Original vs. Cover: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – Eurythmics vs. Marilyn Manson
I’ve been a DJ since the ‘70s. I’m also a bona fide 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 pastimes was to fill up one of those long-ass 120 minutes Maxells with original and cover songs, played back to back. I would really go out of my way to find obscure covers of 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: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
ORIGINAL: Eurythmics (1983)
COVER: Marilyn Manson (1995)
This song is a prime example of British New Wave at its best. Synth Pop 101. Dave Stewart genius. I’m sure you remember hearing or seeing it for the first time, and then a billion more times on MTV.
Do I have to break it down for you? It’s a sequenced analog synth riff that Dave accidentally created when he played a bass track backward. The rest of the arrangement uses a Movement Systems Drum Computer, a piano in the middle eight, and Annie’s multi-tracked, super harmonious vocals.
And the video? I obviously have to mention it because it was so astounding to people. “Why does that woman have such short and bright red hair? Wait – I’m not sure it’s a woman because of the three-piece suit and tie! But the perfect eye makeup! Playing cellos while cows wander in a pasture! Some weird dude typing on a machine from the future that has a tiny video screen!”
It’s melancholy, its beautiful, the lyrics are confusing — it was the ‘80s!
Well, its exactly what you’d expect. It’s slower, creepier, and menacing. Loud guitars and bashing drums that follow the original arrangement, his voice is just echoed instead of harmonized, and he yells parts of the lyrics.
Speaking of lyrics, he added a few lines of his own to make it extra kooky, spooky and altogether ooky.
“I wanna use you and abuse you
I wanna know what’s inside you
I gotta know what’s inside you.”
I shan’t bother to describe the video, because if you remember Marilyn Manson, you know the deal.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
NOW YOU DECIDE!