A few days ago, another blog I frequent (Senorita's I Like It Sweet) recommended a tune she had recently discovered. It was Frente's Bizarre Love Triangle. Of course, almost immediately all the OARs (old-age-rockers) was at pains to point out that it was a cover of a New Order tune.
I will admit that the Aussie band's effort was pretty cool & it was a genuine attempt at doing a well-loved song in a totally different manner. Now when a tune or a band is considered something of a sacred cow (like New Order), it does require some big fooking balls to meddle with it. Coz you're not just messing with a composer's arrangements but you are fooking with millions of punters' tightly-held memories of the tune, the band and of themselves (ie it is the soundtrack to our own lives; how a song reminds you of a certain time in yer life etc).
Senorita did make the effort to check out the original but said she preferred Frente's version. That got me thinking - how many times have I encountered a cover that bettered the original or at least did a major reworking to the tune. One that immediately pops into mind is The Cardigans ultra-sweet & candy-fluff rendition of godfathers of metal Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Then I happened to pick up an old compilation CD that came free with Uncut magazine & it featured this duo called Sussana & The Magical Orchestra.
Now, I know this is gonna piss off a lot of people but their version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is fooking awesome! The original by Joy Division was urgent, frantic & pulse-quickeningly good. It was a totally new way to phrase a love tune & it is rightly held in high esteem. Its so good that New Order (the band that rose from the ashes of Joy Division) also released it as a single later on.
But compare that to new version and Sussana & The Magical Orchestra's version packs just as big a punch in terms of impact. Stark, moody & completely opposite in terms of tempo; their version is fooking brilliant. The cold atmospherics of the keyboards & sweetness of her voice does little to blunt the sheer sense of loneliness this song conveys.
As usual, I look forward to your comments & what you think of the new version compared to the original. Also do feel free to recommend any covers you think might have topped the original composition.
PS: Let me take this opportunity to wish all me Muslim mates Selamat Hari Raya. And to everyone else - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!