Jen Kehl at My Skewed View and Kristi at Finding Ninee host Twisted MixTape Tuesday, a blog hop that’s all about music. The premise is to create a five song mix based on the week’s theme. (You can click on the button above if you’d like to play along). Here’s Jen’s instructions for today’s topic:
It’s dealer’s choice again! Already? Yup already!
Its official…Christmas has well and truly kicked my ass this year. Its our year to spend the holidays at my Mom’s house, so in addition to the usual holiday madness, we have to gear up for a roadtrip. I’ve been a germ magnet and just when I thought I’d gotten over a double shot of strep, I get a good, old-fashioned cold and missed last week’s mixtape. I wanna thank Jen for the showcase spot and kinda feel bad that it was on a week I missed.
So, once a month, Jen let’s us pick our own themes. The first time, it was a painstaking task, as having set parameters helps me narrow my focus. Of course, after the first one was published, I immediately came up with about ten more. Now I have a stockpile of ideas and have to pick between them.
If you’ve visited my mixtapes before, you know I have a fondness for covers. There are some cover versions that you just cannot compare like Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton and the later Elvis cover. Or they’re such different genres like Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower vs. the original Bob Dylan. Then there are some that you can’t help but put side by side and determine which is better. In the case of the songs I selected today for my mixtape, these are the rare covers that are better than the originals (purely subjective to my ears, of course).
1. Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – Rose Royce vs. Madonna. I’ll preface this by stating that I’m not a fan of most Madonna work after 1990, with a few notable exceptions. One of which is the remixed version of this song from her Something to Remember album in 1995 (not her original cover from Like a Virgin). Madge wins this match up hands down.
2. Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac vs. Santana. This is one that until a couple years ago, I didn’t even know there was a version other than Santana. This is another one that’s no contest for me, Santana clearly did it better and the video posted is with the song’s composer, Peter Green.
3. Me and Bobby McGee – Roger Miller vs. Janis Joplin. Ok, so I learned something new while researching this song’s history. I knew Kris Kristofferson wrote the song, but I thought he’d done the original recording as well. Though he did eventually record it, he gave the original spot to Roger Miller first. Either way, neither compares to Janis.
4. I Fought the Law – The Crickets vs. Bobby Fuller Four vs. The Clash vs. everyone else. Sometimes the most well-known version of a song isn’t exactly the first recording, such in this case. Written by Sonny Curtis, it was originally recorded by The Crickets when he filled the role of lead guitar after the death of Buddy Holly. The song never got played on the radio though until covered by the Bobby Fuller Four which then became a top ten hit. Its been covered numerous times, but all are exceeded by the version recorded by The Clash.
5. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Lead Belly vs. Nirvana. Originally a folk song, the lyrics tended to change over the years. Of the two most well-known versions (the other being about a train by Bill Monroe) the Lead Belly interpretation is what’s usually thought to be the earliest standard. The verses have been changed and recorded multiple times over the years, but Nirvana did an homage to Lead Belly’s arrangement for their MTV Unplugged show and killed it. I remember reading somewhere that Cobain refused to do an encore at the taping because he felt they couldn’t surpass the performance they’d just given of this song.
Since we’re taking next week off from the mixtape, I wanna wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.