In this blog, I’m going to be talking about original songs and covers.
I’m not too bothered about how old you are when reading this blog because I want this blog to appeal to EVERYONE.
Throughout the world of music, we have to give the credit and gratitude to the people who produced and written the song itself. If you get a lick of paint on a blank canvas, their job is to create a masterpiece with the tools and resources. That is what I would define a song that is original.
A cover is defined as a new recording of a song that has been released by an artist or a group other than the original artist or composer.
When people perform the covers, my viewpoint is that they have the painting in hand in the studio and love it so much that they tailor it to that individual or band.
I find covers a bit RISKKAY because it can make the original more appealing or the cover song unfavourable, I mean the worst cover I heard was Marcus Collins‘ cover of Seven Nation Army, I immediately thought it was going to be forgotten so it’s a really a hit or miss situation, it can make or forget a star.
The great thing about the revolution of technology of YouTube, covers are a great way for musicians to market themselves and get users around the world to know about them. One particular band I found a few years ago were Boyce Avenue, they specialise in doing acoustic covers. While I am writing this I’m listening to a song called Back for Good (originally sung by Take That). Since I found them on YouTube, I’m a fan of their music and brought a few of their albums.
Sadly, although I have a passion for history, there is no way I can go back in history and find out what the first song was to be covered. But I think the whole idea of song covers first started back over 100 years ago.
My understanding (without visiting a music museum) that some inspirations like Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland in 1939 was one song that must have been divided opinion or tempted to take credit for the cover. Glenn Miller did one apparently in the same year and was charted number one in that year. So that is probably the earliest example. I came across a paper on the history of music covers.
But probably before covers became COVERS, it would have been popular during the 19th century after Mozart and Beethoven died for orchestras to do renditions of composer’s work. The orchestras at that time would probably be optimistic or inspired by the classical pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach (you name it) and that they wanted their music to live on for the future. It must have been tremendous pressure like performing a cover of songs like IMAGINE by John Lennon or Get Here by Oleta Adams. I’m talking a tremendous reputation to live up to.
During the early part of the 20th century when musicians first started doing covers of songs, it probably wasn’t universally accepted because the originator would have been in the minds of the audience.
Of course, in the decades from the 1960s, that was a time when covers were growing in public eye. One of the songs that springs to mind is ‘A Little Help From My Friends’. It was a song that was written by The Beatles and released in 1967 and then Joe Cocker did a cover of it two years later. Although Elvis Presley is a popular and well-known figure in history of rock and roll, I would compare Elvis to Mrs Beeton in that it would appear to be that they would take the majority of the credit for other people’s work. In Elvis’ lifetime, he and Colonel Parker wouldn’t have written that many songs but to his credit he took the songs that were given to him on the plate and made the songs recognisable and marketable.
That is why I find original and cover versions so fascinating, they can be compared all the time and be very subjective to people’s opinions, they is no right or wrong answer. Some of covers that come immediately to my mind is Valerie by Amy Winehouse and Skinny Love by Birdy. It is interesting to note that Valerie’s version by Amy Winehouse have 9 times more views on there vevo name on YouTube than The Zutons do. (That is completely straggling).
What I love about both of those songs is that they sound fresh and produced differently to the originals so it really isn’t about a comparison contest.
The question I want to put to you is:
Would you want to write a masterpiece or take an existing canvas that is already there and make it your own masterpiece?
ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS BELOW