Friday, October 12, 2007

Compare & Contrast

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!

21 comments:

Bernard said...

Can't think of that many good cover versions but one cover that immediately springs to mind that's certainly no justice to the original & piss me off when some uneducated punk tells me that it's so-&-so's new song, Led Zep's D'yer Maker covered by Sheryl Crow

JonC said...

I'd vote for the new cover version of that song. Sound freakingly eerie and dark - presents the meaning of the song better me thinks. Love that haunting kinda female voice too.

As much as i like Sheryl Crow's version - i do find it way too "happy" sounding to my liking.

senorita.. said...

i'm so sorry guys.. i knot decide which is better.. both is unique in its own way... then i come across the same song sang by this band that i'm very familiar with-Fall Out Boy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzQ8_2X8zrs

i like this best,then the one by Joy Division,lastly Susanna and Magical Orchestra.. =P

premo said...

Haunting cover I must admit but it's one of those songs you gotta be in the mood to listen to la - Preferably depressed and sloshed at 3am in the morning listening to Mazzy Star kinda mood!

As far as cover's go, one of the best I've listened to in a while (and there are few and far between) is Carnivore's mutilation of the Hendrix classic Manic Depression. Sabbath's Supernaut never sounded more ferocious after given the 1000 Homo DJ's spin. Nirvana's splendid unplugged rendition of the Meat Puppets' Plateau come a close 3rd while Ugly Kid Joe's cover of Clapton's Cats in the Cradle remains a firm favorite.

Hey you guys have just inspired me throw a 'covers' party! Play covers all nite and try to guess who sang the original afterwards. Winners get down shots and losers, well they have to 'cover' the tab la! He he...what'd dya think peeps?

anfield devotee said...

Bernard: He he, you're rite, Mrs lance Armstrong did mutilate that one.

Jon C: Rite on! Kinda like Portishead. Remember them?

Senorita: Fall Out Boy!?! Ok ok, at least they are paying tribute to one of the greats. Thought you would have liked the Sussana version. I was fooking blown away.

Premo: Yeah, forgot bout the 1000 Homo DJs. Also loved Nirvana's version of Bowie's The Man WHo Sold The World on the unplugged album. Ugly Kid Joe!?! Premo, I'm shocked!

Bernard said...

anfielddevotee: Correction, its Ex-Mrs Lance Armstrong!!

anfield devotee said...

Bernard: Yes, me wifey pointed out that as well. Fact remains she fooking butchered D'yer Maker.

Yeah, another cover I just remembered which fooking kicked ass was Sepultura's version of Sabbath's Symptom Of The Universe. Superb!

weiyin69 said...

I like the Joy Division version better. In fact, I think I've heard of this song before (pardon me but I'm quite clueless when it comes to Anfield's choice of songs). It's a lot more funkier.

The Susanna version - well, it's kind of haunting (as pointed out by some others) and really depressing. But I guess that's what she was trying to convey - the loneliness, longing and despair. Makes sense to be delivered in that manner. Her voice reminds me of Enya.

anfield devotee said...

Wei Yin: Wah! Am very surprised you like the Joy Division version. I think they were brilliant. Just thought you would have voted fer the more sedate & calm version of Sussana's.

There is hope yet fer you Aunty Wei Yin . . .

PS: All Joy Division songs were ultra-depressing (singer Ian Curtis hung himself later on). And this song has been covered by lotsa bands, so you might have one of the versions on radio.

Bernard said...

My personal playlist was playing in the background & these 2 songs came up which then occurred to me that these are Led Zep covers of the original Willie Dixon songs, 'You Shook Me' & 'I Can't Quit You Babe'. I'd have to say that both original & covers are equally good, but then again I'd probably lean to Led Zep in the final analysis!!

Bernard said...

PS I did not mean to say Sheryl Crow did a good cover of D'yer Maker. In fact I bloody cringe every time it comes on the radio & switch stations immediately. Bloody sacrilegious philistine!!

anfield devotee said...

Bernard: Yes, I know. Like I said she BUTCHERED Dýer Maker . . .

kevo said...

joy division rocked the synth world. the paul young version on 'no parlez' was a good cover of the song. soulidified the cold soul. and sorry ah, didn't know clapton did cats in the cradle.

anfield devotee said...

Kevo: Oh yeah, dude, totally forgot bout Pual Young's cover. Did u not like the Sussana version?

Actually, I was under the impression that Cats In The Cradle was a Yusoff Islam/Cats Stevens song.

JonC said...

Portishead!!! Hauntingly familiar name ;0)

weiyin69 said...

by the way, i just read there's a new movie called Control about the life of Ian Curtis, the singer of Joy Division. Why do so many artistes kill themselves?

anfield devotee said...

wei yin: Thanx fer that. unfortunately have yet to see it in any of the DVD shops here. Have you seen it? Any good?

Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, et al - Only The Good Die Young.

premo said...

AD: Actually UKJ are one of my guilty listening pleasures from time to time, and yes, I'm aware that they were nothing more that a bunch of beer swillin groupie chasing rock jocks that got lucky. They could've easily been another Mucky Pup/Blink 182 but instead became rock's nauseously adolescent middle fingered answer to snotty nosed pop bands like EMF and the lot.

But then again, without them there would be no Puddle of Mudd... which is actually a good thing.

Incidentally, Cat's in the Cradle is by Cat Stevens. Clapton covered it. My bad.


Bernard: Sheryl Crow deserves to be hung, drawn and quartered. Not only for that previous crime of even THINKING of covering a Led Zep song (the only female singer guitarists that have actually succeeded improving on a Led Zep cover, in my humble opinion, were Heart, masquerading as The Lovemongers, when they covered Battle of Evermore so brilliantly on the Singles soundtrack album) BUT also for her acoustic sodomy of the GN'R's Sweet Child O' Mine! Really Axl, I mean we all know you needed some dough for those fookin horrible hair extensions but weren't the royalties enough?


Weiyin: Yup the JD movie control looks good actually. Check out the website here at http://momentum.control.substance001.com//. As usual, it'll be awhile before it reached our shores so I suggest downloading it via bit torrent sites.

senorita: Although we don't share similar music tastes, I do think FOB are one of the better pop bands out there now along with Good Charlotte in terms of pop music songwriting craft and melodies. However, I'd have to pass on their version of the Joy Division cover. Sorry, it's just lacking the soul and intent - sounds like they just got lazy (Damn! Hope I didn't come off sounding like that prick Simon Cowell!)

anfield devotee said...

Premo: well said.

anfield devotee said...

wifey just read the comments and thinks that cat's in the cradle is by harry chaplin. cat stevens did father and son covered by boyzone.

Bernard said...

AD : & once again, your wifey is right.

"'Cat's in the Cradle' is a folk rock song by American singer/songwriter Harry Chapin. It appeared on Chapin's 1974 album Verities & Balderdash."
(quoted from Wikipedia)