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#277752 by Displaced Pianist
Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:11 pm
Since you brought it up...

Two that come via Lou Reed. The first, a tune he wrote that was "uncovered" by Mott The Hoople, and was a minor hit for them--albeit overshadowed by "All The Young Dudes" from the same album. Perhaps Reed's best retake was on tour, from Rock-N-Roll Animal, w/ the obligatory 70's over-the-top intro. Of note in Reed's version are the guitarists, Dick Wagner & Steve Hunter.

The second is a song Reed wrote that was "uncovered" by Mitch Ryder in 1971. Once again, of note are the guitarists--Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner--who are on both versions. Reed later said Ryder's take was what he had in mind. Mitch makes it thump & jump, but Lou has it goin' on, too, makin' it swing.

Good thread, G.
#277754 by yod
Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:14 pm
Does it count if it isn't a macro-genre?

I've heard that covering well-known songs by famous bands is the path of least resistance, but I don't know...haven't done that since the 80s/90s and didn't do a lot of it then since I have a lot to say as a writer already. Listen? Yes. Cover? No.

You wouldn't get a lot of the references, but most of what I listen to since the 80s are "work songs" which were mostly unknown original artists (at the time) I was producing something on, or my own next recording project. Some of those folks went on to be famous. I digress.

Never saw a future in recording a song I don't own. I suppose it's fun to have a lot of people be familiar with a song the first time you play it. After 20 years of not doing covers, I've recently started covering a few songs by other artists/writers within my own micro-genre. Again, it's highly unlikely you would get the references, but some of my friends in this micro-genre have done well doing well-known covers by more well-known artists in the next sub-genre up.

#277778 by MikeTalbot
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:37 pm
First off, Ted is a pretty good song writer and performer.

Regarding covers, I've played my share, including Rock, Blues and Country. It's more fun than not playing but not nearly so rewarding as doing my own music.

I cooked up a snazzy arrangement of a cover I liked when a band I was in back in the eighties decided we should have one or two covers in our set list. I used "Tell Me" by the Stones. It is a simple song but to get the arrangement I wanted and to 'make it our own' took a bit of work. I delivered it to the boys in the band and they looked at me sadly... it turned out the Clash had already done it.

That adventure convinced me that covers are a waste of my time. I can usually write a song in the time it takes to get a cover down perfect. That's just me but I started that way - just never could imagine being successful playing someone else's material. And for me, for many years being 'successful' was the name of my game.

And now I play bass in a church band, which certainly is different from the venues I used to play but as you say, quite rewarding.

#277780 by yod
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:40 am
george1146561 wrote:
From my own perspective, I am not a good song writer. I've never written a good song. But then, some of the best and most well known musicians have never written a hit song, or even a song, period!

I am of the opinion that anyone can do whatever they set their mind to doing if they work at it long enough. Songwriting is no different. The first one is an accomplishment, but you aren't really a writer until you've got several dozen to choose from for a 10 song album.

Though even at that, sometimes the songs are only good because the artists performing and/or arranging them made them good.

I think that the biggest factor in a great song is the singer selling it. But that only works if the band can give them a foundation, and the studio can capture it.

A good song is only good when performed well.

That example in my launch post showing Jackie DeShannon's original campy demo for "Bette Davis Eyes" compared to the remake that Kim Carnes sang, with that great Bill Cuomo riff is a great example of a less than outstanding song turned into something memorable.

So glad you know who Bill Cuomo is. He has produced several records for me with Jerry Marcellino (Motown). He played on a few more projects and we're planning to co-produce another in the next few years. That particular song starts at about 100 bpm and gets close to 120 bpm before it's over, as he tells it.

He also made Keith Olsen famous in the 80s, with everything they did going Platinum.
#277781 by yod
Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:39 am
MikeTalbot wrote:Regarding covers, I've played my share, including Rock, Blues and Country. It's more fun than not playing but not nearly so rewarding as doing my own music.

Amen, brutha. All it takes is a little time and concentration with pen and paper. Songs are floating in the air around us waiting to be manifest.

