DISTRESSING PLEASANTRIES, BUTTHEADS.
After a few choice conversations this past week, I have been feeling the need to bring up what I think is “acceptable” when preforming a cover song, so let’s tick some boxes.
OKAY COVER THINGS:
– Making it your own.
(You do you, boo boo.)
– Genre swapping.
(It’s okay for a song to be sung as if it were done by a Jamaican pop band, so mostly do whatever.)
– Glamorizing previously understated aspects of the composition.
(The artist put it in the song, so if it’s there, play it.)
NOT OKAY COVER THINGS:
– Altering the lyrics heavily.
(It’s not the same song, ya idjit.)
– Making fun of aspects of the song.
(Unless previously mean’t as a joke, of course.)
– Intentionally OR Unintentionally ruining of any notation.
(Like, just play the right notes, listen to what your doing before, during, AND after recording.)
All that being said, let me whip out a few of my favorite cover tracks for you to sink your little earsies into.
Kick Axe – The Chain.
Prefix: I HEAVILY mess with the original song and the Fleetwood Mac album it came off “Rumours” is one of the absolute best albums ever written. Stevie is a god damn powerhouse and the musicianship of that group is undeniable. That being said, does Kick Axe ever do a bang up job on this one. The gang vocals are layered and on point, and there is a bass detune that just rocks my world every time I hear it. Easily one of the most stand-out tracks on the album, Kick Axe only found minimal success due to market saturation and the heavy uprise of other genres.
Buzzov•en – Don’t Bring Me Down
Covering Electric Light Orchestra’s biggest US hit and then slathering it in sludge is exactly how to correctly genre swap a song. It’s exactly what it would sound like in the respective genre, and it clearly and distinctly makes the song it’s own with tempo alterations, AND it makes me want to wear cowboy boots. ’nuff said.
Motorhead – Hellraiser
It must’ve been fun to look to your side at Ozzy Osbourne, scratch your moles, sip your whiskey and say “Oi! Ozzy! How does that Hellraiser riff go?”, ’cause that’s how I imagine this beast came to be. Lemmy had one of the most distinctive voices in Rock and Roll and a bass tone that sounded like an eighteen-wheeler hauling bridge cables. I love both these artists, so this was kinda a “gimme”, but if you need examples of how not to cover songs, I’m very sure you can buy the entire “Kidz Bop” collection at Walmart for 2 dollars and not help one of those kids get a college level education.
Justice calls, fam. BYYYYYYYE.
– BEAR. (@blairsphemy on instagram)