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Unexpected cover versions
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Lord Lucan
Lord Lucan
2702 posts

Re: Unexpected cover versions
Jan 06, 2003, 13:30
This is a great thread. I think the word 'unexpected' is a clue to why the cover versions mentioned so far are great. Most cover versions are lazy carbon copies which are morally and sonically bankrupt. The few that succeed seem to do so because they offer a radically different take on the song, either musically or in the interpretation of the lyrics, or both. And so they should, otherwise what's the point? (Unless you're a pop svengali promoting a toothy squeaky-clean kiddie with no writing talent, of course.) Anyway, a few more which fit into the 'unexpected' category...

The Breeders - Happiness is a Warm Gun
(This somehow is elevated by Kim Deal, Tanya Donelly and Josephine Wiggs' sardonic delivery to be a far more distainful comment on sex than the Beatles' original.)

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Trust In Me
(from their album of cover versions which on the whole is pretty rubbish, but taking this song from Jungle Book and turning it into a psychotic seduction by Medusa was inspired.)

My Bloody Valentine - We Have All the Time in the World
(This appeared on a freebie cassette with some music paper years ago. I lost the tape a long time ago now, and as far as I know this cover version is unavailable elsewhere. Anyway, it worked brilliantly with MBV's hazy laziness making it sound more like a love song to Heroin rather than a Bond girl.)

The Human League - You've Lost That Loving Feeling
(on their first album, way before the electro-pop kicked in. Originally done by various sixties luminaries such as The Righteous Brothers, Tom Jones, and... er, Cilla Black. Oakey & co manage to make it sound like the most depressing song in the world: The soundtrack to the life slowly ebbing away from a freezing suicide. Unsettling is an understatement.)

Someone mentioned Fischerspooner's version of Wire's The 15th. I heard it a while ago and thought it was as pointless as Fischerspooner themselves. It's a carbon copy. WHAT'S THE POINT?

Oh, and to add to the This Mortal Coil discussion above. Anyone who likes 'I am the Cosmos' and 'You and your Sister' from the Blood album should invest in the original Chris Bell album they both come from. I've been listening to it loads recently and it rocks like a bastard and inspires tears in equal measure.
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