As you can probably tell, I'm BORED, which means it's time to actually write something on this space instead of it just sitting here and rotting away into faded little pixels... Well, the last thing I posted about was how swine flu was coming to kill us, and that was over a year ago.
Anyway, I digress. (as per usual..HA!)
For some reason I've been clicking through my dubious music collection, and not wishing to complete bore everyone over on Facebook with my rantical musings, I decided to come here instead, where most likely no one will read it. A while ago, I decided to try and sort my collection of music, which lasted all of 1 night and now I've got a folder full of oddly named folders with tunes in them. One of which is named "Covers".
Now, I don't really give much credit to covers, because usually I tend to like it more when artists show some originality and do their own stuff, but I realise that at the moment in this folder, I have over 20 covers of songs that are by artists who didn't do them in the first place. The reasons they are there are as varying as the songs that are in there, so I figured I might try and un-bore myself and list the reasons why they are in my folder...
So, in the order that they appear in my little folder, I give you the following:
Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love - Oh dear. Manson is one of those artists who I sort of regret to say that I sort of like. He's not completely a favourite of mine, and I can listen to him in smallish doses, but can't look at him, he's just too completely fugly. Tainted Love is a great song in its original form, an instantly recognisable one-hit-wonderish commodity from that awful decade called the 80's. It's all synthy and sparse sounding, and it has that singalong quality, as well. Manson's cover (which is featured in Not Another Teen Movie) isn't actually that bad... it's slower, more distorted and almost ghoulish in that "I'm going to eat your children" manner that shock-rocker Manson sort of has. The video clip has him running about like a goth gangsta which is kind of humorous in a "taking the piss" kind of way.
Madonna - Imagine - This original version of this song, by John Lennon, I've never been able to listen to without wanting to curl into a ball and cry. It's just because John was such a peaceful man and he was so violently murdered, it's never seemed fair. It is a very solemn song, and I don't particularly like what Madonna did with it. She's not known for doing covers, the only other one she really did was Love Don't Live Here Anymore, which was actually pretty good, and the completely AWFUL version of American Pie (why... oh god WHY were we subjected to that...I'm ashamed to even own the cd single), and then she lost some credibility with me when she borrowed the melody from ABBA's Gimme Gimme Gimme for Hung Up. I say some, because the first time I heard it, I thought "You song stealing bitch!", but then later read that she got permission from Benny or Bjorn or whoever from the ABBA camp to use it, and actually begged...
Orgy - Blue Monday - Now this one, I love. Having said that, I LOVE the original, too, by New Order. There's a cool little synth line in the background that makes my listeny bits go all perky and start bopping of their own accord. The cover adds the "how does it feel" line as a chorus, which is pretty cool, as far as re-arranging goes. Orgy are a great band, too, Stitches is another favourite of mine, as well as Fiction (Dreams in Digital).
Stabbing Westward - Bizarre Love Triangle - Another New Order cover, this being the only cover of it I have at the moment. This was also covered by the Australian band Frente! in the 90's. Their version is just vocals and acoustic guitar, which is the version I remember best (and prefer), other than the original, which is one of New Order's more famous songs, along with Blue Monday and maybe True Faith.
Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons - Now this cover I've got mixed feelings about. It's fairly "rock" in a nod your head slowly and thrash around sort of way. But, I much prefer the original version. The original GERMAN version, mind you: 99 Luftballoons. That's 99 AIR Balloons, not RED. ones. I don't even like the English edition of the original song. Kudos for the artist (another one-hit-wonder) for putting the song out in both German and English, but even though I can't sing it in German, I DON'T CARE! It sounds better in it's original language.
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal - This came out in 2001 or thereabouts, and I LOVED it then, and I LOVE it now. I hadn't heard the original by Michael Jackson at the time, and obviously now I have, but I still love AAF's version. The good thing is, that while being heavier, it keeps faithful to the original rhythm, and even though I've always been a bigger fan of guitar than synth, the guitars just add to the song, and the MJ-like vocalisations just make it even that much more special.
