Obsessed with cover songs

Walk Away Renee

Beatles' Second Album backOK, I admit it: I’m obsessed with cover songs. And it goes back decades. I discovered that the source of most of the US album Meet The Beatles was the UK collection With The Beatles. What was cut? Why five of the six cover songs, all but Til There Was You from The Music Man. The five covers were all soul-related and showed up on The Beatles’ Second Album.

Motown was always putting songs from one artist as album cuts for another. A tune written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland might show up on both a Supremes and Four Tops album. Several songs written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and produced by Whitfield, were recorded by both the Temptations and Gladys Knight and the Pips. The Temps recorded War, but Motown, fearing it might be too controversial, allowed the lesser-profiled Edwin Starr to release the single and get the hit.

I’ve listened to every episode of Coverville, which recently hit the 1400th episode milestone. The tracks here are, to the best of my knowledge, NOT on those OTHER cover songs posts I’ve created. 

Hound Dog: Big Mama ThortonElvis Presley

Proud Mary: Creedence Clearwater RevivalIke and Tina Turner 

Me And Bobby McGee: Roger MillerJanis Joplin 

Try A Little Tenderness: New Mayfield Dance OrchestraOtis Redding 

I Fought The Law: The Crickets; The Bobby Fuller Four; The Clash

I’m Not Your Stepping Stone: Paul Revere and the Raiders; The Monkees – not all that different

See this post about Walk Away Renee.

More toonz

I Can’t Get Next To You: The TemptationsAl Green

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: The Shirelles; Carole King with the Mitchell-Taylor Boy and Girl Choir, co-written by CK

Alison: Elvis CostelloLinda Ronstadt. Elvis HATED Linda’s covers of his songs.

Fire: Bruce Springsteen;  The Pointer Sisters

Wrecking Ball: Neil Young; Emmylou Harris

Tainted Love: Gloria Jones; Soft Cell

MacArthur Park: Richard Harris; Donna Summer

I Am Waiting: The Rolling StonesOllabelle

Everytime You Go Away: Hall and OatesPaul Young 

Sail Away: Randy NewmanEtta James

Stand By Me:  Ben E. King; John Lennon

Bye Bye Love: The Everly BrothersGeorge Harrison – a rewrite inspired by his breakup with Pattie Boyd

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “Obsessed with cover songs”

  1. there’s also a Bing Crosby version of “Try a Little Tenderness” that I heard YEARS after having come to love the Redding version. And wow, are they ever different songs with different singers. (As you would guess, Crosby’s version is closer to the dance-band’s version than to Redding’s)

    John Denver also did a few covers; his cover of “Let it Be” is pretty nice. “Fire and Rain” is pretty much like James Taylor’s, just slightly different vocal tone.

  2. Elvis C. was right to dislike Linda’s cover of his iconic song. She did pretty good covers of a lot of other songs such as Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”, Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy” and Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” among others.

  3. One of my favorite groups, Blackmore’s Night, is a folk group that focuses on Renaissance and fantasy-themed music–almost “filk”, although not quite so niche. I remember a very odd song on one of their albums, called “Celluloid Heroes”, which is NOTHING like their usual thing…and when I looked it up, I learned that it’s a cover of a song by The Kinks.

    I’ve had a post in mind for months about covers of a specific song my father loved when I was a kid…I need to write that one….

  4. Try a Little Tenderness, Three Dog Night.
    Only reason I remembered is because my high school 50th Reunion is Saturday, and ove been thinking about events from 1969 -1972.😊

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