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Old 02-28-2020, 12:03 PM   #37
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Bertolt Brecht's lyrics for the Alabama Song were set to music by Kurt Weill for use in the 1927 play Little Mahagonny where it was sung by Lotte Lenya. It was reused for Brecht and Weill's 1930 opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Here it is by Lotte Lenya:




The Doors included a truly excellent cover entitled Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) on their self-titled debut album which was released on 4 January 1967:





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Old 02-29-2020, 01:41 PM   #38
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Ruler of My Heart was a song written by Allen Toussaint that was first recorded by Irma Thomas and released in May 1963:




Pain in My Heart by Otis Redding was released on 26 September 1963:




Given that Otis Redding was also credited as the songwriter, Toussaint's management team quickly objected.

The Rolling Stones then covered Pain in My Heart and included it in their Rolling Stones, Now LP released 13 February 1965:





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Old 03-01-2020, 10:48 PM   #39
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

He's So Fine by the Chiffons was released in January 1963 and got to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart where it stayed for four weeks:



George Harrison then nicked the tune for his My Sweet Lord track released as a single on 23 November 1970:



Harrison protested his innocence but the judge said "Son, you better pay up or else you go to jail."

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Old 03-02-2020, 12:13 PM   #40
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

The song Money (That's What I Want) was written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford and was the hit that launched the Tamla (Motown) label. The single by Barrett Strong was released in August 1959 and made it to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100:





A cover by the Beatles was released in November 1963 on their U.K. LP With the Beatles:





A cover by the Rolling Stones was released 10 January 1964 on their self-titled EP:





A cover by the Flying Lizards was released in July 1979 and became a surprise hit reaching #5 on the U.K. charts:





All the above versions are very good. Take your pick!


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Old 03-03-2020, 12:20 PM   #41
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

See See Rider was first recorded by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey on 16 October 1924:





A take recorded by Wee Bea Booze in 1943 made it to #1 on Billboard's "Harlem Hit Parade":





Here's Lightnin' Hopkins take from 1959:





But it wasn't until this uptempo version entitled C.C. Rider by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels was released in late 1965 that the song came into its own:





An even better cover by the Animals was released in 1966:




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Old 03-04-2020, 12:45 PM   #42
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Solomon Burke was one of the R&B artists that the Stones liked to cover.

Cry to Me by Solomon Burke was released in 1962:





A cover by the Rolling Stones was included on their Out of Our Heads LP released 30 July 1965:





If You Need Me by Solomon Burke was released in April 1963:





A cover by the Rolling Stones was included on their Five by Five EP released 14 August 1964:





Everybody Needs Somebody to Love by Solomon Burke was released in February 1964:





A cover by the Rolling Stones was included on their The Rolling Stones, Now! LP released 13 February 1965:





Here's a very cool live performance:





I really like them all!

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Old 03-05-2020, 01:07 PM   #43
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash was released 19 April 1963:



Blondie then did a terrific cover for the 1980 movie Roadie:






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Old 03-06-2020, 12:49 PM   #44
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

A Taste of Honey was an instrumental track written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow for the 1960 Broadway version of the play of the same name:





Lenny Welch had a hit with a vocal version in 1962:




The Beatles included an excellent cover on their U.K. LP Please Please Me which was released on 22 March 1963:




Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass made it a major hit again with their excellent instrumental version released in August 1965:




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Old 03-07-2020, 01:44 PM   #45
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

George Gershwin wrote the aria Summertime in 1934 for the opera Porgy and Bess which hit the stage in 1935. Most of the early recorded versions of the song were dreadful. Here's the first recording with Abbey Mitchell on vocals and Gershwin himself on piano:




Here's the much touted version from 1957 by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald:




Ho, hum (at best).

The song was finally given justice and brought to full flower by Big Brother & the Holding Company on the LP Cheap Thrills released on 12 August 1968:





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Old 03-07-2020, 08:53 PM   #46
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Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post
George Gershwin wrote the aria Summertime in 1934 for the opera Porgy and Bess which hit the stage in 1935. Most of the early recorded versions of the song were dreadful. Here's the first recording with Abbey Mitchell on vocals and Gershwin himself on piano:




Here's the much touted version from 1957 by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald:




Ho, hum (at best).

The song was finally given justice and brought to full flower by Big Brother & the Holding Company on the LP Cheap Thrills released on 12 August 1968:





Obviously you left off this fantastic version…



This one blows all the other ones away!
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:28 PM   #47
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

You're right. I forgot about that one!

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Old 03-08-2020, 10:55 PM   #48
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

The rockabilly number I'm Gonna Love You Too by Buddy Holly was released 12 September 1957:



A cover by Blondie was released as a single in September 1978:



Both excellent!

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Old 03-09-2020, 12:41 PM   #49
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

The Vibrations recorded My Girl Sloopy in 1964:



A cover by the McCoys retitled Hang On Sloopy was released in July 1965 and was even better:






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Old 03-10-2020, 01:05 PM   #50
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Down Home Girl was first recorded by Alvin Robinson. His version was released in August 1964:




The Rolling Stones included a great cover on their The Rolling Stones, Now LP which was released in February 1965:




The Stones' version stripped out the jazz element from the original and gave it a funkier, bluesier flavour.

The Rainbow Girls' recorded a really excellent cover that was released on 22 February 2019:




The Rainbow Girls added more country twang to the song!

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Old 03-11-2020, 11:45 AM   #51
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Music Note Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

If I Had a Hammer was written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays in 1949 and the performed it publicly for the first time on 3 June 1949 at St. Nicholas Arena in New York City during a testimonial dinner for the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States!!! :o

Here's the recording released in 1950 by the Weavers, the singing group to which Seeger and Hays belonged:





They were somewhat better as musicians than political economists but that's not saying much.

This cover by Peter, Paul and Mary released in 1962 was a lot better:





Trini Lopez did it best though with this cover released in 1963 that got to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100:





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Old 03-12-2020, 11:56 AM   #52
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Sound of Silence was first released on 19 October 1964 as a track on Simon & Garfunkel's Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. LP:





The album was a commercial flop. Seeing the track's potential, Columbia producer Tom Wilson took the previously recorded tape and overdubbed electric guitar and drums onto it. Columbia then re-released the new version of Sound of Silence as a single in September 1965:





Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel knew nothing about Columbia's actions until they heard the new version of their song on the radio while in Europe. Paul Simon hated it immediately but it became their signature number and one of the top hit songs of all time.

A very different cover version by Disturbed was released on 7 December 2015:





It also went to #1 on the Billboard charts. Which version is better can be debated.

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Old 03-13-2020, 01:35 PM   #53
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry was released in May 1956:



It was then covered by the Beatles and released on their With the Beatles LP on 22 November 1963:




I'm not entirely sure that the Beatles' cover was superior, but they certainly did it well.


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Old 03-14-2020, 09:46 PM   #54
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Exclamation Re: Covers that are better than the originals!

Nina Simone's soulful but heavily orchestrated version of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood was released in November 1964:



A blues-rock cover by the Animals was released on 29 January 1965 and absolutely destroyed the original:



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