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Original vs Cover

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Remember the old argument that the original is usually better than any covers? Well, let's put it to the test! In this thread, I will be posting the original version of various songs, as well as cover versions, and then you get to vote for the best version, either the original or one (or multiple) of the covers. You may also leave comments on the various songs, if you wish. I will add new songs every now and then, though feel free to vote for and/or comment on previous songs at your leisure. I will attempt to avoid using live versions, and I will only use recorded versions (so no YouTube-only covers or such, and nothing before recording was invented, which rules out quite a bit of really old music, but so be it).

I will attempt to cover songs from many different genres of music. I've made a list of a variety of different potential songs to “cover” (pun intended, apologies), yet I'm sure there are plenty of songs that I've overlooked. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me a private message and I'll consider it.

Now, let's kick this off with the first song! What about “Land of Confusion” by the English rock band Genesis, originally released in 1986.

Original, by Genesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZujuYiweht8

AL1CE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGbDjdoWVoI

Disturbed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOP6XN45OEk

Hidden Citizens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3w9o7SJZ4

In Flames: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaHsPJ9IlP8

Katzenjammer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lKDF5ti3DQ

 

Let the voting (and commenting, and discussion) commence!

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(edited)

The original video has been blocked on grounds of copyright! :lol:

Ok, I've listened through them and I'm tied between the original and AL1CE. If you time it right you can actually play them together as a duet of sorts for most of the song.

Edited by SharpWit

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I was curious and went to listen to the AL1CE version, since I never heard of it. I have to admit that I turned it off before the song started. The corny annoying fake news announcers killed it for me.

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When creating a cover, one can attempt to do something similar to the original but with a twist (and, perhaps, with higher quality in general). However, one could instead try to give it a different spin, which these covers seem to have done. What do I think about the covers, then?

 

AL1CE certainly changes the tune somewhat, creating a synthpop-ish (I assume, I'm not expert on whatever genre this is) sound. It's mellow and chill and easy to listen to, but doesn't really pop (in my opinion, anyway).

Disturbed's cover is likely the most well-known cover of this song. It's basically a hard rock/alternative rock version of Land of Confusion, not really changing all that much. The performance is decent enough, yet it doesn't really work all that well. The extra heaviness adds little to the song, and the chorus is disappointing. The guitar solo around 3:15 to 3:30 is a nice addition, though.

Hidden Citizens really changes it up, turning it into a somber yet somewhat “epic”-sounding song. At times it is a bit slow, however. The chorus is fairly strong, though. I think the mixing could have benefited a bit from making the vocals slightly more prominent, at least in the verses. Still, it's an interesting take on Land of Confusion.

In Flames had, at this point, moved towards a more alternative metal sounds (formerly melodic death metal), which is telling. I don't see too much point of this version. The verses are not too bad though, although the chorus is very underwhelming.

Katzenjammer offers us something very different from the original. This rendition got some nice swing in the verses, although yet again, the chorus is a bit underwhelming (though better than Disturbed's or In Flame's or AL1CE's). This is a worthwhile cover that adds some value.

 

Original: Genesis' version of Land of Confusion is, in the end, the best version, in my opinion. The verses are carried by fairly creative instrumentation combined with solid singing, the bridge is solid, and the chorus adds extra instrumentation, fulfilling it's role as a chorus better than most of the cover's did.

My vote: The Original.

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It's time to add another song to the list, though keep in mind that you can still discuss previous songs!

The last song was a rock song, so perhaps we'll go with something else for this one. What about “Got My Mind Set On You” from soul and rhythm and blues singer James Ray? Sounds good to me! Old song, from 1963, and, interestingly enough, the cover by George Harrison is arguably more famous than the original. Which version is the best, though, the original by James Ray, or one of the covers?

 

Original, by James Ray:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k68Fob0QA_k

George Harrison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQvHoEIlTH4

Damien Leith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmFyG0j5e3M

Karro Westberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SrfFRVRyHI

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George Harrison: This version is likely the most famous version. The chorus is very catchy, and the song overall is pretty fun.

Damien Leith: His rendition sounds a lot like George Harrison's, so much so that I question the point of this cover. It's fine, but it doesn't really add much to George Harrison's cover.

Karro Westberg: She creates a sort of big band swing feel. Her bridges (“This time I really feel are probably the ones closest to the original (and the second best ones, in my opinion). Something about the vocals feels a bit strange to me though (there seems to be some kind of special effect that adds "thickness").

Original: I don't believe I had actually heard this version prior to doing research for this thread, but upon listening to it multiple times, I have come to believe that this is the best version of this song. I much prefer the instrumentation in general, especially for the bridge. The George Harrison version may have a catchier chorus, with the backing vocals adding to the catchiness, but the original got a better "swing", so to speak.

My vote: The Original.

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I think I might up the tempo a bit and post new songs more frequently. I'm also considering trying to deliberately keep the list of covers short, in order to encourage more activity? It seems somewhat likely that a long list of covers might discourage people from participating, so perhaps it would be better to post a shorter list. If you believe that I didn't include a notable cover, feel free to bring it up and discuss. This way I can focus on a few notable covers that made significant changes from the original, thus avoiding issues of many of the covers sounding alike (and avoiding having to bring up seven or more covers in some cases). Sounds good?

 

Time for a new song! This time, I'm going with synthpop "Hymn" by Ultravox, which got two notable metal covers.

Original, by Ultravox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reCWi36bN0c

Edguy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDEQeMg7jv0

Lunatica: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poGO8gzPqLM

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