Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Music in the Re-Making

Remakes – love ‘em or hate ‘em?

I’ll admit I’m biased. If a rock or metal band covers another rock or pop song, it’s usually cool. But a pop band remaking a rock song? Not so cool.

Here’s a list of what I consider to be cool remakes – and a link to the best YouTube video I could locate. (In case you were curious)

Powerman 5000 – Let the Good Times Roll (The Cars) It has a rockin’, space feel to it now!

Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) The lead singer is scary fast, too.

Metallica – Astronomy (B.O.C.) Really decent cover, too.

Orgy – Blue Monday (New Order) MUCH better than the original!

White Zombie – I’m Your Boogieman (K.C. and the Sunshine Band) You’ll hardly recognize the song!

Anthrax – Got the Time (Joe Jackson) If Jackson were dead, he’d roll over in his grave.

Coal Chamber – Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel) With Ozzy!

Fear Factory – Cars (Gary Numan)
And the video includes Gary himself:

Numan’s a flying instructor now – scary, huh?

Any remakes you enjoyed? Didn’t like? Made you want to hunt down the cover band with a bazooka?

And thanks to all who commented on the excerpt from CassaStar yesterday – I was really worried!


Jessica Bell said...

There is one remake of Wonderwall, that is amazing! Ryan Adams. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gVxRvNfFLg

Vicki Rocho said...

Generally speaking remakes drive me crazy. I'm partial to "the first way" I hear something. I understand that some remakes might be technically better, but for my ear, it just sounds wrong.

Copyboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Copyboy said...

I actually have the Alien Ant Farm one on my iPhone. haha

Mia Hayson said...

That Gary Numan cover was awesome!

I'm undecided about remakes, sometimes they're amazing but sometimes they spoil the feel of the song, you know. Ooooh that one Jessica linked to is great though, really great.


JE said...

I'm with Vicki. I'm an original kind of girl.

There are times I hear a "new" song and love it. Then someone older says, "Hey, have you heard the original version?"

I listen to it and I'm like...ewh. I guess for me it all depends which one I hear first. ;-)


Matthew MacNish said...

I generally love all remakes, remixes, and covers, but of course there are exceptions. I can't think of a particularly terrible one at the moment, but I know they're out there!

One that I love is the Fugees remake/cover of Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack.

DEZMOND said...

Covers can be great sometimes. I for example always enjoy when somebody covers one of my favourite songs I DROVE ALL NIGHT, so I enjoy all of the versions - Roy Orbison's, Cyndi Lauper's, Celine Dion's ....

I also liked that rock cover of Jackson's BEAT IT :) I jump whenever I hear it :)

Old Kitty said...

Boyzone's atrocious and unforgivable and terrible remake of Tracey Chapman's "Baby can I hold you". A crime against humanity.

Thanks for these links!

Being an 80's girl I can't say I agree about New Order/Gary Numan or even Joe Jackson remakes. The originals all hold special memories for me so the new ones are so not for me! Sorry!

On the otherhand Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's remake of Cry if I want to is FAB! :-)

Take care

Jeremy [Retro] said...

gary numan's remake awesome... and great he is in it... the most popular remake seems to be the placebo's "running up that hill"... i love "you spin me round" retelling by dope or "tainted love" by marilyn manson or "the metro" system of a down"... ohhh the list goes on, but i think what makes them good is not a straight lyric to lyric... when they make it interesting!
jeremy [iZombie]

Ellie Garratt said...

I'm with the originals, although occasionally a singer or band does surprise you with an amazing cover. For example, Johnny Cash's awesome cover of One by U2.

Johnny Cash One

Allison said...

It doesn't fit the pop to rock standard, but two of my favorite covers are:
Crosstown Traffic by (hed) pe
Let it Be (acoustic) by Tantric

Lindsay said...

Hmm. I'm an originals gal, but sometimes there are songs that sound awesome covered. Like Leona Lewis's version of Run by Snow Patrol...or Muse's version of Feeling Good.
So long as the cover adds somethign new to the mix, I'm happy.

Allison said...

I can't believe I didn't think of the (um, my) ultimate pop to rock cover! You Belong with Me by Butch Walker!

Jen said...

I'm not going to lie...I liked Disturbed's version of Land of Confusion.

