You know what they say about cover songs: they never beat the original. Well, except for a few cases then. Some covers are simply better than the original and here are a few of my favorites.
First up is 311 – Love Song. This song is originally by The Cure and in itself 100% awesome. Now change the gloomy sound of The Cure into a sunny almost reggae like rhythm and you get a very laid back summery type song. After 311’s insightful adaptation the song sounds like taking a splash in a fountain in the middle of summer after a having had a picknick in the park.
Second is not one, but two songs. Actually, it’s the same song but by two different bands and I simply cannot pick which one I like best. Which song am I talking about? White Rabbit. The original is by Jefferson Starship (not Airplane, the song was written after the band got hooked on LSD, which is what it’s about, and the drug made the band change it name as well) and dates back to the 70s. The original is like a fusion of Alice on Wonderland on LSD, which is apparently also why they wrote the song in the first place. A cover which is very much like the original was featured on the Almost Alice, the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack and it’s by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:
However, if I were really made to pick my favorite cover of White Rabbit, it would be the version by a band called Collide. I came across this version a few years ago when it was featured on one of the indie playlists I keep track of. The reason why I like this version is because it’s still very much like the original, but at the same time it is not. First of all, it’s a lot darker and mysterious and uses heavy beats to accent the distinct rhythm of the song. Knowing this song was written in a LSD induced state, after listening to Collide’s version that is all the more clear. Especially the vocals play into the apparent hallucinating effect and are almost dream like and give the song its mysterious quality.
The third song that I would pick would have to be Kate Bush’s Running up that Hill. This song has been covered quite a few times, but despite that, Placebo managed to take the song and bring it to a completely new level. I think that what Placebo brings to the song is again a more dark quality that I just seem to prefer for this song.
Fourthly, one of my favorite cover songs would have to be Adele’s version of Make You Feel My Love. I already loved Bob Dylan’s music, but after hearing Adele’s version of this song I just have found a total renewed respect for the man, as well as for Adele. I think this song is a really good show case of the beauty of Adele’s voice and her power of telling a story through song. Simply breathtaking.
The last song I’d like to share with you is a cover of Depeche Mode song and it’s by a group called Nouvelle Vague. Nouvelle Vague is a French cover band who mostly covers song from the late 70s and early 80s. Depeche Mode’s Master and Servant is one of them. If you don’t know what Master & Servant is about then all you need from me is this line: there’s a new game/ we like to play you see/ you treat me like a dog/ get me down on my knees/ we call it/ Master and Servant. Now, picture those lyrics sung with a cute French accent and an acoustic guitar. Nuff said.