That adventure convinced me that covers are a waste of my time.

And now I play bass in a church band, which certainly is different from the venues I used to play but as you say, quite rewarding.


I consider the local congregation as the highest calling a musician can have. You improve the lives of an entire community (if the music is good)

#277789 by Reverend_Mark
Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:09 am
Here is a 1963 'original'

Now, as done by the songwriter in 1981, after she got traction as a performer

Next, used as title track for a 1996 film

In a word - JAZZ. If your music is used as a 'standard', you've joined the ranks of Gershwin, Berlin, Dylan, Lennon, and Richard Rogers. Congratulations! If you are covering the standards, you've gotten in line with Coltrane, Fats Waller, Dizzy, Brubeck, Keith Jarrett, Miles, Coleman Hawkins, and every great jazz performer. And sometimes that means finding NEW standards (like Coltrane did with 'My Favorite Things').
#277791 by dutchcombo
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:05 am
I know some guys who do a mean cover of DJ Fresh Gold Dust. The song is sort of hip hop dubstep, but the cover is a pop rock version played by three guys in their forties. I love it Here is the original version, I don't have a copy of them doing it but just imagine if this was played with some drums and guitars with a middle aged British man on vocals. ... arecordsuk
#277794 by GuitarMikeB
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:20 pm
george1146561 wrote:
MikeTalbot wrote:First off, Ted is a pretty good song writer and performer.

Who's Ted?

YOD = Ted, check out his music already!
#277797 by Displaced Pianist
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:34 pm
Yeah, Ted writes some good tunes, and does fit well into a specific genre, which you'll best understand by following the link Mike posted. There are other guys in here who write some good stuff, as well--for example, I like pretty much anything P-Guy posts. It's a bit more accessible to me because I like that specific genre.

But I disagree w/ the notion that anyone can write songs if they just work at it enough (whatever "enough" turns out to be). To me, that's a myth on the order of saying 'anyone can grow up to be president'; sure, if you have the money, connections, a personality that resonates w/ voters, timing, a message the masses accept, the ability to heavily influence public opinion, visibility, etc. Every 4 years, there are less than 10 folks who even have a chance in hell, and as we learned from this last election, sometimes we end up w/ 2 folks who are disagreeable to a large percentage of the public. The point is that I could never have grown up to be president, no matter how hard I tried, how much I worked at it. The overwhelming majority of the public can say the same.

Likewise, I'm not much of a songwriter. I can write music well enough, but not songs (think about that a bit). I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, nor am I the type of person anyone listens to anyway (there are a lot of us out there). Heck, I can't even find 2 folks in Tampa who like to play the same type of music I like. So I play covers, mostly, and occasionally lay down a track for someone who can write songs--although to my knowledge, none of those songs have attained much acceptance. I play the songs someone else has written; they do it far better than I ever could--no matter how much I work at it.

The point of this thread is that you can take someone's song(s) and 'uncover' them--as opposed to simply playing them note-for-note ala a garden-variety cover band. Fair enough. I like a good treatment that wanders off from the original, and often try to do so myself (although true to form, no one ever seems to get my treatments). There are folks out there who do great treatments of originals that do resonate w/ listeners, sometimes far more than the original did. That's what G was/is getting at, and for me, it's an interesting concept. While I can't write songs, 'uncovers' are accessible to me, and I like to hear what others have done. I'm sure I'm not alone in that view.
#277798 by Displaced Pianist
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:53 pm
george1146561 wrote:This channel of YouTube is dedicated to a group of musicians that perform a plethora of songs in different styles and genres. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss. But they're usually always entertaining... ... untEXsguLg

I checked this out, and they are entertaining; I'd pay to be at their gigs. I esp. like what they did w/ The Flintstones. Just an aside, but I was in a band once where I suggested doing that sort of thing--covering music from TV shows--and having folks guess the show for a round of drinks. Sorta like music trivia. It's fun (to me, anyway), eats up set time and gets folks involved (isn't that what musicians want?).

My bandmates told me of all the dumb ideas I ever had, that one ranked right near the top. Sigh...

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