Tag Archives: tom petty

Rediscovering The Cover Version: Part 1

Recently i’ve been randomly listening to and enjoying a lot of cover versions from my music collection and realised that i haven’t really done a post about covers in quite a while. So to make up for it i’m gonna do two.

Straight to the point then….

ORIGINAL: Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down

The first song is a Tom Petty cover courtesy of Dawn Landes. A respected artist in her own right but maybe unfairly mainly known for her appearances alongside the likes of Alexi Murdoch, Jose Gonzalez and her husband Josh Ritter. The Kentucky native has put her own relaxing Americana tinged spin on this already American rock classic. There are a few cover versions of this song floating around but this is my favourite one.
MP3: Dawn Landes – I Won’t Back Down

ORIGINAL: Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure

I love this song. I love the original but i love the uniqueness of this cover. It manages to stick quite close to the original version yet somehow manages to throw in all sorts of jangly,chimey, instruments/weird noises that fit in perfectly. Yet another track that has been covered several times. The most famous of which are probably the Keane version and the My Chemical Romance/The Used version. Both of which were comprehensively shit and not worth mentioning. Even though i just did. Shit. But let’s try and imagine those ones never existed. The only one worth checking out is Xiu Xiu’s version.
MP3: Xiu Xiu – Under Pressure (Feat. Michael Gira)

ORIGINAL: Dee-Lite – Grrove Is In The Heart/Beach Boys – California Girls

This is essentially two covers. As if hearing the scuzz merchants use their filthy guitars to do THAT catchy lead line from Dee-Lite’s disco classic wasn’t enough they then go and mash it up with the Beach Boys track “California Girls”. The Crocodiles deserve your love and praise simply for the fact that they were brave enough to attempt this track and the fact they’ve successfully transformed a disco anthem and a sunshine pop gem from the 60’s into a groovy, disturbingly good cover.
MP3: Crocodiles – Groove Is In The Heart

ORIGINAL: Erma Franklin – Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart

Jaguar Love hid this track away as a bonus song at the end of the album “Hologram Jams”. They decided to take this ode to heartbreak from Aretha Franklins big sister Erma and turn it into a mad psychedelic synth and guitar filled shriek fest. The vocals certainly take centre stage followed closely by the slightly deranged solo around the 2 minute mark. Bonus points for replacing the line “I’m going to show you baby that a woman can be tough” with the line “I’m going to show baby that a JAGUAR can be tough”. Brilliant.
MP3: Jaguar Love – Take Another Piece Of My Heart

ORIGINAL: Dolly Parton – Jolene

Treading safe water here. Ellie Goulding has the perfect voice to tackle the legendary Dolly Parton number. The guitar plucks steadily alongside the fragile yet assuring voice. It’s nothing new and doesn’t really add anything extra to the original but is a good cover nonetheless. I love The White Stripes version as well.
MP3: Ellie Goulding – Jolene

Remember if you wanna download any of the MP3’s just right click and save as.

S.I.T Wolf X

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Recycling?

Musical plagiarism or just influence?

This is a subject i’ve wanted to write about for a long time now but i’ve only just found the time to get down to it tonight. The song that made me decide to finally commit to this post was Owl City’s “Fireflies”. I heard it on the radio at work and although i find myself humming along to its undoubted catchiness i still can’t get the fact that he’s ripped off The Postal Service out my head. First time i heard it i actually thought it was a new Postal Service song. He even makes himself sound like Ben Gibbard through extensive autotuner and compression use. Yet i had to laugh when i read an interview with him in which he stated that he had only ever really heard a few Postal Service songs before and that they hadn’t really “caught his ear”.

Here’s the section:

“I’ve become more of a fan (of The Postal Service)  having started Owl City, actually. I had some friends in high school that would have it playing in their cars and stuff. It was cool, but it never really caught my ear. It’s kind of ironic, looking back at it, because a lot of people do relate the two projects. I can totally see it now, but I didn’t really then, for what it’s worth.”

Hmmm…..sorry Owl City but i get a pungent waft of bullshit when i read that.

VIDEO: Owl City – Fireflies

VIDEO: The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

But i’m not picking on or singling out Adam Young for being influenced by The Postal Service. All i’m saying, all i’m asking is how does it come across? Is it plagiarism or coincidental influence/inspiration?

