Sunday, February 18, 2007

Top 50 Cover Versions of All-Time?

My brother emailed me this link some time ago, and it seems appropriate blog fodder. I wholeheartedly agree with the choice for #1. In fact, I have previously stated that I feel Jimi's version of "All Along the Watchtower" is the greatest remake ever.

I haven't been able to study the entire list, although I will say that the mere presence of Clapton's putrid take on "I Shot the Sheriff" (#43) undermines the lists' credibility...in a BIG way.

Also, the Sex Pistols doing "My Way" makes the Top 5? I always thought that was an interesting novelty song, at best. A fun song to be sure. But, as a lark. A whim. Certainly not in my Top 5.

I need to do some research on #7 ("Woodstock"). There's no question that Joni Mitchell wrote it. There's no question that the CSNY version is considered definitive. However, I think the CSNY version actually beat Joni's first recorded version to release, which is interesting. Also, the article here states that Nash stole the song, which is a stretch to say the least. Joni, who chose to appear on The Tonight Show instead of performing at Woodstock, wrote the song based on conversations with Nash (and others who were actually there). I'd never read the situation interpreted as "stealing" before. Usually it's said that she gave her blessing. (Lord help me, I'm defending CSN. I must be afraid of Neil being considered guilty by association.)

7 Comments:

Blogger mat said...

Any list that runs from Paul Anka to the Sex Pistols to Willie Nelson to Kermit the Frog is, by definition, ammusing and probably not expected to be taken too seriously. I never cared for "I Shot the Sheriff" in its original form, let alone the hideous Clapton cover. Even being a big Kiss fan, the inclusion of "God gave Rock and Roll to You" scares me (I didn't know it was a cover). I would much rather believe that it was Wyld Stallions that did it! Thanks for the laugh.

10:04 AM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I'm a little suprised by it as well, mostly remakes of originals. What are the standards?

10:36 AM, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

Being the Uber-geek I am, I'm going to have to study this list in detail tonight. At quick glance, I see some major omissions (Hello? What about Patti Smith's amazing cover of "Gloria"?) And don't you think the Talking Heads' cover of "Take Me to the River" deserves to be at least ten spots higher? Plus, can you really take seriously a list that includes Jimmy Buffet and Eric Clapton?

This is a list that demands to be discussed over many, many beers.

3:27 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Rob said...

Yeah! Clapton's "Sheriff" is terrible, "Take Me to the River" should be higher, and Hendrix's "Watchtower" is a great choice for #1.

I would've bumped "Knockin on Heaven's Door" by GnR quite a bit higher, too, that version is great. And I would've liked to see Devo doing "Satisfaction" somewhere on this list.

And what about "Mr. Tambourine Man"? Dylan's version is obviously definitive, but the Byrds' pop harmonies are nice, too, like another side of the song.

Last but not least, I demand the inclusion of Wesley Willis's version of "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran.

3:52 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I'd like to add a collective entry for every ska band that did an 80's song cover.

6:27 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Wow, I kinda glanced over it, but did they miss all of the people that covered Springsteen? Where's Joe Cocker? Certainly his version of "The Letter" is one of the rare occasions that the cover is fifty times better than the original.

Where's "You Really Got Me?" All of these "lists" are subjective, but this seems like one big exercise in pissing everybody off.

Did Joan Baez really do the original version of "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You?" That has to be the best way ever, to evacuate a building.

8:03 PM, February 19, 2007  
Blogger haahnster said...

Great comments, folks. I agree with many of the sentiments expressed by y'all.

Also, one more...

"Walk This Way" by Run-DMC...hello!!!

9:07 AM, February 20, 2007  

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