Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Makes an Awesome Cover Song?

Being Cartman helps, in my personal opinion.

Meaghan and I presented on cover songs last Thursday, and I must say it was pretty good. Music is for sure Meaghan's specialty, so I kind of let her do most of it, to be honest. I think she has a better knowledge base for it, and more experience with it, anyway. I mainly discussed covers that had been done in movies, covers of the Beatles, and South Park.

I still cannot get over the fact that the most covered song in the history of music is The Beatles' "Yesterday." Fine, it's a good song, but I definitely don't think it's their best work. Not only that, I have yet to hear a decent cover of that song. But maybe I have nightmares of 10th grade choir in which we sang that song...over and over and over. So perhaps I am biased against it. Anyway.

I was very excited to find out that Meaghan wanted to use Alanis Morissette's cover of The Black Eyed Peas "Humps" song. I had seen this video a few months back and thought it was great. I can live with the Black Eyed Peas and some of their music is okay, but Fergie makes me want to hit my head against a wall. I think it's pretty obvious from their own video, as well as the lyrics, that she doesn't feel like she has much going for herself besides wearing little, or uncomfortably tight, clothing in terms of musical talent (in the rest of the world, we would call that a "stripper" rather than "musician"). Morissette's, cover does a great job of taking a song that really is crap, and proving it. The first video is the original music video and the second is Alanis Morissette.

I have also posted a cover by Travis doing "Baby One More Time." I wanted to show that I don't hate all pop music. I like this song now (NOT the Britney Spears original). It shows how a simple song like "Baby One More Time" has the potential to be good in the hands of a real musician, rather than the cheap and ridiculous concoction of the music industry.

And finally, while I am not normally a fan of South Park, I find Cartman's covers quite hilarious. I think the thing that Cartman does is add his personal touch, yet still keeping true to the song. I think this is key to creating a great cover. I like his cover of "In the Ghetto." But then again, I don't care much for Elvis. My favorite, which I have posted for your listening pleasure, is his cover of the Styx' "Come Sail Away." I have yet to listen to it in its entirety without nearly laughing myself to tears. Call me silly, but I love it!


  1. There were moments during the Black Eyed Peas version of "My humps" that I honestly thought this might be the parody video; it was so ridiculous! My favorite part is towards the end of the song when Fergie does this amazing chest pump action to make sure we understand exactly what her "lumps" are. I almost fell off my chair laughing.

    Also, I started to feel a little sorry for Alanis during her parody of it. That is SO unlike her, and it almost pained me to watch her strut around like some gross sex object. Even though she was joking around, it was still weird. Although, I really liked her "drama" scene during the video! It was also cool that they showed her and the crew laughing at the end of it, just in case you didn't understand that they were making fun of the song.

    Next, you are absolutely right about "Baby One More Time" being a good song. I had not heard Travis before this (but now he's on my Pandora Radio station!), but he made the song sound really, really good. Thank you for sharing that.

  2. Yes, I think that was an excellent presentation on covers last week. We rock. Also, Travis is a they, not a he. No one in the band is named Travis.


  3. Thank you, Maggie, for showing me differences in cover songs. I do love the way you write.

    I enjoyed Travis (they, not he) more than I would care to admit but...

    Cartman made it awesome, true to your words. I didn't laugh till tears but I did almost wet myself...almost, I said.