Saturday, 22 March 2014

Cover it better

Very often these days I'll hear something the radio or the TV and when my daughter says "I really like this" I'll say "You should listen to the original" and then dig it out of either my collection, Spotify, YouTube etc. to show her the difference between a performance with the passion of the writer often in it vs one just cleverly produced by the pop music factories that churn these things out constantly these days.

However the other day I was listening to a cover of Dear Prudence by folk band Lau.  Now I really like Lau but this one didn't cut the mustard as a cover for me.  However one did in the past so I wondered about my top list of covers, where I feel the cover is better in some way...

Here it is...

Starting with - Dear Prudence by Siouxsie And the Banshees.  I just love the guitar sound on this her vocal this really works so much better than any other version for me. 

Next - Mr Jimi Hendrix.  Ok I struggled and gave up - dear Jimi is to gets two entries. 
First up the song he burst on the scene with ... Hey Joe.  This is so far moved on from Tim Rose's original it is difficult to remember they are the same song and Jimi pours so much into the playing and the vocal...  "messing round, messing round town.  Give me a gun. I shot her"...

But we can't ignore his stunningly brilliant cover of Dylan's All Along The Watchtower - again... just stonking.  This doesn't sound out of date even today to me...

Now - the tears flow.  John Martyn - somewhere over the rainbow - just listen to his couple of opening lines.  He just blows this song to Mars and back - I love this, love him...

June Tabor and Oysterband - Love will tear us apart. Now the Joy Division original is something to behold from the start so therefore for this to blow me away so much says something - but it just does. Such a unique reworking and again - tears well when I listen to this. Just beautiful

Now lastly and extremely cheekily.  A couple of years ago an email dropped into my inbox from Nic Evennett who is another Kent based Singer-Songwriter.  Nic had heard one of my songs Golden Moments and done me the stunning honour of covering it - not only that... her version is just absolutely lovely and brilliant and golden where mine is tarnished brass in comparison.

Go here to listen to it... please and leave her comments about how brilliant she is.


  1. Of course you've not heard my version of All Along the Watch Tower ...

  2. I like John Mellancamp's cover of Van Morrison's Wild Night better than the original. It's got more punch.

  3. What a lovely honour for you to have a song covered :-)

    1. I know I can't express how honoured I am. And then to cap it all the cover is so unbelievably beautiful to boot.

  4. Steve Harley didn't so much cover one of my tunes, he nicked it. Wait 'til I see him.

  5. I did not like the Siouxsie and The Banshees rendition. I mean, could they try and put a little more energy into it? Completely flat and lazy to me.

    Hendrix - No comments really necessary here. Watchtower is one of the greatest recordings, ever.

    As for the John Martyn let me just first say that I think "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is the most beautiful song ever written. Yes, I am serious. I know you're a big fan but I am just not feeling this Graham. At some points of this song I began wondering if he had a stroke previously. Just don't like his delivery.

    I pass on the last tune cause I am not familiar with it.

    1. Takes all sorts. I suppose if you love John Martyn you'll love this, if you don't get him then I suppose not.