Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All About That Bass

I love when writers, authors, musicians, and other artists take something the general population is already familiar with and redoes it in a new and interesting way. Fractured fairy tales, modernization of stories told in the past, gender swapping, and so on. This is why I love watching the television show Once Upon a Time. Yes, it's basically Disney writing their own fan fiction and it's pretty darn ridiculous most of the time, but it's a lot of fun.

Interestingly, I don't actually get into actual fan fiction, especially the sort you might find online at livejournal or Tumblr. Maybe I'm a snob, but for me to be interested in a retelling, it usually has to be to legitimately published material.

I just love variations on familiar themes and characters and the interesting ways people more talented than myself can interpret them. My love also to extends different cultural interpretations of familiar stories.

Really, this topic cannot be covered in a single blog post, but suffice it to say - I love covers and retellings and reimaginings. And for the rest of today's post, we're going to talk about musical covers.

It's not enough, for me, for a musical artist to just sing the same song in the same way. What I really enjoy is when they take a song written in one genre and redo it in a completely different and unexpected way, usually in a different genre

I think my first introduction to musical covers was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who had some ska/punk versions of Broadway showtunes. I already loved showtunes, and I was starting to discover ska, so it was a fantastic musical marriage. .
Like Belinda Carlisle's 80s pop hit "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" redone as a piano ballad. I heard the original on the radio a few days ago and didn't like it nearly as much, and I usually love me some 80s pop. I almost think it was supposed to be a piano ballad from the start, Belinda Carlisle just didn't know that.

 Here's one I found just yesterday. I loved them on The Sing Off and this is an adorable cover.

Postmodern Jukebox just gets me, with so many different pop songs done in a variety of ways.

Carolina Chocolate Drops does a really interesting version of Hit 'Em Up Style
Some of my favorite cover groups are The Baseballs (German rockabilly band covering American Top 40), The Puppini Sisters (Andrews sisters sound-alikes covering Top 40), and Pomplamoose (real life couple doing cool instrumentations of popular songs).

I'm really just scratching the surface on my favorite covers. I'm sure I'm leaving out something amazing. Please let me know if I am!

How do you feel about covers? Any favorites?


Anne said...

I'm a big fan of Me First! There are a lot of songs that I've given a second chance because of them - the original didn't do much for me but their cover really caught me. :)

Giggles said...

Currently I love all the covers Piano Guys do.

There are a few songs I like the covers of better than the original, but a lot of the time I don't know they're covers until later.

AmandaStretch said...

Yes! Piano Guys!

Heidi said...

Me First! The Puppini Sisters! Hooray! I also quite like Vitamin String Quartet. Some covers are great, and some are, well, hideous. I'm subjected to some bad Christmas covers at Michaels lately, and I hate them. haaaate.