I must blame Greg Burgas. Cover songs again? I wrote about them in 2019. But I forgot that I had ALSO done a post back in 2013 as well as one in 2021 that I did as a response to a meme.
But Greg wrote: “My Question of the Week is a pretty easy one, I think: What’s your favorite cover song?” EASY? Is he out of his mind? (Don’t answer that.)
ALSO, my friend Mary is currently studying cover songs. She tells me that Steven Van Zandt, he of the E Street Band, discussed in his biography what makes a great cover. He said it differs from the original by having a different tempo, different arrangement, different or slightly different genre, is sung by someone of a different gender from the original, and/or a different style.
In any case, I’m going to list MORE cover versions. I believe I haven’t written about them in my previous cover posts, though I may have noted them in pieces about a particular artist.
Oh, yeah, there is something called a re-cover, in which the artist covers their previous recording. One of my favorites is You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore. Here’s the original and the remake.
Seven Separate Fools
I think that Three Dog Night was one of the best cover bands ever. Mark Evanier wrote about them recently.
Chest Fever: The Band; 3DN
The Loner: Neil Young; 3DN
Lady Samantha: Elton John; 3DN
Mama Told Me Not to Come: Randy Newman; 3DN
Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here: John Hiatt; 3DN
I wrote a whole post about the history of Black and White, which is not my favorite 3DN track
Most of the songs of Laura Nyro I first heard by someone else.
Eli’s Comin’: Nyro; 3DN
Stoned Soul Picnic: Nyro; The Fifth Dimension
Wedding Bell Blues: Nyro; The Fifth Dimension
And When I Die: Nyro; Blood, Sweat, and Tears
James Taylor did some nice covers. Here’s a list, though some are re-covered. Not all were better than the originals, and in fact, to me, his COVERS album was not that great.
Mockingbird: Inez and Charlie Foxx; JT and Carly Simon
How Sweet It Is: Marvin Gaye; Taylor
Up On The Roof: The Drifters; Taylor
Handy Man: Jimmy Jones; my favorite Taylor cover
Money: Barrett Strong; The Beatles
Chains: The Cookies; The Beatles
Got To Get You Into My Life: The Beatles; Earth, Wind, and Fire We Can Work It Out: The Beatles; Stevie Wonder
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman: Aretha Franklin; Carole King, the co-writer
I Say A Little Prayer: Dionne Warwick; Aretha Franklin
Piece Of My Heart: Erma Franklin; Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin