Hendrix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_L4RtU1iRg

*edit* Here is the whole list, if you're interested:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictu … s-20110302
Mar 29 13 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,577
Salinas, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Very nice cover!

I'm going to give you another Sara Niemietz cover;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdvyh5Sa6a4  Set Fire To the Rain!  Adele
Sara attacks it!  wink

Sara first got on stage when she upstaged BJ Thomas when she was only 4 years old!  She is 20 or 21 and setting the LA music scene on fire!  She has even reunited with BJ Thomas after so many years!

Mar 29 13 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Gimme Shelter - Tom Jones and New Model Army

Yes, THE Tom Jones.  This one I would say is so different it's just as good as the Stones...but different. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRv1wKCzNTI
Mar 29 13 11:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


K I C K H A M wrote:
I FOUND ONE! big_smile

This was voted the best cover of all time by the Rolling Stone.

All Along the Watchtower. And I wholeheartedly agree. smile

Original
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanjY9CsPDQ

Jimi Hendrix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_L4RtU1iRg

*edit* Here is the whole list, if you're interested:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictu … s-20110302

Forgot about this one - forgot that Dylan had done it before Hendrix.  I'm a HUGE Hendrix fan, and "All Along the Watchtower" is probably my favorite song of his!

Mar 29 13 11:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


K I C K H A M wrote:
I FOUND ONE! big_smile
...
*edit* Here is the whole list, if you're interested:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictu … s-20110302

I certainly agree with Rolling Stones #6 choice: "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles...the fab four hit the bullseye with their rendition!

Mar 29 13 11:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GH-Photography
Posts: 9,420
Brunswick, Georgia, US


“Nothing Compares To You” - Sinéad O'Connor

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower

Jeff Buckley - 'Hallelujah'
Mar 29 13 11:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Body Painter
Monad Studios
Posts: 9,555
Santa Rosa, California, US


Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Mar 29 13 11:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
K I C K H A M
Posts: 14,630
Los Angeles, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:

I certainly agree with Rolling Stones #6 choice: "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles...the fab four hit the bullseye with their rendition!

I was actually a huge fan of most of the list.

I agree with Joe Cocker as well (With A Little Help From My Friends)... But I really like the Wonder Years so maybe I'm biased. tongue

Mar 29 13 11:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Greg Holt Photography wrote:
“Nothing Compares To You” - Sinéad O'Connor

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower

Jeff Buckley - 'Hallelujah'

It's hard to NOT think of Sinead O'Connor as a "one-hit wonder"...but without that song - her career would hardly merit a foot note in music history...

Mar 29 13 11:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Gary Melton wrote:
I certainly agree with Rolling Stones #6 choice: "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles...the fab four hit the bullseye with their rendition!
K I C K H A M wrote:
I was actually a huge fan of most of the list.

I agree with Joe Cocker as well (With A Little Help From My Friends)... But I really like the Wonder Years so maybe I'm biased. tongue

"Twist and Shout" is one of those songs that if you'd only heard the Isley Brothers version and loved it, you'd just about have to laugh if you heard The Beatles had covered it.  It was one of those odd quirks of fate that it worked so frickin' well!!

Mar 29 13 11:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,378
Dallas, Texas, US


Monad Studios wrote:
Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

I'm a HUGE Janis Joplin fan.

"Me and Bobby McGee" was not one of my favorites of hers, but I did like it better than the original version by Roger Miller, or the one by Kris Kristofferson (who, with Fred Foster, co-wrote the song).

Mar 29 13 11:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 36,421
Columbus, Ohio, US


Couldn't find the exact clip of this I was looking for.....but she is the Queen of Cover, sold untold millions of albums doing such.

One of my favorites. She has an extraordinary set of pipes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGL__Wn6jgM
Mar 29 13 11:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
K I C K H A M
Posts: 14,630
Los Angeles, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:

Gary Melton wrote:
I certainly agree with Rolling Stones #6 choice: "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles...the fab four hit the bullseye with their rendition!

"Twist and Shout" is one of those songs that if you'd only heard the Isley Brothers version and loved it, you'd just about have to laugh if you heard The Beatles had covered it.  It was one of those odd quirks of fate that it worked so frickin' well!!

I'll check it out!

Mar 29 13 11:25 pm  Link  Quote 
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