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Under the Covers, Vol. 5

Under the Covers, Vol. 5

Under the Covers, Vol. 5

Last week, Under the Covers took the week off. This week, it’s back in full swing with some pretty snazzy covers, some of them even worth checking out.

Deftones – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

“Simple Man” is the fourth track from the first album by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was written by Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington while they were sharing stories about their mothers.  The song was covered by the Deftones and featured on their B-Sides and Rarities album.

Original Version

Cover by the Deftones

Which is better?

The Deftones nailed this song instrumentally. Enough said. Vocally, I’d say this is one of Chino’s better tracks.  While the original is a shining example of the now corporate, commercialized and diluted Southern Rock*, I still have to give this one to the Deftones for their accuracy and presentation.

*Mainstream radio, not the genre as a whole.

Snow Patrol – “New Sensation” (INXS)

“New Sensation” was the third single released in 1988 by INXS off their sixth studio album, Kick. The song was a commercial and worldwide success.  Snow Patrol would later go on to cover the song and release it on the 22nd Edition of the Late Night Tales series.

Original Version

Cover by Snow Patrol

Which is better?

I’ll be honest with all of you, I rarely listen to INXS. I think the majority of their music I have listened to comes from the late 80s and just before grunge. I call this musical limbo.  The turn off of INXS to me is the instrumentals to this track in particular, because it’s VERY late 80s and early 90s sounding, but the lyrics and vocals of Michael Hutchence cannot go overlooked; not in the least bit. I mean, the band was a pretty big deal during their time, and then Snow Patrol comes along to completely bastardizes them with their “bro-coustic” version of this song. Vocally, not bad, but everything else (I think it’s just an acoustic guitar) is just not right. Snow Patrol does save a little face with this version from the 75th anniversary of Maida Vale Studios. Problem again, is the instrumentals. This time, it sounds a shitty U2 ripoff, but better than the acoustic version.

Maybe I’m wrong and need to listen to more of the INXS catalogue. They’re probably worth another listen.

Long story short, INXS wins this round by a landslide.

Pearl Jam – “Last Kiss” (J. Frank Wilson and the Caveliers version)

While this song was originally written and performed by Wayne Cochran in 1961, the most recognized version was performed by J. Frank Wilson and the Caveliers in 1964.  Pearl Jam went on to cover the song in 1998, and released the song as a single in 1999, due to popular demand.  The song is noted as one of Pearl Jam’s most minimalist recordings.

Original Version

Cover by Pearl Jam

Which is better?

Both the J. Frank Wilson and Wayne Cochran versions are somewhat peppy and upbeat, which mesh well for the music at the time, but let’s be serious. This song about a couple getting into a car accident and the man watches his girlfriend die next to him in the wreck.

The Pearl Jam version slows down the tempo a bit and adds richer guitar sounds that contribute well to the mood of this song. Even Eddie Vedder’s vocals capture this song. Pristine. Pearl Jam gets my vote for this one.

Filter – “Gimme All Your Lovin'” (ZZ Top)

“Gimme All Your Lovin'” was the first single released in 1983 from ZZ Top’s 8th studio album, Eliminator. It is one of the band’s most recognized songs.  Filter recorded their take of the song on the tribute album ZZ Top – A Tribute from Friends.

Original Version

Cover by Filter

Which is better?

I was actually a little disappointed in the studio version of Filter’s cover, not gonna lie. I did, though, get to see Filter live the other weekend and they did play this song. It’s better live, and if you ever get the chance to see Filter, I HIGHLY recommend catching Richard Patrick and the gang.

Filter’s version, unfortunately, doesn’t quite live up to the ZZ Top version, an instant classic.

The Ataris – “The Boys of Summer” (Don Henley)

“The Boys of Summer” is the opening track to Don Henley’s second solo album, Building the Perfect Beast, released in 1984.  It is also the first single released from the album and presents a darker mood that conveys the transcendence from youth to middle age mixed with the concepts of summer love and past relationships.  The Ataris recorded their cover of the song for their fourth album, So Long, Astoria and released the song as a single.

Original Version

Cover by The Ataris

Which is better?

The Ataris did a surprisingly good job covering this song. I think it’s a very good and modernized take on the song, but it’s not as haunting and dark as the original. When I listen to The Ataris version, I don’t think of depressing memories from the past, rather I think about high school, and memories from around the time this song was released. Oh shit, nevermind, I guess the Ataris were successful after all.

Either way, I’ve always been more keen and faithful to the original version of this song. Maybe it’s because I never fell for the whole pop punk genre.

That wraps up this week’s Under The Covers. Tell us what you think!


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