Misha Gerrick said...

I usually agree with you on the out of genre remakes. The songs were written for a specific style. Changing it won't make it better.

My favourite remake is actually House of the Rising Sun by (I believe) the Animals.

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOVE alien ant farm's smooth criminal. I think i actually prefer it over the original.
I'm pretty fond of Disturbed's Shout remix.

Jules said...

I agree with you on remakes. Hard to get the original out of your head sometimes :)

And we must travel in different music circles. I don't think I knew but 1 band you mentioned.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jessica, I've heard that one.

Copyboy, that's cool!

Matthew, I usually like them as well, although some pop singer redid Keel's Because the Night and that just wasn't cool.

Kitty, Boyzone is a crime against humanity period.

IZombie, that's why I really dug the remake - can't go wrong if the original singer's involved.

Allison, I imagine Tantric's version is just a bit heavier!

Misha, that version's been around so long, mosts people think of the Animal's version anyway.

Falen, as I DON'T like MJ, I definitely think it's better!

Carolyn V. said...

It depends on the song. If it's done well, I like it. But if they ruin it...not so much. Loved the Cars song. I loved the original too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Some rap band sampled Zeppelin's Kashmere, which was just wrong!
Do Weird Al songs count as remakes?

Charles Gramlich said...

A few of these were much better than the originals, like Smooth Criminal


I prefer the original version of I Have A Dream by Abba than all the cover versions.

Enjoyed your post Alex.

BryStearns said...

I completely agree about Smooth Criminal. It was one of the best remakes I've heard. Also, a less known one is Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man covered by Shinedown. Absolutely fantastic.

Unknown said...

I guess it depends. Some are horrid and some better than the original. I haven't heard of most of these but I'm intrigued.


Shallee said...

I don't like a lot of remakes. I'm usually loyal to the original artist. There have been some I've really liked, though. I liked Uncle Cracker's remake of Drift Away. Thanks for sharing these, I'll have to check some of them out!

Hannah said...

I don't like a lot of remakes but sometimes they can be awesome like Alien Ant Farm's Smooth Criminal. I find that delightful and entertaining.

Liza said...

I find it is all a matter of what my ears get used to. If I hear an original song a lot...and then there is a remake, it usually bums me out. But if I hear the remake over and over, then sometimes the original sounds funny after a while.

Pat Tillett said...

I just look at them on a song by song basis. Some I like and some I don't. BUT...what I really hate is when people "sample" something from another "hit" song and use it as the basis for the "fake" music...Too many of those to mention in hip hop and rap(sorry!)

Talli Roland said...

Oh yes, I'm with Jessica. I love that Wonder Wall remake! But generally... not so much. The original is always better!

Jeff Beesler said...

There are some good remakes, but then again I'm purposely trying to block out the names of the ones I cared zilch for.

Hart Johnson said...

I am totally and completely with you, Alex--a metal remake of something that was a part of my history--LOVE IT. My most recent favorite is Careless Whisper (originally a Wham song that was part of my college freshman soundtrack (so fond, even though sappy) redone by Seether with terrific effect IMHO.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Diane, I guess Weird Al songs would count.

Charles, I agree on that one!

Clarissa, that's why I posted links - so you can check them out.

Palin, Alien Ant Farm's remake seems quite popular today!

Pat, I agree.

Hart, Seether's version is a bit different, isn't it?

CA Heaven said...

I'm not so fond of pop remakes of metal, probably because I'm a headbanger. But I like some of the metal-metal covers. A great example is The Emperor's version of Aerie Descent, first recorded by Thorns. Both versions are on YouTube >:)

Cold As Heaven

Southpaw said...

I'm afraid I share your bias.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I like your taste in music. As with everything there are some terrible remakes and some brilliant ones too.

Private said...

I normally don't like remakes, but there are some good ones -

Rocket Man done by Kate Bush - even Elton liked that one!

Serena said...

My personal fav re-make is Gary Jules and Mad world. To me it was better than Tears for fears back in the 1980's

Chris Phillips said...

I like the Orgy and Alien Ant Farm ones. Been a long time since I've heard them.

Seether does a good careless whisper and Ben fold does a good version of tiny dancer and such great heights.

Some remakes are crappy though. Pearl Jam's cover of Last Kiss is a prime example. You could torture insurgents with it.

