Friday, 24 March 2017

No-one Sings XXXX Like XXXX


It's funny how reading a book can inspire you to write something. I'm still on "Tom Waits on Tom Waits" a part where he's disparaging, to say the least about covers of his songs ("Ol' 55" by The Eagles and "Heart of Saturday Night" by Jerry Jeff Walker. Then I started thinking about covers of songs and even why people start making music.

Everyone starts playing because they hear someone else, since the invention of radio that has been every westerners kick off for making music, and as radio spreads it will be everyone's starting point, if they are going to play, although records and TV are also other sources.

I remember an advertising line that said "No One Sings Dylan Like Dylan" , but lots of people covered Dylan and improved on the original, thing The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man", Manfred Mann;s numerous covers "Mighty Quinn" being a big hit, and when they transformed into Earthband they targeted Bruce Springsteen with "Spirits In The Night" and "Blinded By The Light" though still revisited Dylan with "Father of Day, Father of Night" , and then there is probably the best ever Dylan cover, Jimi Hendrix's "All Along The Watchtower".

I still love te Dylan originals, but it took me a long time to appreciate them, but all the songs above are improvements on the originals in my opinion, but I do believe no one can out do Tom Waits on a Tom Waits song. Rod Stewart did justice to "Tom Traubert's Blues" and "Downtown Train" and to some listeners they will be better that the originals. I like both but prefer the Waits versions.

Cpvers are generally how musicians and bands start before moving on to write their own stuff, which hopefully will be better than the stuff they were covering . The Beatles and The Rolling Stones started off with covers (and the last Rolling Stones album was all covers) , but that gives bands a good starting point.

Some bands are happy to continue doing that, and they usually find a appreciative audience for mainstream covers.

Anyway that's a lot on my opinion of covers, I will leave you with the Jimi Hendrix cover of  "All Along The Watchtower".

Good Night my friends.


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