great cover songs that weren't
All Music Guide (AMG) is one of those indespensible sites. I check it often for details on bands, artists, songs, etc., in order to maintain the accuracy of my blog posts regarding music.
Accuracy seems to have gotten by AMG on their track listing for Jukebox Hits of the 80's. Obviously, it's some kind of data entry error, rather than a error of truth but, nonetheless, it inadvertently makes for a track listing of the best cover songs album ever (They will probably get around to fixing it eventually, which is why I took screen shots [1 2]).
Imagine Earth, Wind and Fire performing The Romantics' What I Like About You(#1). Can't you just hear that song with some funk/jazz thrown into that hand-clapping break in the middle?
Quiet Riot performing Toni Basil's Mickey(#9), oh what a delightful mess that would be. The cheerleader cries of Hey Mickey! would mean something entirely different.
Oh, what I would give to hear Aretha Franklin crooning J. Geils' Centerfold(#19), or Glenn Frey turning Funkytown (#61)into a watered down synth pop study in blandness.
I bet Culture Club could pull off Only The Lonely quite nicely, and Toni Basil wouldn't have to change Safety Dance at all.
If only these songs were real. As you know, I am obsessed with cover songs and nothing makes a cover better than a band remaking a tune that is completely out of character for their genre of music, and then making it their own.
There's no point in covering a song if you are going to make an exact replica of it. I love to see what bands/artists can do with other people's music. It's all about interpretation; no one is going to hear the words in their head the way the artist heard when he first came up with the lyrics.
The best cover songs - the imaginary version of Quiet Riot's Mickey notwithstanding - are the ones where the tune is almost unrecongnizable, where the newer artist has taken the song and interpreted it their own way, rather than just making a carbon copy of the original artist's tune.
Vanilla Fudge doing You Keep Me Hanging On comes to mind and I imagine that Vanessa Williams singing Bang a Gong(#21) would have quite a similar effect.
I still have dreams of starting a band that does death metal versions of Broadway show tunes.