I just got word that the old MOG.com site is being mothballed. I have some music posts there that I’d like to save, so, lucky reader – here’s new old content for you! This was originally posted 10/4/06.
This song should *really* suck, but I find myself groovin’ to it. Their cover of it, I mean. the song is good anyway, but jeez…some spazzy, proto-new-wave kooky cover. It totally works for me.
Anyone out there have covers that they like but for some reason just *shouldn’t* work?
In my view, there are two types of good covers – what I call “straight” covers, which are faithful to the original. Otherwise known as “playing it safe”. The other kind is when the band “makes it their own”. This is more difficult, and what the Cure did here. You will not confuse their version with Jimi’s. 🙂 Another good example of someone making the songs their own is Mark Kozelek (from Red House Painters & Sun Kil Moon, for those familiar with those bands) and his album of AC/DC covers, “What’s Next To The Moon”. You gotta hear his version of “Love at First Feel” next to their original. Where AC/DC comes across as sleazy, Mark transmogrifies into a tender plea.
Now, if we’re gonna talk about the Cure’s version of “Purple Haze”…well, I’d rather not. It’s more along the lines of “straight”, but it sucks. See: their version of “Hello, I love you”, wherein they try to straddle the lines of “straight” and “making it their own” and end up in “suck”.
Who do you think are the hardest bands to cover? Where all attempts typically just fail, because the originals are so strong and ingrained? I’ll say the Beatles for starters. Other people doing their songs, for the most part, just sounds wrong.