Friday, May 8, 2009

Original (Part II)

Music on my terms holds that cover songs seldom improve on the original. Most of the butchery occurs when the song is polished up for main stream consumption. This started long ago when terrific R&B and rock songs were recorded (known then as race records) and covered/stolen by by white bread artists such as Pat Boone for the tender ears of prepubescent suburbanites. Boone's cover of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" stands along with white/colored drinking fountains as atrocities of an ugly era.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were main offenders in the 60s with their well-intentioned, but weak tributes to American R&B and country artists. Ringo's distorted "Honey Don't" from Carl Perkins wins the grand prize.

I offer three sets of songs and covers:

1. Joan Baez, sweet as she could be at times, put so much sugar on "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (even changed the time signature) that it came off like an improperly mixed fountain drink. No fizz. All syrup.

2. Faith Hill, as they say, did not pay her dues, that is, unless you count a rogue sequin on her jeans chaffing her thigh as suffering

3. Mr. Broadus had to have smiled at this send up of "Gin and Juice" Both versions have merit.


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2 comments:

Rebecca said...

Pat Boone is a verb to me, meaning "to suck the soul out of." It's used often if I'm forced to watch American Idol.

TM said...

Exactly. Idol has Pat Booned the hell out of many good sogs.

Luckily Kelly Clarkson survived the bleaching. Some of her recent tunes have found her way onto my iPod.