Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Good Cover, Bad Cover

I have had this desperate need to hear a particular cover version Tori Amos did of Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat. I only found it today, hidden in a pile of Tori compilations some friends have burnt for me over the years.

For some reason, this somewhat melancholic tune always makes me feel better when I hear it, and especially this particular version. It also makes me wonder what the rules are for a decent cover version. I reckon they go something like this:

  • Be respectful enough to pay proper tribute to the mood of the original
  • Take enough license to make the song your own: fit it to your voice, your genre, your stylings
  • Don't forget to keep an ear out for the story of the song
Some covers I like

  • Beck - Diamond Dogs (Bowie)
  • Cyndi Lauper - La vie en rose
  • kd Lang - Theme from the valley of the dolls
  • Natacha Atlas - From Russia with Love
  • Chrissie Hynd - Live and Let Die
  • Bjork - Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine
There are probably more, but I can't think of them now, probably many of them done by men.

No comments: