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Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If a classic song or album is covered by another band, does it take anything away from the original release?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 15th, 2010

I can’t get enough of this collaborative release of Dark Side of the Moon that came out around Christmas.

The reviews on iTunes however largely say that this album is an affront to rock and roll itself and ruined Pink Floyd’s original work.

I don’t understand that part.

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14 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

Sometimes. Mostly, even. Maybe.

But when covers are good… they’re great.

ArtiqueFox's avatar

Most people don’t like their “special something” being cloned. They feel violated when it happens. They also get angry because a clone means more exposure and their unique “special something” will be all the more mainstream…and common.

It’s like fashion. Oh that 50’s style is so cute!...And then the designers pick it up and the whole country prances on it. The value of that 50’s style just when down in many people’s eyes.

The people on iTunes may feel that the modern version is legal plagarism…or they may think the modern band is rehashing someone else’s efforts for the money. I don’t agree with ‘em, though.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

It all depends on the quality of the cover songs. Sometimes they are amazing, sometimes they are shit.

For example, I don’t think Jimi Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower detracts anything from the original Bob Dylan version, because it was done very well. Ditto for Johnny Cash’s Hurt, and the original NIN version.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Good call on Johnny Cash. He did some exceptional work toward the end of his life.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am interested to hear that version of The Dark Side of the Moon as it is one of my favorite albums ever.
The two versions of this song however,are great :))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux6N00CwudA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNciFfSQ5Jo

TheJoker's avatar

In my opinion it just serves to highlight how good the origional track was… I’ve rarely heard a cover that was much-cop.

filmfann's avatar

Luther Wright and the Wrongs did a cover of the entire Pink Floyd’s The Wall album a few years ago.
It’s a wonderful diversion, and I still listen to the original.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I don’t think so! I love covers though. I think they can even add another dimension to the original… like an alternative interpretation of it.

ucme's avatar

Inevitably.However if a cover is treat as a song in it’s own right instead of being compared to the original.Then they can & do work.

TheJoker's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy You’re right there, especially loved his Nine Inch Nails cover!

Arisztid's avatar

Depends on the cover.

An example is “Ghost Riders in the Sky” which has been covered more times than I know. The first charted recording was done by Vaughn Monroe which is a fantastic song. It might have been the actual first recording because it is from ‘49. However, my favorite versions are by Johnny Cash and The Outlaws but neither of them take away from Vaughn Monroe’s or each others. All are so different as to be taken individually. Vaughn Monroe’s is my third favorite after Cash and the Outlaws.

That is one example of a much covered song that, to me, the covers I mentioned are different enough from the original and each other to not detract.

The Ramrods also did a fantastic version, not like any other.

I could rattle off excellent cover after excellent cover but am just using this one song as an example.

iphigeneia's avatar

I love musicals, and when a new cast takes on a show people are more interested in the different interpretations they bring to the music than whether or not they did justice to the original performers.

In pop music, there are instances where the cover has simply not measured up to the original (for example, when Christina & co. took on Lady Marmalade for Moulin Rouge) but in no way has it ruined the original for me. After all, when I listen to Labelle I don’t exactly have visions of Mya in lingerie. Then again, I suppose that wouldn’t ruin anything.

bostonbeliever's avatar

i mean it depends on the original and the new version.
for instance, “All Along the Watchtower” was written and originally recorded by Bob Dylan.
Jimi Hendrix then covered it (awesomely) and Dylan himself said that the cover was the true version of the song and that it was better.
U2 also did a cover, and although I love U2 i admit it’s not as good. however it doesn’t diminish the previous version, in my opinion. it is largely ignored, because it is not as popular or good. and because it’s ignored, it can’t take away from the original.
BUT if the new version (like with Jimi) is BETTER, it steals the spotlight from the original certainly

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m so wishy washy on this! I find if I don’t like a cover or “remastered” song, it makes me want the original all the more. For example, an Al Green song from the movie “Book of Eli” is one of my favorites but I don’t care for the duet with Joss Stone and it got under my skin enough to where I bought his original release version from iTunes.

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