Art of Noise ft. Tom Jones - Kiss - This is one cover I actually prefer over the original. Prince's original is ... well.. Prince-esque, isn't it? He's written some good songs over the years, but you never know whether you're listening to a man or a eunuch, quite frankly. Tom Jones just makes this song ooze with cool as only TJ can. The cover was used in the opening titles of My Stepmother Is An Alien.
Cake - I Will Survive - I don't have that many Cake songs in my collection, the other ones are Daria and Going The Distance... But I like this cover of the Gloria Gaynor disco hit. It's very laid back and very "fuck you" at the same time. I like the bass and guitar in it, and the trumpet is almost mariachi band like... gives it a bit of a south-of-the-border feel.
Christina Aguilera - Car Wash - Interestingly enough, the original artist who did this also originally did Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Madonna), which I didn't know until now, just proof that you learn something new every day. I'm not a die hard fan of Christina, but man she can sing. She can out-sing Britney any day (hell, anyone can), and she's definitely got one of those soulful voices.
Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink and 'Lil Kim - Lady Marmalade - The original is cool in a funky 70's disco kind of way, but the video for this has Pink wearing not very much, and that with Christina again, just sort of makes it. 'Lil Kim I don't care much for really.... to much "ghetto ho" for me.
HIM - Wicked Game - HIM are an awesome band from Finland, and along with this they also do a really good cover of Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. Their cover of Wicked Game, though, has "rawk" written all over it, while alluding to the original Chris Isaak edition (which I also like, it's very mellow).
Johnny Cash - Hurt - Now, I've never really been a big fan of country music. I can listen to some of Johnny's music, and have more of an appreciation of him now that he's croaked (sounds awful, doesn't it), but this is a fairly unique cover. The original of this song (by Nine Inch Nails) is the last track on The Downward Spiral, an album themed around depression, addiction, suicide, to name a few things. To listen to the original, and to hear the vulnerability in Trent Reznor's voice as he sings the opening lines always gives me a bit of a chill. The song itself is about drug addiction, something Johnny Cash was no stranger to, either. TR has said he was blown away by Johnny's cover of his song, which is very personal to him, and he was very much in awe of it.
Nine Inch Nails - Get Down, Make Love - This I'd heard well before I ever heard the original of, which is by Queen. We all know I have an extreme soft spot for both Freddie Mercury and friends as well as NIN. But, on this occasion, I'm going with NIN's cover. It just has SEX written all over it, as well as all the anger and energy that NIN had in those days, and they've completely made something new out of the song, which I think is brilliant in this case, as I wasn't really wowed by Queen's version. I like it, but I just think Trent puts more emotion into the song when he performs it. Oh, and if you listen right to the end, you get Brian May on guitar from We Will Rock You...
Robbie Williams - Freedom - God knows why I have this. It's completely out of context when you look into the original George Michael version and see why he wrote it.
The Gourds - Gin And Juice - Now this song is really interesting. For ages I thought it was by Phish, thanks to a stupidly mislabelled MP3. Then I did some searching and found that it was by an alt-country mob calling themselves The Gourds. It's basically a country version of a rap song by Snoop Dogg. "Bitches and ho's" Snoop Dogg. I haven't heard the original, and you know what, I DON'T WANT TO! Hahaha... this cover just makes me love this song, and I don't want it ruined by hearing the original. Stick yer samples and heavy bass, I'll take the banjoes and southern twang, thank ya very much! AND I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC! lol
The Tea Party - Paint It Black - I like the original of this song (sitar and all, thank you Brian Jones), and this cover is pretty good, too. I also liked Temptation by TTP, and Jeff whatshisname has a deep pseudo-gothic sort of thing going on with his voice. This version just starts and then doesn't stop until it's finished.
Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls - NIN's spot on the soundtrack to The Crow. As previously stated, I have a penchant for all things NIN. I may have not been aware this was a cover until I heard the Joy Division original, I don't remember. Anyway, this is a great cover, but I think I prefer the original. There's more energy to it, and the energy builds up for 2 minutes before the vocals kick in.
Joy Division were an unfortunately short lived, but brilliant band, only managing to release one album before the death of their lead singer Ian Curtis. Their second album was released two months after his suicide, brought on by depression, marriage problems and health problems with epilepsy. The remaining members of Joy Division carried on as a band under another name... New Order.