A few years back I did some writing for a World Cinema website. As that very simple explanation would suggest, it was a little bit up-it’s-own-arsey, if I do say it myself.
Essentially it was to try and celebrate the non-English-speaking films of the world, of which there are loads and loads of amazing ones. Even those that are in English, but made with non-Hollywood actors, rarely get a good look in. So, it was pretty laudable, really.
You’ll notice however that I said that I ‘did’ some writing for it. That’s because it closed down, because no-one gave a fuck. Ah well.
One of the things that came up a lot was the amount of great films that only got wide appeal once they were remade. This was annoying to a lot of people, but I don’t mind it so much. It’d be nice if more people watched originals, and got the value I think they would from doing so. But, it’s foolish to think that American audiences aren’t going to watch Leo Di Caprio and Matt Damon more than Tony Yeung and Andy Lau, doing the same film.
What is this leading to? Covers, that’s what. I actually really love a good cover, but in this case I’m talking about musical covers. I don’t think, for a second, that it diminishes an original, even if it’s a shit one. Also, if you’re 12 and hearing One Direction sing a Blondie song, so what? How the hell is a 12 year old supposed to ‘discover’ Blondie without having any contact with current chart music?
Anyhow, here are five covers that I think are not only great, but possibly better than their originals.
- Whisky in the Jar – Metallica.
And old song, done by loads of bands, but mostly known as either a Thin Lizzy or Pogues song. I think this is a great version/cover though, and Metallica clearly have fun with it.
2. Baby one more time – Travis
This video is shite, and the sound is out of sync every time I try to watch it. I’m reminded of just how good a singer Fran Healy is though. What ever happened to Travis?
3. Feel Good Inc. – Josie Charlwood
No, you shouldn’t have heard of Josie Charlwood, and neither have I. In fact, I had to look her up via the song name to find this. It’s amazing though, really clever and she’s great.
4. Where did you sleep last Night – Nirvana
I freely accept that this is a bit of a cop-out, and a totally typical one for a list like this. But, there’s a reason sometimes that everyone likes something, and that’s because it is good.
5. Nobody does it better – Radiohead.
Is it ironic that I’ve put this on a list of songs that are maybe better than the original? Well, that depends on your point of view, and I’m interested in mine generally, so there.
And, that’ll do. It was going to be ten songs, but I think this post is too big as it is. Toodles.