What Is Your Opinion Of Cover Songs?

please post your opinion of cover songs … do you think they are a legitimate creative outlet, or downright piracy?

me, i’m not too sure. whenever i see that one of my favourite artists has released a cover album, i get mad and usually don’t listen to it.
sometimes covers are OK to listen to, but only in moderation.

usually, the total lack of creativity it takes to leech somebody else’s musical ideas totally irks me…

but then other times, i have an almost unquenchable urge to do a few covers myself… although i haven’t done many yet (only one i think, which was a long time ago). honestly some of my original inspiration to start tracking in the 1st place came from my desire to do covers (like hardcore techno remixes of the 1812 overture and stuff
:drummer: :lol: ) … right now i am dying to cover a bad religion song, just because i like them so much and i’d like to hear what it sounded like with electronic instruments instead of distorted guitars

what is everyone’s opinion?

where exactly is line between remix and cover?

i think that a remix actually uses source-material recordings … i.e. if you are a producer and you get hired to do a dance remix for madonna, and her label sends you acapella vocals, and you put those in a house music track with actual recording of madonna in it, then that is a remix…

whereas if it’s a cover you would record your own vocals, and all the production and instrumentation would be original and not sampled from the source recording

but what if its an instrumental song?

i would still consider it a cover, although there aren’t any legal issues around it. from what i learned in highschool about american copyright law, you can’t copyright a melody, only an arrangement. but you can copyright lyrics …

so for example, that’s why muzak can get away with soullessly covering so many songs for elevators, because they don’t use the lyrics, and the arrangements are different than the originals. but if they included lyrics, they would have to get clearance and pay royalties

edit: to understand your question a little better, i think you are talking about how does that relate to the distinction between remix/cover? it would be applied the same way, it would only be a remix if you sampled parts of the source work … so like if there was a lyric-free daft punk song with a really cool breakdown and you sampled it but turned it into a jungle song, that would be a remix, but if you just used the same melody with your own instruments, that would be a cover

i dunno, i think it would be a new song :P

unless most of jungle/drum and bass/hip-hop are called remixes :P

But to your question: i think covers and remixes are all OK as long as there are reasonable amout of new stuff and ideas. if a cover is really too similar to original then it will come off kinda cheap

i would consider it a remix if 2 criteria were met:

  1. the portion of the sampled song is recognizable
  2. the song revolved around the sampled portion

although there is the case of stuff like eric prydz, i’m sure everybody’s heard “call on me” , which samples from phil collins… i consider this a remix of the phil collins song even though it’s only a short snippet of the song … but i can totally understand considering it not a remix because it doesn’t include the verses and stuff



dude i’m so pissed at my gf right now but that’s another story …

well, we are on off-topic section :)

It’s not Phil Collins, it’s Steve Winwood - Valerie. ;)

omg wow, i really thought it was phil collins!

as far as covers concerned, i cant bear to listen to them, usually avoid at all costs. there was a skinny puppy covers album with the deftones or some bullshit. they had actually remixed one of my favorite songs of skinny puppy.
the bitches ruined my memory of it…

at least now its about 6 or 7 years since so i have forgotten what they did to it.

but on the other hand, i do like when the classic reggae artists would take a well known song an dread it up, replacing words to give the song new meaning.
eventually becoming THE version of the song that i remember. so covers in that respect, i do like.

why is the word “dread” associated with reggae culture & stuff? what does it mean in that context?

80% of all covers are bad.

The better ones usually occour in the live context. Studio recreations are usually pointless homages. At least in a live circumstance the statement isn’t ‘set in stone’ - it’s just excusable homage that sometimes can be pulled off.

There are some exceptions, usually when the covering artists ‘claims the song as their own’. Tool doing No Quater comes to mind. Same law applies to remixing.

I too have felt the urge to cover too many songs. I usually stop myself when I ask myself the question ‘Can I do better than the original?’. Often the originals are so good that my answer is ‘no’.

Keeping it live seems more appropriate to me.


Yeah- but you have to admit- Chris Vrenna did a f****ing sick ass cover/remix of assimilate on the dystemper cd. I like it better than the origional to be honest. The worst rendition of a puppy song ever was done by autechre on that album, I mean what was the point? They took the WHOLE track and simply ran it through some plugs… it’s in the name, they suck bad, over rated to hell, my buddy tells me that “autechre is just too complex for you to get”. Yeah… right. I’ll probably catch hell for saying shit about autechre on here, but whatever- I just feel thay are too much ear candy, boring compositions- I would have to say that most people who appreciate them are producers themselves. I suppose they are an aquired taste…

I personally don’t mind a cover but it absolutely has to be good, or else it’s just garbage. I mean really, covers don’t get too much attention the way it is, so if someone is going to do one, they should really make the effort to do a good job, or else it’s just a waste of time… there is a flooded sea of bad covers out there.

But remixes on the other hand are great, cause ussualy a remix is something that the author had another person do that they want to hear- and their taste usualy fits. Most people love a good remix, even an ok remix will slide in my books. Whats great is remixes are always electronic music based, so it’s nice to hear a new mutilation of a favorite song rather than a bad rendition.

I think the key is to cover a really old song that had outdated technology by todays standards and then use current tools to try and do what the origional artist had envisioned, but with more of a edge on what’s popular today. For example- Marylin Manson “sweet dreams”, Leather strip and the whole softcell tribute album, countless Slick Rick covers, tom waits has done some really cool shit as well.

Covers are usually just bad. I hate it, when they take a good classic like “Hardcore Vibes” (170bpm) and just create a new version with 130 bpm and no change. These are other artists and the original conceptionist doesn’t get nothing

Remixes are IMHO songs that try to take an old song and create something completely new of it (but they keep the thing, that made the song special)

3rd there are those mashups which I really adore. They take the vocals from one song and put it together with the instrumentals of a complete other song.

The worst cover I ever listened to was a cover of the Captain Future theme. Don’t know who covered that.

i know that, but why are they called dreadlocks? seriuosly ?

i’ve heard somewhere that if you use more than 7 notes copied from another artist’s work. it’s a sue case… mabe thats just bs then?

i usualy stay away from well known melody lines because of that… :o

anyone want to give me a go on doing basslines and melodies copied
from old funk records? :ph34r: