Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Art of the Cover

In my last post I mentioned that there where a few topics/thoughts that had been weighing on my mind recently. One of those thoughts was is it possible to make a cover song/album that not only lives up to the source material, but also, just maybe, perhaps, surpasses it? Cover songs and even cover/tribute albums have been a part of the music industry for many years, and according to this Business Insider article, not only is it possible for a cover to be better than the original, there have been many that have surpassed their original source of inspiration. This gives me hope as I pursue my next project, which is going to be a covers album. Who am I going to cover you may ask? Well you’ll “just” have to wait. All will be revealed “in” due time. But I’m sure you probably already know who it is. He’s only the most popular and talented pop star of our current generation!


The first one that immediately comes to mind is Whitney Houston’s cover of the song, I Will Always Love You. The original version of this song was sung and recorded by Dolly Parton, but to many Whitney’s is the definitive version of the song. To that matter, and to the chagrin of Ms. Parton I’m sure, many people weren’t even aware that there was a version of this song before Whitney sang it. That’s where the beauty of the cover lies. It can take a song and/or album, and introduce it to a entirely new generation of music fans. Shoot hip-hop became the most popular form of music at one point in time by covering/sampling songs that came before them. Like Puff Daddy so famously put it, “take hits from the 80s!”

Some of my favorite instrumentalists have made entire albums of cover songs. Some of them featured a variety of songs from various artists and some of them were in tribute to a particular album or person. One thing that is the same between them is that most of these projects were well received by the general public. Apparently people like songs that they already like. Who knew?