Music cover and re-cover


I’ve often mused on musical covers by the same artist. This would be a re-cover in the parlance of the Coverville podcast, which I listen to regularly.

The post was initiated by a 2021 video of a lawyer talking about Taylor Swift rerecording her early albums issued under her original contract. The attorney wondered if the public would purchase the songs again; from the last time I checked the Billboard album charts, three of the ten albums were “Taylor’s version.”

I should compare the old songs with the new ones, but I’m not a Swifty and would feel inadequate to point out the differences in the recordings. (However, I’m quite amused and bemused by the MAGA disdain for her.)

Conversely, I could discuss some of the variations among the records of Frank Sinatra on different labels long before Taylor. A good example would be Snatra’s Sinatra.

“Ten of the album’s twelve tracks are re-recorded versions of songs that Sinatra had previously released, with ‘Pocketful of Miracles’ and ‘Call Me Irresponsible’ being first-time recordings for Sinatra.

“Sinatra’s two previous record labels, Columbia Records and Capitol Records had both successfully issued collections of Sinatra’s hits; this album was the attempt of his new label, Reprise Records, to duplicate this success by offering some earlier songs in stereophonic sound, which by 1963 was an exploding recording technology.” You should be able to hear that album in its entirety here; then, you can tool around and find earlier iterations.


The Beatles had different versions of Get Back and Let It Be, from the single to the album version. Both Get Back and Medicated Goo by Traffic have singles that come to a dead stop – I still own the 45s – while the album cuts do not. Get Back: LP and single. Medicated Goo album cut; I can’t find the single.

I also considered remakes such as Fame and Fame ’90 by David Bowie, Think and Think ’89 by Aretha Franklin, and a supposedly improved version of John Hiatt’s Have A Little Faith In Me. In each case, I prefer the original. However, I have an odd affection for the Trans version by Neil Young of Mr. Soul compared with the Buffalo Springfield take.

In Paul Simon’s In The Blue Light, he re-covers ten of his songs that he thought were previously overlooked. One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor: original (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon) and remake.

My favorite: Crying – the original is by Roy Orbison, the re-cover by Orbison and k.d. lang.

Egregious sins exist on remakes of some compilation albums. I have a Herman’s Hermans greatest hits collection that is all redos; Peter Noone is singing them, but it ain’t the same. Likewise, I have a 4-CD set of soul songs, with the only originals by deceased artists. These are very disappointing.

Licensing rights are often the issue. Rhino put out The Ray Charles Anthology, with 17 songs from his ABC/Paramount period and three live versions of songs he first recorded when he was on Atlantic Records.

Live versions versus studio albums? A whole ‘nother conversation. I tend to like the studio versions, though the live performance of I’m So Glad on Goodbye Cream shreds the studio track from Fresh Cream.

That said, I needed to do much more compare and contrast, scouring YouTube to do the topic justice; frankly, it was too daunting.

May rambling #2: Blind In Your Mind

Since when did Christianity become more about preaching the rules than preaching the Gospel of mercy?


A sad case of Facebook blackmail.

“Dude, enough with the entitlement.” She doesn’t owe you @#$!”.

Women are getting harassed in bathrooms because of anti-transgender hysteria. Plus Utah man attacked for taking his 5-year-old daughter into Walmart men’s bathroom. I have taken my then-5 y.o. daughter to a Wal-Mart men’s bathroom, in North Carolina, without incident.

Obituary of a Homophobic Racist, or, My Grandfather.

Killing Dylann Roof. “A year after Obama saluted the families for their spirit of forgiveness, his administration seeks the death penalty for the Charleston shooter.”

Why should schools move away from suspensions?

Poor People Deserve To Taste Something Other Than Shame.

The Election Is About the Country, Not the Candidates

Cartoon: Cut from commencement speeches.

The End Of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Campaign.

What third parties CAN do.

John Oliver: Primaries and Caucuses.

R.I.P. Pinius Bergmann (1925-2016).

Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind.


Book review: Stardancer by Kelly Sedinger.

Alicia: As I’m leaving the library today, I walked by a pile of new books and literally said out loud to myself, “No, I already have enough at home to read right now.”
Roger: The question: What did the books say in response?
Alicia: It was more of a quiet weeping.

