Cover versions that you prefer to the original


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Is Prince's version of Crimson & Clover really better than the original though? Cos he plays a bit of Wild Thing in the middle?
Shondells are underrated I reckon - wrote more famous songs than most realise.
the extended or unedited Shondells original is my favourite
def underrated. a pretty wild story.

Love Prince's bassist here chillin


I do like the song a lot but I find it quite creepy at the same time. Sounds kinda like empty-eyed cultists on acid mindlessly repeating the refrain - and Crystal Blue Persuasion even more so. I doubt that was intentional, probably informed by what we know now about the hippy dream and so on, hard to just see it as innocent and magical from here.


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Am I still allowed to like Fela Kuti? Can I still admire his revolutionary spirit? Or has he been cancelled for his less than progressive attitudes towards the place of women in Nigerian society?

Fela - Shakara

The original version of Shakara by Fela is great - the guitars keep up that J.B's style scratchy rhythm, Tony Allen kills it on the drum kit, especially when he drops back in after Fela has educated us about something or other.. but the horn honking around 5 minutes in sets my mind adrift, and I don't know if that is a good thing - I suspect I may be bored...

I much prefer this version:

Wganda Kenya - Shakalode

Fela seems to have been popular in Columbia, and there are a couple of cover versions that I aware of, but the best has to be this, which speeds up the tempo, adds some wah-wah effects to the guitar, and is just better...maybe it's because at Fela's Shrine club they would be smoking badly cured bush weed, whilst in Medellin they would be sniffing the finest fish scale? Or is it just because they cut out the noodling and keep it short and sweet?


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i prefer Robert Wyatt's version of "At last I am free" to Chic's original, but only just

The Chis one is just a bit too velvet 70s sounding for me.

And I also think wyatt's version of shipbuilding is better than elvis costello's, cos elvis' version is too shmaltzy

But not sure wyatt's version can strictly be called a cover

"According to Clive Langer, he had written the tune for Robert Wyatt but was not happy with the lyrics that he had written himself. Langer played the tune to Elvis Costello at a party hosted by Nick Lowe, and within days Costello had produced what he described as "the best lyrics I've ever written".[2] In a 1983 interview with NME, Mark Bedford of Madness, who played double bass on the single, recounted the history of the song:

At first Robert Wyatt wasn't involved. The original plan was to release four different versions of the song, which was then called 'Ten to Nine', as an EP with four different guest vocalists. There were going to be versions of the song by Elvis, Clive and Steve Allen [Langer's former bandmate in the 1970s group Deaf School], but once Elvis had done some more work on the lyrics and changed the song to 'Shipbuilding', they decided to approach Robert Wyatt and his version was so special that it came out as a straight single.[4]
Wyatt himself recalled, "Geoff (Travis, head of Rough Trade Records) sent me a cassette saying this is a pretty good song, you ought to sing it. So I tried it out and it sounded good. The musical setting was nothing to do with me. Elvis had already recorded a vocal for it – very good vocal – and it was going to come out in the same form with him singing on it. I went in and did a vocal in a couple of hours with Mr. Costello producing, and that was it ... I had no expectations of it at all. All I thought about was singing it in tune!"[5]

The Robert Wyatt version was originally released as a single on Rough Trade on 20 August 1982,[6] but failed to chart. It was re-released on 22 April 1983[7] when it reached number 35 in the UK Singles Chart,[8] marking the first ever UK Top 40 entry for Rough Trade."

Didn't realise they used Stanley Spencer on the covers. Great British painter.



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Not heard that, will check it. Some of Robert Wyatt makes me cringe but some of him is brilliant

Interestingly, this version of "Age of Self" by Bullion

is preferable to me than Wyatt's original


I'm not sure that's better than the original to be honest....
Last night was talking to some friends about Cher's take on Walk on Gilded Splinters which is probably worth a mention here...

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One of my favourite reggae "do-overs" - this piece of schmaltz:

Ernest Gold - Theme of Exodus

is transformed by the golden voice of Freddie McKay into this impassioned plea to Jah:

Freddie McKay - Take My Hand Oh Jah

Freddie wins hands down


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Residents - Yummy Yummy Yummy

I was told as a child to never swallow bubblegum, yet this half-remembered bubblegum pop is lodged in my brain...

somehow I prefer the Residents' nightmare bad trip version to the chirpy and crap original

Ohio Express - Yummy Yummy Yummy