Originals versus The Covers

Good morning! Welcome to my blog. As usual I have my own agenda and linear (into un-linear) thought process. This morning sitting in the car driving into work, I heard a song on the radio. The song I heard was from 1986, the band was Genesis and the song was Land of Confusion. Since that song was recorded over 30 years ago (wow, that hurt to type) there have been a few ‘covers’ of that song done. When I say covers, I mean of course that another band performed and recorded the song with their artistic touches added; or they were just trying to play the tune to the best of their abilities with the lead singer’s vocals to add a different sort of flair to the original (wooooo!). I already had a couple of topics in mind to blog about today but this concept jumped to the front of the line over the other contenders. So I present for your consideration and judgment(s) eight examples of fairly well-known songs that were remade or covered. I further weigh in on which version I prefer and any other tidbits I may find noteworthy. With prolonged ado, ado, ado, ado and ado…I give you these eight songs:

Round 1: Faith

Original Artist:  George Michael, released 1987

Covering Artist: Limp Bizkit, released 1997

Blogger’s Take:  I actually like Limp Bizkit’s extremely raw take on this song but I give the win to the original. One half of the original duo from Wham made this song a great song in its day and I cannot in good Faith say otherwise.

Round 2: Rock On

Original Artist:  David Essex, released 1973

Covering Artist #1: Michael Damian, released 1989

Covering Artist #2: Def Leppard, released 2006

Blogger’s Take:  To be completely transparent here, I did not know that Def Leppard had covered this song for their album a dozen years ago until last summer when I heard them perform this tune live in concert. It was decently done but just decently in my opinion. So the real toe-to-toe fight here for me boils down to the original artist and the former Young and the Restless actor Michael Damian. Having owned Mr. Damian’s solo effort on cassette and also CD should lead you to the correct conclusion that I prefer Michael Damian’s version. The original was OK but the original recording sounds a little flat and sad in comparison to Danny Romalotti’s!

Round 3: Turn The Page

Original Artist:  Bob Seger, released 1973

Covering Artist: Metallica, released 1998

Blogger’s Take:  I have to say both versions are strong and the vocals for each are excellent. Despite my almost maniacal love for the works of Metallica, I am choosing the original here. Some songs need to be infused with more energy and can benefit from the new bells and whistles that the newer music industry has to offer, but this song simply does not. No offense to Metallica in any way, it’s a good cover but the original just holds up by itself.

Round 4: Your Mama Don’t Dance (And Your Daddy Don’t Rock ‘N’ Roll)

Original Artist:  Loggins and Messina, released 1972

Covering Artist: Poison, released 1989

Blogger’s Take:  The easiest way to simplify my argument is to say, read what I wrote for Round 2 (Rock On). The original version has the right tempo and the classic lyrics but after you listen to Bret Michaels sing it, you just can’t go back. I have probably seen this song performed live about a dozen times over the years and heard it countless other times on Pandora or from the CD. It’s a fun song and Poison made it fun…almost like, the guys who wrote it didn’t Rock ‘N’ Roll but Poison showed them the way.

Round 5: Shout

Original Artist:  Tears for Fears, released 1985

Covering Artist: Disturbed, released 2000

Blogger’s Take:  This is a hard one for me personally. One of the first cassette tapes from my pre-teen years was Songs from the Big Chair by Tears for Fears. My mom bought it for me from the Desoto Walmart. Actually she bought it for herself but I commandeered it for myself and played it until I wore the printing off of both sides of the tape. For those who do not know what cassette tapes are or what they look like, Google it. Disturbed came on the scene and blew me away with their sound and musical power. Even when David Draiman took hiatus and formed his own band (Device) I loved that too. So in comparing the original from Tears for Fears (plus their extended mix version) and Disturbed’s Shout 2000 – I revert back to the original. The guitar riffs and the perfect video won the day for me. Tears for Fears was and is still awesome to me! #Winning

Down to the final three! So let’s continue…

Round 6: Land of Confusion

Original Artist:  Genesis, released 1986

Covering Artist: Disturbed, released 2006

Blogger’s Take:  So this was the song in the car this morning that prompted this nostalgic time frame border war. Again this was a song I owned on cassette and CD (by Genesis). I mostly owned it on CD because my tape got left on the car front seat (by me) on a hot summer day and it melted. Funny how plastic can do that in a contained environment where the temperature may reach 150 degrees. Anyway, I really enjoyed most of the songs from Invisible Touch so I purchased the used CD relatively cheap. Along came Disturbed’s effort  in 2006. They made a bomb-arse version of the song and corresponding video that put the caricature Muppet video to shame. Disturbed wins this round by definitive TKO.

Round 7: Rebel Yell

Original Artist:  Billy Idol, released 1983

Covering Artist: Drowning Pool, released 2007

Blogger’s Take:  This item is second from last because the two versions of this song are just brilliant. Looking back on a song that is now 35 years old (eesh, stupid time again), Billy absolutely nailed it. Then almost 25 years after the original,  another band favorite of mine, Drowning Pool, post the late Dave Williams era, covered Billy’s work with high tempo and more edge. Great energy song – winner by decision: Drowning Pool. Well done by both artists for the record.

Round 8: Down With The Sickness

Original Artist:  Disturbed, released 2000

Covering Artist: Richard Cheese, released 2002

Blogger’s Take:  For the final Celebrity Death Match of music, we loop in one of the most iconic metal songs in history. Oh yes I said it, I said it cuz I can (thank you Bruno Mars). This perfect song of aggression and soothing self-mantra is above all, Disturbed’s crowning work and so early in their game to boot. Two years after the song’s initial release, a lounge-style singer Richard Cheese orchestrated a very mellow version of the mega-hit. His version caught on and was highlighted in a motion picture featuring zombies (Dawn of the Dead). Kudos to Richard Cheese for his efforts but in this instance, there is not a case for overthrowing the champs: Disturbed.

To everyone, have a great week and as always feel free to e-mail me (scottlatta@gmail.com) or text or FB messenger me with ideas, feedback or topics.

Have a great middle of June!


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