Some of my favourite bands have been hugely influenced by others to the point of almost sounding like them so i’m not saying it’s a bad thing, don’t get the wrong idea. Interpol clearly listened to Joy Divison. A Place To Bury Strangers obviously owned some My Bloody Valentine records. Josh Homme grew up with Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Boards of Canada have heard Brian Eno. I could go on. Put it this way if there was no Jesus and Mary Chain there’d be no BRMC and if it wasn’t for The Cramps or The Birthday Party i’d imagine Eighties Matchbox would sound a bit different. So it is a GOOD thing to be influenced.

MP3: Jesus and Mary Chain – Degenerate

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcylce Club – Whatever Happened To My Rock N Roll

MP3: The Birthday Party – Release The Bats

MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Morning Has Broken

Without a shadow of a doubt one of the hardest things to do in music is create a truly original sound. There’s that much music around that it’s nearly impossible to create a song that cannot be compared to another band or another song. Personally i feel that bands are now labelled as “the new insert famous band name here” too much, there’s nothing wrong with comparisons but it get’s a bit boring when every week some new band are being labelled as the new Sex Pistols, the new Oasis, the new Green Day or the new Babylon Zoo. Ok, forget that last one. In fact forget them all, i’m not a fan of any of the bands i mentioned, they’re just the first famous-ish ones that popped up. I have in fact been guilty of labelling bands once or twice myself to be honest. On this very blog actually, i believe i said Japandroids could be the new Death From Above 1979 but i did state that i also don’t like labelling bands.

“….Make no mistake, these guys have the potential to be the new Death From Above 1979. Although to be honest i don’t like comparing bands to each other, it’s not fair on either so instead i’ll just say the Japandroids sound like they might be influenced by DFA and it’s a badge they seem to wear with pride.”

But that’s going slightly off subject. This is about the plagiarism/influence debate not labelling bands. So back to it, here’s a few examples of apparent plagiarism. Some are obvious, some are slightly similar.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs Love and Rockets

The Accused: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion

The Original: Love and Rockets – No New Tale To Tell

Hockey vs anything by Tom Petty (this was a suggestion by Emma)

The Accused: Hockey – Song Away

The Original: Tom Petty in general

Elastica vs Wire

The Accused: Elastica – Connection

The Original: Wire – Three Girl Rhumba

Green Day vs The Kinks

The Accused: Green Day – Warning

The Original: The Kinks – Picturebook

Nirvana vs Killing Joke vs The Damned

The Accused: Nirvana – Come As You Are

The Other Accused: Killing Joke – Eighties

The Original: The Damned – Life Goes On

Couldn’t find an embeddable (is that a word Kempy?) video for this one so here’s the MP3

MP3: The Damned – Life Goes On

So it can be everything from drum beats to chord progression and rhythms to vocal delivery, it’s more or less all been done before by someone somewhere. That’s not to say there’s nothing original left but it is does make for a good debate on similarity, comparisons and the old age debate of a blatant rip off. And what does it tell us about music today? Has it really all been done? Or is that unknown chord still out there waiting to be found?

I mean, bands take influences on board, of course they do. If you grow up listening to certain music and then you yourself begin to play music, of course you’re going to have taken something from the music you love. The chances are that the band you love and are influenced by have themselves been influenced by someone else. It’s an endless line of influence, a knock on effect, a domino effect, musical dominoes if you like.

I only discovered about three years ago that what i thought was part of one of the best Queens of the Stone Age drum intros ever is in fact copied straight from a Black Flag song. One of the opening drum segments of “Song For The Dead” and the intro to “Slip It In” are pretty much identical. Queens of the Stone Age actually came out and stated that the intro to “Song For The Dead” is in fact an homage to Black Flag. All together now….Awwwww, bless.

MP3: Queens of the Stone Age – A Song for the Dead

MP3: Black Flag – Slip It In

I, myself have questioned what i come up with when writing tracks or making music. I constantly find that i tell myself “oh you can’t have that at the breakdown bit, it sounds too much like QOTSA” or “you can’t use that intro, it sounds like a Mogwai rip off”. Just the other week i wrote a song that i thought sounded too much like something Boards of Canada would compose, i kept it in mind anyway and called it “Bored Of Canada”. It sounds a little bit like this one by the reclusive legends…

MP3: Boards Of Canada – Julie and Candy

So the whole thing i’m getting it here with this post is..

