Column: Why cover versions wind me up

Carol Forster
Carol Forster
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It’s been a while since I did one of my Room 101-esque rants so this week I return with some of my most intense dislikes, all on the theme of music.

Now I really love music, of course, from Jazz to Rock, and what better accompaniment to our daily lives and the daily mundanities and calamities we face.

However, I do have a problem with some aspects of it.

For example, it really irritates me when they take a perfectly good tune, first created with a lot of love and effort some day back in the realms of time, to find it re-jigged and worked as the backdrop to some ghastly advert about insurance or furniture installations.

The once gorgeous melody, which rendered your own perfect imagery to go with, from your fertile imagination, is now turned into an irritating jingle with imagery that just doesn’t fit.

And don’t get me on to whistling. Aargh!

Do you really want to listen to your favourite raunchy Rolling Stones track re-worked to present a chair lift or a romantic song now twinned with a cheap takeaway.

I certainly don’t!

This brings me on to my second bugbear.

The tune that becomes known for its cover version, rather than the original.

One such example of this is that lovely old song, ‘Harvest for the World’ - a simple yet heartwarming tune with divine chord changes, a steady rhythm and touching lyrics.

Mention this song to people and many will refer to the cover version of the 1980s by The Christians.

The original was, however, created by the magnificent and fabulous Isley Brothers way back in 1976 as the title track to a lovely album.

Now, I have absolutely nothing against The Christians’ version but it wasn’t created by them and the original had more soul, simple as.

The only time I liked both versions of a song is ‘Midnight at the Oasis’. The original by Maria Muldaur had a sublime melody and her lovely voice. The later version by The Brand New Heavies was more upbeat and great to dance to

Finally, whenever I hear pop pap on a loop it does annoy. Often the most hyped music is light years away from the best.

Give the Indie stuff a chance instead!