Saturday, July 30, 2011

Walk on by

So the other day as I was traveling for work I went through an old CD envelope. Listened to some old compilation CDs I had made. On one of these I heard "Walk on by" by Cyndi Lauper. Many years ago when I first heard this song, it was from Cyndi's cover album "At Last". Where she covered alot of 'old' songs.
Walk on by was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick I believe. I've always loved Cyndi Lauper. From back when she first came out in the 80's, to now. When she stopped coloring her hair 50 different ways and wearing outrageous costumes, and just concentrated on singing and being professional, I think thats when she shined. She has an amazing voice. You never heard her sing many ballads. In the early-mid 90's she put out a 'greatest hits' album. It had a few ballads on there, and they were my favorite.
So going back a few years, a retro artist covering a golden oldie, I give you Cyndi's Lauper's take on Dionne Warwick's Walk On By:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rolling in the Park

Yeah I got lazy on this one. Not an old song, not an unknown either. Probably the biggest hit so far this year I think. Wanna hear something crazy? Back in the day artists sold albums by the millions. Since 2004 when they started tracking digital download sales (legally) there have only been 2 albums that have sold over a million "full" album downloads. And one album with a million full CD downloads plus a million actual CD purchases. Sure there are singles that sell in the multi millions, but full albums and CD album purchases.
Eminem's Recovery and Adele's 21. Lady Gaga's Monster will hit that mark soon. Adele is the first and only artist to do both so far. Pretty crazy feet in this age of the digital download era.
Which brings us to this cover. Adele's first single off the new album blew up on the charts and the covers. Its probably been covered by 100's of thousands amatures and has been done by dozens of professional artists.
Linkin Park's front man Chester Bennington pretty much is the only dude to have the pipes necessary to belt out the chorus. They bring it down with just a piano and the vocals. There is another acoustic attempt thats on youtube, but they polish with this one.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

With Every Heartbeat Part 2

Another artist covering their own song in a way, and we call it either acoustic version or Part 2.
Robyn actually came on the music scene back in the early 90's from the UK. You may remember a dance hit called "Show me love". Then she fell off the face of the earth as far as the US is concerned. I know I never really heard from her again...until channel surfing the other night.
So you think you can dance, this couple was in mid routine, doing a creative dance with some stretchy/bouncy fabric attached to eachother, pulling away, coming back, that kinda thing. The dance didn't make me keep it on that show, but rather the song they were dancing too. It went really well with the choreography, made me stop and listen and really look at what was going on. I thought, "what a good song".
So I googled it, found what it was and listened to it. What I heard wasn't the same thing. What I was finding was an upbeat dance song that resembled what I heard.
Googily, googliy, found it. BBC radio broadcast version. Close to or maybe this was the version I heard, so I'll take it.
This is what I love about covers. Taking a song that was produced one way, and doing it another in order to give it a different feel and meaning. I heard this version first, so after hearing the original I think, "that was stupid, why not record it this way and release it, its way better and sounds like it was actually meant to be this more simple and elegant." The lyrics don't sound like they belong in a pop/dance song either. Why do record companies not have enough faith in the ballads? Let them be heard!
Heres Robyn with her own song live BBC radio piano version:

Here is the "original" version release in the UK back in 2008: