Covered songs have long been a source of debate for musicians and music lovers. When you first start to play an instrument, you turn to covering your favourite song because it’s all you know. Once you start writing music, you’re committing a sin if you continue to play and record cover versions – you should have the talent and need not harness someone else’s work. A cover song is only worthy if you take it and transform it so that it’s barely a resemblance of it’s former self. It’s like wearing someone else’s clothes from their wardrobe, but having to add your own style so it’s your beauty coming through, otherwise you’re just an imitation – and that’s a cheap way to live.
It’s a rareity to find a cover that outshines the song it was inspired by. Music lovers state the obvious – Nirvana over Bowie, or Hendrix over Dylan – as though they have just regurgitated this from the cover of magazines and have never thought to listen to either versions to make up their own mind. Passionate and obsessive music addicts will trawl through hours of music; if they stumble upon a cover song then they will listen to each version back to back, soul to soul. It’s a form of heartbreak to commit yourself to a particular version of a song – it condemns you from listening to the other version without cheating in your mind and wishing you were actually caressing your ears with the other woman; it’s therefore paramount you carefully select your favourite before wholeheartedly stating it out loud.
There is a fashion at the moment of slowing songs down with a guitar and claiming them to be covered songs. No, they’re acoustic and although it’s not how the artist intended, it’s a cheat to declare these songs covers.
On occasion, you can go to a cover record and find that you need the original more than ever. It’s as though the cover has triggered an innate feeling and it will only be settled by forgetting the modern version and listening to the pioneers. When this happens, you hear music as it was intended and helplessly realise that no matter how many times a tune can be regurgitated, you will only ever feel the artists true feelings through their version – no matter how hopeless it was.