Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another lesson on cover songs that were better than the originals

In this post I gave a boost to this post, which made that case that the Everly Brothers' version of their own song, "Love Hurts," was at best the third-best version of the song. I just think that there is no shame in doing cover versions of songs because, sometimes, the cover version is better than the original. As Part II in this ongoing series, I offer up "Reason to Believe."

The original version was written and recorded by Tim Hardin in 1965. That's correct, you have no damn idea who that is, and no reason to, really. I guess he was folk singer, but he wrote this song:

Yeah, not exactly ripping your heart out. Sorry Tim. Five years later, The Carpenters decided it would be a good idea to cover Tim's song. They were wrong:

Pretty version of a song that cried out for anguish. She ripped his heart out and stomped that sucker flat, dammit! Even Tim Hardin didn't capture that feeling in his recording, and he wrote the damn thing. Fortunately, Rod Stewart knows heartache, and he did it right:

He hasn't even finished pulling the knife out of his heart as he sings that song. If you don't think that version isn't better than the original -- and for that matter, any other cover version you can find -- there is something seriously wrong with you. Rod Stewart owns that song, no matter who wrote it. And that is your lesson in covers for the day.

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