When I was younger (aka when I had braces), I hated when other artists performed covers. I never thought they were as good as the original. Now that I am older, wiser and more of a music snob, I’ve come to love many covers of some of my favorite tracks. They give a completely new meaning and vibe that changes how you interpret it. I absolutely love hearing the words of a song and making my own meaning, and having different interpretations allows me to do that. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. “Pursuit of Happiness” performed by Lissie (Original by Kid Cudi)
While the original is a great piece (one of my Kid Cudi favorites), Lissie just brings a more relaxed tone and the contrast between the two artists is amazing to listen to right after one another.
2. “Wicked Games” performed by Cœur de Pirate (Original by The Weeknd)
The Weeknd is one of my absolute favorite artists. The way he expresses himself is so real and intense. His lyrics are poetry. I didn’t think that I could ever like a cover of his songs since his voice is so perfect on every title, until I heard Coeur de Pirate singing Wicked Games. She brings such a deeper level of depression into the already distressed piece, that it’s hard to feel good about…anything after listening.
3. “Dirty Diana” performed by The Weeknd (Original by Michael Jackson)
The Weeknd’s version was actually the first time I had ever heard this song. I immediately fell in love because the song is so dark and intense, not to mention addicting. When a friend told me that it was originally a Michael Jackson song, I knew that I had to see how they compare. Honestly, I have to say that I like The Weeknd’s version better. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of MJ, and usually prefer his originals to covers. However, for Dirty Diana, I like the ease with which the lyrics flow from The Weeknd, while MJ has a sharper, more conversation-like beat. They are both amazing, but I’d take the cover on this one.
4. “Bitches Ain’t Shit” performed by Ben Folds (Original by Dr. Dre)
Sometimes when listening to rap, I honestly have no idea what the hell the artist is saying (doesn’t stop me from singing alone & pretending I know the words). I usually look up the true lyrics, but in cases where someone sings the same song acoustically, it makes my job a lot easier. When I first heard Ben Folds singing this notorious rap song, I couldn’t stop laughing. However, the slow tune helped me to truly listen to the lyrics and get a better sense of the meaning behind the song. I now appreciate the track much more and I am comfortable listening to both versions (even though Dr. Dre will always kill it).
5. “Son of a Preacher Man” performed by Janis Joplin (Original by Dusty Springfield)
In this case, no one really knew that Dusty Springfield even wrote and performed this song originally. I didn’t even know who Dusty was until this past year. Janis Joplin made this song famous and a frequently covered song (Joss Stone, Aretha Franklin).
6. “Rolling in the Deep” performed by John Legend (Original by Adele)
Similar to anyone who has functioning ears, John Legend’s voice is one of the most beautiful sounds ever. Much like other Adele songs, this one has been performed by a number of other artists. None of them came close to Legend’s version. Maybe it’s the sexual tension in his voice or the fact that it’s a great piece- whatever it is, this cover makes my knees weak.