On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books.

Neither Rand nor McNally. Death by GPS.

This month in 1856: Violence on the U.S. Senate floor.

Three-minute video about the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, produced by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The Trouble with Comics: the epic Question Time survey of the best current comics titles.

Now I Know: Combat Juggling and The Land Down Under in the Land Down Under and And Together They’ll Make Music.

True Facts About The Owl.



60 Minutes, the Sunday night news staple, honored Morley Safer, one of television’s most celebrated journalists. Then, days later, Safer died at 84. From the New York Times: “Mr. Safer had broadcast 919 “60 Minutes” reports, profiling international heroes and villains, exposing scams and corruption, giving voice to whistle-blowers and chronicling the trends of an ever-changing America.”

Alan Young, RIP, star of Duck Tales, and, of course, Mr. Ed. But, of course, of course, some are unhip to the lingo.

Beth Howland, Accident-Prone Waitress Vera From the Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74, on New Years’ Eve 2015. Her husband was the actor Charles Kimbrough, who played the anchorman Jim Dial on the television series ‘Murphy Brown.’

Muppets TV show, RIP.

David Letterman – Behind The Scenes Of Late Night’s Longest Running Broadcaster and Leaving Letterman, Part I.

The closing of Johnny Carson’s last Tonight Show.

I disagree broadly, but as for these three: Celebrities Should Not Play Jeopardy. Plus Buzzy Cohen Might Be The Most Polarizing ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Yet.


What Kind of Fool Am I? – Kermit the Frog. And Grover.

CREAM – The Last Goodbye (1968).

Coverville 1126: Bob Dylan Cover Story VII.

Debunking Every Excuse For Keeping The Monkees Out Of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, plus a positive review of their NEW album. Here’s Me & Magdalena, which was written for the band by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.

First Listen: Paul Simon, ‘Stranger To Stranger’, due out June 3.

The fight over Prince’s estate will dig deep into copyright law for a very long time.

Lady Gaga and the Online Eucharist Police. Since when did Christianity become more about preaching the rules than preaching the Gospel of mercy?

Music Throwback Saturday: Theme from an Imaginary Western

Theme from an Imaginary Westerns was never recorded by Cream because Eric Clapton is said to have hated it.

mountain climbingI started getting reinvested in Disraeli Gears, the classic second LP by the group called Cream, when I came across this 48-minute video on the making of the album from 2012 a few months ago. It includes interviews with the band members Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and the late Jack Bruce.

Clapton talks about how the album’s producer Felix Pappalardi took him to a New York City music shop to buy his first wah wah pedal in April of 1967, which he then played on Tales of Brave Ulysses. Felix was like a fourth member of the band.

Subsequently, Pappalardi produced an album by guitarist Leslie West titled Mountain. Then Pappalardi and West formed a band called Mountain, described by Rolling Stone magazine as a “louder version of Cream.” The band’s best-known song was probably Mississippi Queen [LISTEN].

Another song from that 1970 album Climbing! was Theme for an Imaginary Western, written by the aforementioned Jack Bruce, and Pete Brown. The song was never recorded by Cream because Eric Clapton is said to have hated it.

Some of the LYRICS:

When the wagons leave the city
For the forest and further on
Painted wagon of the morning
Dusty roads where they have gone

Sometimes travelin’ through the darkness
At the summer comin’ home
Foreign faces by the wayside
Look as if they hadn’t known

All the sand was in their eyes
And the desert that’s dry
In the country town
Where the life was found

When Pappalardi, who died in 1983, left Mountain, West and Bruce were in various groups together over the years.

LISTEN to various versions of Theme for an Imaginary Western, a/k/a Theme from an Imaginary Western:

Jack Bruce, Songs for a Tailor album, 1969, produced by Felix Pappalardi.

Mountain, at Woodstock, 1969, Felix Pappalardi on vocal; it’s on the Woodstock 2 album that was released in 1971.
Mountain, 1970, Felix Pappalardi on vocal. This is the first version I heard.

Leslie West’s Theme album, with Jack Bruce on vocals, 1988.

Jack Bruce on piano, n.d.

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