I’ve been a DJ since the ‘70s. I’m also a bonafide music fanatic who gets a kick out of turning people on to stuff they’ve never heard before. For a long time, when cassettes were king and “mixtapes” were all the rage, one of my favorite past times was to fill up one of those long-ass 120 minutes Maxell’s with original and cover songs played back to back. I would really go out of my way to find obscure covers for very well-known songs, then I’d get my friends together and have listening parties where we would discuss the songs with each other for hours on end. Yeah, it sounds incredibly nerdy, but damn it was fun.
The other day, in a fit of nostalgia, I retrieved an old box of tapes that had taken up permanent residence in the back of my closet. So, who wants to play with me — Original Vs. Cover?
SONG: I Wanna Hold Your Hand
ORIGINAL – The Beatles – 1963
COVER – Lakeside – 1982
Do I really have to describe this? You know exactly how it sounds, its 2:26 of historic Pop music perfection that John and Paul wrote and harmonized on – a simple lyric, driving drums and cymbal ride by Ringo, sturdy strumming by George, and a kicky Little Richard imitation, boom!
This is one of the nuttiest covers I’ve ever heard.
Starting off with some churchy piano chords, a wavy guitar lick, chimes, drums, and an odd synth sound it doesn’t sound familiar at all because this is a standard ‘80s “Slow Jammy-Jam” thing – then you hear “Oh girl I….tell you something…” and you’re wondering what happened…waaaaait a minute – this IS a Slow Jammy-Jam”!
Then the lead singer hands off the vocal to another dude who proceeds to do a bad El DeBarge imitation, then it goes back to the first guy – this is a hot mess. I think they went into the studio and to their A&R guy and said, “We wanna sound like The Temptations.” They failed.
SO WHO DOES IT BETTER?
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that I usually enjoy a cover that is drastically different than the original – because it’s usually inventive, creative, and brings out the unexpected.
The Beatles win here, because although I knew Lakeside would do something different…I wasn’t expecting it to stink THIS much. Wowza!
NOW YOU DECIDE!