Fellow Absurdisans, I am writing now to alert you to a frankly horrific event, with cataclysmic and potentially apocalyptic implications. I’ve caught on to a worrying, potentially terrifying trend that, if left unchecked, will be the downfall of all that is great, awesome and righteous.
I am of course referring to the epidemic of awesome songs being ruined by covers featuring breathy-voiced women and acoustic, lilting instruments.
This is something that has been grating on me for a while, and I am no longer going to sit idly by while some of the most groin-grabbingly fantastic songs get butchered. There seem to more of these appearing daily, and they’re cropping up everywhere – my alarm goes off and my ears are assailed by the half-arsed singing of some whelpish girl pathetically breathing the words of The Calling’s “Wherever You Will Go”; I watch TV and on comes an advert accompanied by a waspish, waif-like rendition of the famously awesome “Sweet Child O’ Mine”; even online, my Youtube videos are preceded by adverts (which is annoying in itself, but that’s for another post) backed by a frankly embarrassing version of “Crazy Crazy Nights”, formerly and amazingly by KISS.
Here are just four examples of awesome songs ruined by these kinds of covers – Youtube them at your own peril:
- “Your Song” – Ellie Goulding (originally by Elton john)
- “Wherever You Will Go” – Charlene Soraia (originally by The Calling)
- “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Taken By Trees (originally by Guns ‘n’ Roses)
- “Crazy Crazy Nights” – Big Foote ft. Sun for Moon (originally by KISS)
Note: If any of you thought the covers were actually the original versions of these songs, leave my website. Just go. Educate yourself in the ways of awesome music, and then come back.
“Oh Rich,” I hear you say, “You just don’t like covers. You’re one of those weird people who believes only the original song is great, and instantly disregards any cover as crap without even listening to it.” Well to that I say get off your high horse you dirty hipster and hear me out. Yes, I love original songs, but I have absolutely no objections to covers whatsoever. Richard Cheese makes his living off of his covers, which are all fantastic and hilarious. Alien Ant Farm’s rendition of “Smooth Criminal” is great fun, and Lionel Richie need not worry about the cover of his song “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” – Faith No More are all over that shit.
Each of the covers and artists I just mentioned put a great amount of time and effort into their covers, making them truly their own without losing any of what made the original great, and there numerous others that I like, some more than the original song itself. But I must get onto why I can’t stand these breathy-voiced nancy-versions, so let’s get this done.
Firstly, the versions I take issue with just sound lazy. Now hipsters, radio-junkies and hippies, put down your doobies and pitchforks and let me explain. I don’t care how much feeling goes into the deliveries of the lyrics, if the music is just boring and lazy. I’m not saying singular-instrument songs suck in general – have you ever heard a really good pianist playing some Bach, or Beethoven? – but the music behind the lyrics in these covers is just so mind-numbingly tedious that it grates on my nerves. This contributes to a major loss of power in these songs, as they lack any and all punch that the original possessed, killing any interest I had whatsoever and instead lulling me into a kind of trance-like sleep.
My second issue is with the singers themselves – for god’s sake, sound at least vaguely interested, or try in the very least to get above ten decibels. I swear these people record their songs in a library or possibly a ward for people suffering acute noise-triggered epilepsy, as they end up barely whispering the lines, and this is then turned up so that we can actually distinguish them from a mouse farting above the music. Again, this kills any excitement I may have gleaned from listening to the song, and bang goes the fun.
I suppose this all leads to my third and final point that these songs just aren’t interesting at all. The originals had power behind the music and vocals – “Crazy Crazy Nights” was amazing fun, and actually invoked the feeling of having crazy nights of fun with your friends. The Big Foote cover sounds like someone who might have heard about these crazy nights from a magazine, but then put the magazine down because the article was too stressful for them. The originals were fantastic pieces of music that were lively and great and righteous and awesome, and they’ve suffered the musical equivalent of rape at the hands of these so-called artists.
A serious concern is that youngsters will grow up believing these covers to be the original versions, which would be depriving them of some amazing and truly wonderful songs and should be considered a kind of abuse. I can only hope that when they are introduced to the real originals that their minds are so blown by exposure to sheer brilliance that they renounce their radio-worshipping ways and embrace the music-Eden that is true instrumental, vocal and song-writing prowess.