Helen Ginger said...

Love the video.

Take the first part, before the wreck, change the car into an expensive fast sports car, and make it a commercial. (Yeah, I know I'm getting booed right now, but it's true.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cold, I agree 100%!

Chris, you may be right!

Helen, no, I can see it!

RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Alex - I've had music on my mind too. I only watched one season of American Idol and it happened to be the "year of the David's" I loved the remake of "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie. Sexy. =D

Unknown said...

You've nailed so many I've enjoyed Alex!!!! I'm a fan for a ton of these! Normally I don't agree with anyone on music! How nice :)

The Man-Cave said...

Brick in the Wall and Comfortably Numb. Maybe I am biased towards Pink Floyd, but those remakes are beyond horrible. "Brick" is an older one form '98 and "Numb" is a newer one, maybe from this year.

I do like your choice of AAF's Smooth Criminal. I still love their version as well as MJ's.

Jemi Fraser said...

I didn't know some of those songs had been remade - thanks for the links. I'm off to check them out :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, my all-time favorite remakes are The Killers' cover of Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet" and Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".

WritingNut said...

The fist one I checked was the MJ one - ummm... not too sure if I'll get used to that one anytime soon ;)

There's this European guy who has covered numerous songs, with his brother I think, and they're actually pretty good... but for the life of me, I can't remember his name! I will google it and let you know.

In general, I guess it's whichever one I hear first... that's the one I usually love.

Anonymous said...

I've never really been into remakes, with the exception of some jazz songs and the No Doubt remake of It's My Life. I sort of prefer that one, a little bit. :]

Cheeseboy said...

I was going to say that Alien Ant Farm tune, but I went back and saw you covered it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RaShelle, I remember that! Yeah, I watch Idol, too.

Jen, that's cool!

Amanda, the It's My Life remake was uniquely their own, too.

Kelly Polark said...

For the most part, I like remakes. I bought that Alien Ant Farm CD because of Smooth Criminal! (it's a good cd overall).
My three fave remakes are
Helter Skelter by Motley Crue
Desolation Row by My Chemical Romance
Landslide by Smashing Pumpkins
Disturbed has many cool covers, too. Their newest is U2's I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Arlee Bird said...

There are many remakes that I've enjoyed. One that stands out for me is Jay Farrar's version of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane". I also like some of the Beatles covers in the movie "Across the Universe". Are covers the same as remakes?

Tossing It Out

Karen M. Peterson said...

Some of those are really good and others I haven't heard yet and am looking forward to checking out.

I was SHOCKED last night while watching Glee. (I know, I know.) There was a beautiful cover of the Beattle's song I Wanna Hold Your Hand. It's been in my head all day.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, I hadn't heard that last one yet!

Lee, I think so.

Karen, don't you love it when songs get stuck in your head?

Chuck said...

Metallica did a ton of great covers on the Garage, Inc set. One of Nick Cave's songs is great. My fav of theirs is a tremendous cover of Turn The Page, right up there with Seger's.

Marilyn Manson's cover of two Eurythmics tunes: Sweet Dreams & Beautiful People are better than the originals.

And all the Zeppelin covers on the Ecomium tribute set are superb. Especially STP.

Thanks Alex for getting me thinking of this!

Chuck said...

Wow, had to throw another out there. Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt by NIN is stunning.

Check it:


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chuck, Metallica's cover of the Slobbering Beaver - I mean, Bob Seger - song is a thousand times better than the original!

Jamie Gibbs said...

Excellent picks! I'm totally with you on this, a metal cover of a pop song is usually awesome, but the reverse is often terrible.

My favourite is Disturbed's Cover of Land of Confusion (Genesis)

There's a band called Van Canto that do a capella covers of metal songs. Their rendition of Manowar's King of Metal and Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark are particularly awesome :D

Jamie Gibbs said...

Excellent choices! I'm right with you on that, metal covers of pop songs are usually good, but the reverse is kinda sucky.

My favourites are Disturbed's cover of Land of Confusion (Genesis) and Hammerfall's cover of My Sharona (The Knack).

There's a band called Van Canto who do a capella covers of metal songs. Their rendition of Iron maiden's Fear of the Dark and Manowar's King of Metal are particularly awesome :)