5 cool covers that almost outdo the original

Somehow I like to post covers of popular songs. I don’t intend to but I stumble across them (or madly search for a good alternative).

1. Original: Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Cover: Glee. Everybody must have heard this already because it became Glee’s most popular download on iTunes ever. Perry herself admired it; said it made her cry. For anyone who cares to hear an acoustic version.

2. Original: Brother Louie – Hot Chocolate

Cover: Stories. This one was just 6 months after UK’s Hot Chocolate released their track in 1973 to get to the top ten in the UK singles chart. Yet the cover by Stories reached #1 on Billboard Hot 100 in USA. On a side note, Modern Talking’s Brother Louie has nothing to do with this, but has the same title.

3. Original: What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction.

Cover: Boyce Avenue. I know what you’re thinking… anything will be better than the original, but the truth is that Boyce is remarkable at acoustic renditions. They manage to make any song sound so gentle and romantic. These guys deserve a separate post of their own. They are also popular! They have already gone on worldwide tours.

4. Original:  Angel of the Morning – written and composed by Chip Taylor.

Cover: Juice Newton. It’s hard to say who made the very first release because of its complicated history. But to my ears nothing is better than Juice’s. Not Chip’s own version, not by Merrilee Rush, Olivia Newton John, Dusty Springfield, and dare I say it, not even Nina Simone. It got to #4 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1981.

Sadly, there are only 2 things that immediately come to my mind when I hear this artist’s name

 

 

 

 

5. Original: Someone Like You – Adele

Cover: Matt Jackson. Okay, this is not better, but it’s a nice variety in a male voice. This one was quite a challenge. Originally I was going to post youtube’s TheStrangerSpeaks version but due to copyright the video went private 😦 Anyway, Matt does a a pretty darn good job (the high parts need work).

Piano covers

As the name suggests, today are three neat piano covers of popular songs. Each song presents so many versions to choose from; these were the finest.

Original: Wonderwall by Oasis. It always takes me to a better place. Noel Gallagher originally told it was written for his then-girlfriend but later said it was about “an imaginary friend who’s gonna’ come and save you from yourself.” To my own amazement, this cover was honest enough to be given a pedestal next to it.

 

Original: Fireflies by Owl City. The insomniac virtuoso has a fairy tale like story — small town Minnesota, making music in his parent’s basement, eventually signing up with Universal Republic — who made it without the help of a reality show. Fireflies is Adam Young’s most popular song yet having gone quadruple platinum. Very uplifting, also playful.

 

Original: Marry You by Bruno Mars. It is too popular and contemporary to write anything you don’t already know. I actually liked Glee’s version more than the original (good thing you don’t know my address) particularly from 0:40 to 1:06. It was tough but this is my favorite piano take.

Pop Friday

But before that, an excerpt from a thoughtful freshly pressed post at Truth and Cake:

 It gets even more complicated when we attempt to stack our aspirations on top of one another like building blocks. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the…you know the rest. Each building block affects the one below it, increasing the pressure. Commitment affects breezy love, babies affect commitment, personal fulfillment affects friendships, money affects everything.

Now for the pop.

1. Kind of irritating to read the same comment on almost all of Carly Rae Jepsen’s videos, “I can’t believe she’s 26! Looks 16!” However, I agree and am amazed myself. Prized genes. As for the artist, I see potential. The music has catchy bass and the video a different kind of end.

2. Leave it to Coldplay to come up with unique video concepts. They had already shot the video by Hype Williams but later decided to scrap that and do a new one with old collaborator Mat Whitecross. It really is the band members inside the pachyderm suits and it starts with Chris Martin, who also came up with the new video’s story. This is the band’s second song to reach no. 1 on the UK Singles chart after Viva La Vida in 2008. In the video, I laughed out at 1:12.

3. How does the missus compare…

4. My favorite (and only) Goldfrapp song. Shot in Addington Square in Camberwell, South London.  Whatever this guy is on… I want some!

5 very romantic songs for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Special 7/8

Coming back to my roots today: music.

I’ve saved this one. What better time than now to introduce (on this blog) the princess who mostly sings romance? I present: Ingrid Michaelson.

She is no newbie. She has released five studio albums since 2005 and her latest, Human Again, came out just 3 weeks ago. Her songs have been featured on shows like Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, The Big C, Brothers and Sisters; in ad campaigns by Google; and in events like ice dancing, and thanks to my brother that is how I first got to know about her.

Her voice might not reach peaks but it feels genuine. There is understanding and honesty, and her lyrics stem from experience. You can visualize so many things listening to it. So, below are five of my favorite songs by Ingrid.

1. A cover, yet remarkable, Can’t Help falling In Love

2. Keep Warm, from her new album.

3. You and I, a funny happy duet with her producer Dan Romer.

4. All Love

5. And my favorite, The Way I Am

Is covering classics alright? Three examples

Is it safe to cover a classic? Dangerous grounds, but if you can produce something like this, why not. Sometimes the cover offers a new perspective to it that wasn’t considered before. Rare, but it happens every now and then.Three examples.

1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Original: A legend created by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. However, I always remember it by the Supremes + Temptations.

Cover: I know. I would have rolled my eyes too — what the heck can come close to this? Well, it can’t. But it offers something else. So what if it was publicized mainly because of a DHL commerical. Vula Melinga and Paul Epworth’s remake of this everyone’s-favorite does not detract a bit and is something I wouldn’t mind having in the same folder as Ms. Ross’s.

 

2. I Want To Hold Your Hand

Original: (You know.)

Cover: I’m going crazy, right? At least give T.V. Carpio from Across The Universe a try. Takes it in a whole different direction.

 

3. Bring Me Sunshine

Original: Morecambe and Wise. Their signature song during the end credits of their comedy show on the BBC in the 70s. 

Cover: Willie Nelson. Even if you have sway, plenty of street cred., and do it around the same time like our good ol’ Willie did, it still is a cover. It turned out to be one of his big hits reaching #13 on the U.S. Country charts. Brenda Lee’s cover was pretty darn good too.

Don’t You Want… more 80s

I know I just posted an 80s song and daring to do another. In my weak defense, that’s how 80s music is, you get one and you just need a few more. Promise no more 80s after this… for a while.

British synth-pop band Human League’s preferred music for Don’t You Want Me didn’t make the album because the producer changed it to something more “poppy”. That didn’t fly with the lead singer who thought the new version was the weakest track in the album so he placed it as the last track on the B-side of the vinyl album. Turned out the song became the band’s biggest hit ever, earning a Gold in US and Platinum in UK. Producers are not always evil, I suppose.

Still, as disgraceful it is to publicly admit (not really) I like Glee’s version better. Definitely a song you can drive to. More emotion in the voices, but they should have eased on the music’s bass. Glee has a tendency to make the music quite techno for its pop/synth-pop covers. Anyway, you decide.

Human League

Glee

It’s Not Unusual

Or is it?

It kind of is because today’s music is a reprise of a classic of Tom Jones, and I personally don’t like most newer  versions. Seriously! People should not touch classics unless they can handle it. This one can, and does a good job at it — mainly for its carefree dance 🙂

Glee – It’s Not Unusual