Just Another Girl On The IRT

Freestyle musings from a pseudo-intellectual hellcat in high heels with Huxtable aspirations in a ghetto fab world. Proudly sponsored by bouts of bitchy mood swings, one too many swigs of Turning Leaf, the letters F & U and the madness that is the Rotten Apple.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Work in progress. Neurotic. Daydream believer. Bookworm. Addicted to the arts. Stubborn. Spoiled rotten. Lefty in more ways than one. Pop culture whore. Equal opportunity hater. Kid at heart.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Something borrowed, something true

Since the dawn of music as a popular art form, remakes have been staples of almost every well-known and struggling artist's catalog. In fact, many of bands have survived a quite comfortable existence doing nothing but covers. How many times have you caught yourself singing into the hairbrush to a favorite tune completely oblivious that there may be a hidden history behind it? More often than not, the original is better than the cover, which why I decided to take stock of the efforts that not only rival the , but in some cases - are even better than the real thing. I based my choices on three major criteria factors: chart success, relative familiarity of the original (if a song's a hit the first time around, chances are much higher that lightning will indeed strike twice) and imagination (was there any attempt to try and tweak the production, vocal arrangement or re-imagine it with a complete overhaul).

It was a tough list to make - and I did it my way...

25. 32 Flavors, Alana Davis [original: Ani DiFranco]
24. Bohemian Rhapsody, The Braids [original: Queen]
23. I Can't Make You Love Me, George Michael [original: Bonnie Raitt]
22. Baby I'm For Real (Natural High), After 7 [original: The Originals/Bloodstone)
21. This Woman's Work, Maxwell [original: Kate Bush]
20. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Marilyn Manson [original: Eurythmics]
19. Hello, It's Me, Groove Theory [original: Todd Rundgren]
18. Smooth Criminal, Alien Ant Farm [original: Michael Jackson]
17. Waiting In Vain, Annie Lennox [original: Bob Marley]
16. Why Can't We Live Together, Sade [original: Timmy Thomas]
15. Love Changes, Kashif featuring Meli'sa Morgan [original: Mother's Finest]
14. Tainted Love, Soft Cell [original: Gloria Jones]
13. I'll Be There, Mariah Carey [original: The Jackson 5]
12. Black Magic Woman, Santana [original: Fleetwood Mac]
11. Giving Him Something He Can Feel, En Vogue [original: Aretha Franklin]
10. Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O' Connor [original: Prince]
9. Killing Me Softly, The Fugees [original: Roberta Flack]
8. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, Urge Overkill [original: Neil Diamond]
7. Across The Universe, Fiona Apple [original: John Lennon]
6. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston [original: Dolly Parton]
5. The Tide Is High, Blondie [original: The Paragons]
4. Proud Mary, Ike & Tina Turner [original: Creedence Clearwater Revival]
3. All Along The Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix Experience [original: Bob Dylan]
2. Respect, Aretha Franklin [original: Otis Redding]
1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Marvin Gaye [original: Gladys Knight & The Pips]

Honorable mentions: Hard To Handle by The Black Crowes (Otis Redding), I Will Survive by Cake/Chantay Savage (Gloria Gaynor), Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen), Superstar by Sonic Youth (The Carpenters), Torn by Natalie Imbruglia (Ednaswap), I Want You by Madonna (Marvin Gaye), Do Me Baby by Meli'sa Morgan (Prince), As We Lay by Kelly Price (Shirley Murdock), Blue Monday by Orgy (New Order), Emotion by Destiny's Child (Samantha Sang), You Know How To Love Me by Lisa Stansfield (Phyllis Hyman), If You Don't Know Me By Now by Simply Red (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes)

And now we've saluted the best, it's time to jeer the rest. The list of artists who couldn't hack it with their own material and take the short cut for a quickie appearance on Billboard by covering a classic song is longer than R. Kelly's inane multi-chaptered miniseries. Nothing makes me see red more than some idiot who takes a buzzsaw needlessly to a classic song. The same 3-rule standard applies: utter banality (if you can't tell the cover from the original, what was the point?), overcompensating (trying too hard to modernize an older track with bells and whistles that remind the listener of what an aural dump sounds like) and overall popularity (how many assholes fell for the okiedoke of an otherwise shitty cover). Drumroll, please...

20. Open Arms, Mariah Carey [original: Journey]
19. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe [original: Harry Chapin]
18. Right Here Waiting, Monica featuring 112 [original: Richard Marx]
17. Just Got Paid, N' Sync [original: Johnny Kemp]
16. Our Lips Are Sealed, Hilary & Haylie Duff [original: The Go-Go's]
15. Everything I Do (I Do It For You), Brandy [original: Bryan Adams]
14. Faith, Limp Bizkit [original: George Michael]
13. These Boots Were Made For Walking, Jessica Simpson [original: Nancy Sinatra]
12. Bringin' On The Heartbreak, Mariah Carey [original: Def Leppard]
11. American Woman, Lenny Kravitz [original: The Guess Who]
10. Time After Time, INOJ [original: Cyndi Lauper]
9. Because The Night, 10,000 Maniacs [original: Patti Smith]
8. Dancing In The Streets, David Bowie & Mick Jagger [original: Martha & The Vandellas]
7. When Doves Cry, Ginuwine [original: Prince]
6. Take My Breath Away, Jessica Simpson [original: Berlin]
5. The Beautiful Ones, Mariah Carey featuring Dru Hill [original: Prince]
4. My Prerogative, Britney Spears [original: Bobby Brown]
3. Sweet Child O' Mine, Sheryl Crow [original: Guns 'N Roses]
2. American Pie, Madonna [original: Don McLean]
1. When A Man Loves A Woman, Michael Bolton [original: Percy Sledge]

link | Shot from the lip by TriniPrincess at 10:19 PM |

Blogger Elle B. commented at 11/14/2005 04:08:00 PM~  

Although nothing compares to prince, I actually liked the Beautiful Ones cover...but then again it could have been that I was like 13 when that album came out...who knows. And I love Santa's cover of Black Magic Woman - one of my favorite songs.

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