Musical artists like doing cover songs because either it simply has a beat/sound that they love or they want to pay tribute to another artist/band that has had a major influence on them. Some people do it right and some people do it horribly wrong. Let’s look at a few.
Covers that are better than originals
Sinead O’Connor – Nothing compares to you
A lot of people don’t realize this is a cover. It was actually a song written by Prince for the band The Family in the early 80’s. It barely gained any recognition until 1990 when Sinead O’Connor made it her break out hit. Her solemn but passionate rendition of the song struck a cord with many people. While watching the video you are entranced by Sinead’s sadness and strange beauty. She put her soul into this song and simply made it her own.
Whitney Huston – I will always love you
Anyone who has ever seen The Bodyguard knows that this song was originally done by Dolly Parton. When it was first released in 1974 it was a big country hit but didn’t make it big outside that music genre. But when Huston revamped the song for the movie it became one of the best selling singles of all time and the best selling single by a female artist. She really put herself into this song showing her incredible vocal range and immortalized herself as an amazing singer in general.
Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary
There have been many covers of this song performed over the years. It’s been done by Elvis, The Osmonds, and even an “out of this world” version done by Leonard Nemoy in 1970. But the cover that really sticks out in most peoples’ mind is the one done by Ike & Tina Turner. Some believe the original by CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival for the young ones, but I don’t think that will help much) is the better of the two versions of this song. But I love Tina’s rendition of this song. It makes me want to dance every single time I hear it, it’s loud, vibrant, and intense. It has aged well over time, not sounding dated or tired, and it continues to be a great song.
George Michael – Roxanne
What? You didn’t know that George Michael did a cover of this song? I am not surprised. George Michael is one of my guilty pleasures and I really like most of his music but when I heard how he butchered this song I was simply appalled. His version was released in late 1999 and went practically unnoticed. It bares little resemblance to the epic song that was released by The Police in 1978. The song has been stripped down to almost nothing, slowed to an excruciating pace and turned into a sappy ballad. It sucks your energy and with in a minute you become so tired listening to it that it must be turned off. I don’t know who told him this sounded good or maybe he was just delusional about it. But this definitely should never have been done.
Destiny’s Child – Emotions
This is not a bad cover but the reason that it is on this end of the list is because they didn’t add anything to the song. It’s like they sat at home and listened to it over and over and just sang what they heard. The timing is the same, sound, and even vocal inflection. It is one of the few songs where Beyonce doesn’t go all crazy with her vocal acrobatics. It is just blah. For a cover song to be good something a little different, a little extra needs to be added or else there is no point in doing it.
Michael Buble – Save the last dance for me
I don’t get it. Michael Buble burst onto the scene a couple years ago and has been selling out tours all over North America and Europe. But he is a hack. He is trying to do what Harry Connick Jr. did, who was trying to do what all the crooners in the 50’s and 60’s did. He is a fuzzy, unrecognizable copy of a copy. The thing is at least Harry Connick Jr was good at what he did. He sang with emotion, with a love for what he did but Mr Bubbly just kinda sings. He completely ruins this song with his part-time job mentality. There is no love or understanding of what he is doing and he just seems to be going through the motions with it. I will even go as far as to say it is Michael Bolton-esque, which is far from a good thing, but I think I may be insulting Michael Bolton.