Some  people love covers, some don't.  I personally love them.  My favorite covers are when a band you would'nt expect covers a song, puts their spin on it and nails it.  For example Devo's cover of "Satisfaction" by the Stones.  I also love Otis Redding's cover of the same song.   All of the covers by Rage Against the  Machine on the album Renegades are great but their covers of "Maggies Farm" and " The Ghost of Tom Jode" really stand out because they are unexpected and so different from the original.

Live covers are also great.  The Gourds once closed a show with "Miss You" and nailed it, great closing song.  The right closing cover song can turn a good show into a great show.  I saw The Flaming Lips at Bonaroo, never was a big fan but the did "War Pigs" and I was quite impressed.

Bad covers do suck though.  Disturbed's cover of "Sound of Silence" is like fingernails on a chalkboard.  They ruined it.  I don't even want to hear the original any more.

I've attached a few of my own covers, listen if you want.  Share any of your own.  Let us know your thoughts on covers.

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Replies to This Discussion Here's one of my covers of a Townes Van Zandt/Stones song that you covered just for comparison purposes.

Here's my take on a Tom Petty song

Those are great covers.  I love the cardboard dulcimer.  Great sound.

Just check out the CBN video sections.  Lots of covers.

It's an interesting question and one that will have many opinions, sometimes dependent on playing experience. Whatever view is taken, learning to play a cover can teach you a lot. From a beginner learning three chords to play 'When The Saints...' to a rock band attempting a 'convincing' version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (full arrangement, with all vocal harmonies), as well as all the technique involved there's the theory (from simple chord names to complex harmony) and composition concepts that underpin a developing (at whatever level) musician's progress. When it comes to 'original' material, and being as all musicians borrow from what has gone before, it is these concepts and ideas that inform and often enrich our own compositions. In order to write you need a vocabulary......

The important thing here I feel, as I used to say to my students (I taught professionally for many years, both covers and original stuff!), whether it's a new theory idea or learning a new chord/playing technique/cover/solo etc, 'don't just learn the lick....learn from the lick', and also, 'try to take it further than where you found it'.

When all said and done, my own preference would always be to hear new, original material rather than covers......BUT.......a cover played really well, especially in a new and original way and working with 'what you've got' can be just as inspiring and enjoyable.....Here is a perfect example in my opinion, and one that I'm sure many members of The Nation will enjoy if they haven't seen it before....

There's room for everything and I think it's important to be open to all approaches when it comes to music. As Les Paul once said, 'you never know what's round the corner till you take a walk....' Wise words.....explore all options.....and keep it real, whether primal or's all gravy, baby....

Here is a copy of a cover I did a while back. I have this thing about Stalker love songs. Pop love songs that are really stalker songs  like Every Breath You Take.   I really messed this one up to make it sound like a stalker.  It's a little heavy I don't think a lot of people will like it.   


All songwriter credit someone for their ability so play all the old song you can. If we posted only original songs on this site it would be different.


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