When does influence become plagiarism? Or does it all? Is it mere coincidence?

It’s a subject that is and always will be open to debate.

Opinions welcome.

Also, feel free to leave any other songs you believe to be plagiarised. I’d like to here what others think.

S.I.T Wolf X

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For Emma….Forever Ago

This is a one off special post that i decided to do for my friend Emma who left to study in Aberdeen last month,  i promised i would dedicate a special post to her….so after much delay and without further ado here goes…

EMMACROSSWORD

Straight to the point with the first track..
MP3: Bon Iver – For Emma

also another special version
MP3: Bon Iver – For Emma (a cappella version)

and your favourite Bon Iver song
Mp3: Bon Iver – Brackett WI

And now onto a section dedicated to your home for the next few years…Aberdizzle

Kings College, Aberdeen

Kings College, Aberdeen

MP3: The Music – Welcome To The North

Mp3: Tortoise – Northern Something

MP3; The Verve – A Northern Soul

and i couldn’t leave out one of your favourite artists, even if he does look overly sleazy in certain lingerie adverts….its the one and only Bobby Bob Bob, the Dylanator..

MP3: Bob Dylan – Girl From The North Country

and two covers of that song, one which sticks reasonably close to the original by Monsters Of Folk (a supergroup of such which features Bright Eyes, M.Ward and Jim James) and another one which is very different and unique by the Secret Machines.

Mp3: Monsters Of Folk – Girl From The North Country

MP3: Secret Machines – Girl From The North Country

Slains...............your round, Emma?

Slains...............your round, Emma?

Sticking to the subject of cities, here’s a few nice places i believe you happen to have a soft spot for..

Paris

MP3: Friendly Fires – Paris

VIDEO: Ladyhawke – Paris Is Burning (Live)

NY

MP3: Mark Mallman – You’re Never Alone In New York

VIDEO: Craig Armstrong feat. Evan Dando – Wake Up In New York

now onto a a few different subjects…films, tv shows, books…

time_travelers_wife_1

and a song from the film adaption of The Time Travellers Wife..
MP3: Broken Social Scene – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)

curb your enthusiasm

MP3: Luciano Michelini – Frolic (Curb Your Enthusiasm theme tune)

LarryDavidinto the wild

from the Into The Wild OST…
MP3: Eddie Vedder – Society

the_royal_tenenbaums_001

VIDEO: If These Tree’s Could Talk – The Friscalating Duslkight

the next part is just a short section focussing on some of Emma’s favourite artists…

American Rocks Mr Nice Guy
MP3: Neil Young and the Crazy Horse- Cinnamon Girl

The college-y type sounds of a certain person that Emma has convinced me to like…
MP3: Tom Petty – Free Fallin’

A band that no matter how much Emma likes i’m afraid i never will but seeing as this post is for Emma i’m obliged to involve them..
Mp3: The Beatles – A Hard Days Night

coming out of New York…
MP3: Interpol – Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down

Mr Paul Banks solo pseudonym..
Mp3: Julian Plenti – Games For Days

the one and only…
MP3: Jeff Buckley – We All Fall In Love Sometimes

an offshoot of the Secret Machines..
MP3: School Of Seven Bells – Half Asleep

a lovely song by the band that i apparently play bass for..
MP3: Pearl Jam – Given To Fly

me?....

me?....

as we near the end i’ll throw in some random subjects….

ice cream chewits

MP3: New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream

VIDEO: New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream (Van She Remix)

this is apparently "communion bread"..

this is apparently "communion bread"..

(is it just me or does this “communion bread” look suspiciously like a certain Class A drug?….i knew there was something funny about them priests..)

….”i can’t believe you made your first communion with that girl!…..”

MP3: Gang Gang Dance – First Communion

i’ll finish off with a short video collection…

Pearl Jam – Off He Goes

TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me (Live on Letterman)

Ricky Gervais and Elmo

Dave Chappelle

And that’s the Emma post finished…. all that’s left now is….

here she is!.........it's Emma!

here she is!.........it's Emma!

S.I.T Wolf   XXX

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