A Bard’s Eye View: I’ve Got You Covered


I’ve Got You Covered

Some cover songs that make things a little more interesting

Perhaps one of the greatest compliments you can pay an artist is to cover their music.  Critics may prefer the original, some may argue that a modern twist is a good thing (these people parallel the same types of people in film as well).  Do these songs do justice to their predecessors?  I’ll allow you to be the judge.  The easy answer would be to include Coal Chamber’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey”.  Even the lyrics say “Cover me.” I won’t be including it, though.

NEVERMORE (UNITED STATES) – SOUND OF SILENCE (2000)
ORIGINALLY PERFORMED BY SIMON AND GARFUNKLE (UNITED STATES) (1964)

SoundsSilence

One of the creepiest songs ever written in the 1960s gets a modern rehash with some significant changes. Somehow, the Nevermore version is even creepier.  There are quite a few moments where you can barely tell that is even a cover at all.  It is much faster, far more aggressive and has a fairly polished production quality.

DEMONS & WIZARDS (GERMANY/UNITED STATES) – IMMIGRANT SONG (2005)
ORIGINALLY PERFORMED BY LED ZEPPELIN (ENGLAND) (1970)

Led_Zeppelin_-_Immigrant_Song

This version that Demons & Wizards performs is actually very close to Led Zeppelin’s version.  This is basically just a beefier cover of this track.  Hansi Kursch delivers some deeper vocals with some heavier toned guitar.  This cover is only four seconds longer and I feel that it does the song a great justice.

TYR (FAROE ISLANDS) – CEMETERY GATES (2013)
ORIGINALLY PERFORMED BY PANTERA (UNITED STATES) (1990)

pantera-cemetery-gates(other)-20121224080319

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not really a fan of Pantera.  I prefer Exhorder and I think that Pantera gets a lot of love that I can’t justify.  That being said, Cemetary Gates is one of their coolest songs.  Tyr managed to make a cleaner, more technical sound out of this classic.  The singing on this cover is phenomenal and the guitar is very good.  This is one of my favorite covers.

BORKNAGAR (NORWAY) – MY FRIEND OF MISERY (2012)
ORIGINALLY PERFORMED BY METALLICA (UNITED STATES) (1991)

metallica

Dark Tranquillity covered this song shortly after its release and it is almost identical except that the vocals are far more aggressive and the drumming sometimes contains double bass pedaling.  Borknagar’s version adds an atmospheric quality that Metallica would probably never be comfortable adopting.  The clean vocals are cleaner and the harsh vocals are harsher.  The guitar solo is longer and seems to offer more flexibility in its sound than the original.

JIMI HENDRIX – ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER (1968)
ORIGINALLY PERFORMED BY BOB DYLAN (UNITED STATES) (1967)

Jimmy Hendrix

The craziest thing about this song is that Dylan recorded his version in November 1967 while Hendrix recorded his version in January 1968.  These versions are so drastically different.  Bob Dylan’s is pure folk rock while Jimi Hendrix provides a bluesy sound to it.  This is considered, by many, to be the greatest cover of all time.  It was Jimi Hendrix’s only release to ever break the top 20 of the Billboard 200.

Next week, I have a surprise!  It’ll be fun!  See you later!

-Ryan

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