Alright, here is one of my pet peeves. I used to think there should be law against cover songs, since most turn out so awful, but there are a few artists who have made a song their own simply by putting their own stamp on it. What do you guys think are the best and worst ones?
Some of my faves (off the top of my head, so go easy on me):
Always on My Mind- Willie Nelson. I don't even want to hear Elvis or anyone else sing this one. Anyone who does this for karaoke should be required to pinch their nose through the whole song.
Broken Arrow- Rod Stewart. Robbie Robertson is a great songwriter, but his voice leaves a bit to be desired. The last of the great Rod Stewart songs, his version is simply gorgeous.
If I Can't Have You- Yvonne Ellman. Hard to top the Bee Gees, but she did.
California Dreamin'- The Beach Boys. Believe it or not, this version is kinda dark, which was totally unexpected (not better than the original, but wholly listenable.)
Blinded By the Light- Manfred Mann & Because the Night- Patti Smith. I love the Boss, but liked these versions better than when he did them.
I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston. I say this not because Whitney's version is so bad, but because I think Dolly's version is so much better. Hearing the writer sing about a true-life breakup is so much more appealing than hearing someone flexing their vocal chords for the sake of doing it. I always loved this song for its quietness and to hear it with early 90s production added is simply sacrilege.
Can't Help Falling In Love- Both Richard Marx and Corey Hart covered this. Elvis not only rolled over in his grave, he nearly broke through his tombstone, caught a train to Hollywood and killed all living descendants of these two cheeseheads.
Don't Go Breaking My Heart- Elton John and Ru Paul. This song was the reason I thought there should be a law against remakes. I can see Rick Santorum before Congress right now..."When the First Amendment was passed, the framers had not yet heard the words Ru Paul uttered on this soil...."
My Prerogative- Britney Spears. What's so awful is she sings it note for note with the Bobby Brown version in her robotic voice. She sounds like that munchkin who sang, "We represent the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild..."
Satisfaction- Britney Spears (Oops she did it again). Britney, I served with Mick Jagger. I knew Mick Jagger. Mick Jagger was a friend of mine. You get the idea.
Brian Wilson- Brian Wilson. Okay, I never heard this version, but hearing Brian Wilson sing today is like watching Marlon Brando act after 1979. I'm sure it was a thrill for BNL, so at least it made someone happy.
Every Breath You Take- Various artists. I have heard this one done by several people - including an Indian trio at our fairgrounds here in Tampa- and I don't think there is a way to do it any better than it was done in 1983.
Boys of Summer- Ataris. The band may have big screen T.V.s and fancy cars from the money they made with this, but they don't have anything close to a good version of this song. They'll tell you the record company made them release it, how they hate how people think they are a new band, blah blah, blah, but it doesn't change the fact they recorded it.
It was much easier coming up with lousy ones than good ones. Hopefully someone can improve upon my lame list.