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The Bride's post this morning on Bob Dylan's radio show linked a couple of songs I didn't think had anything in common: T-Bone Burnett's "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" and the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane", but on rereading her post I realized that my brain had skipped the V.U. reference and automatically assumed she was talking about the slammin' (parodistic?) live version Lou Reed does on Rock And Roll Animal. But she's not; I vaguely remember hearing the older version and recall that it's actually closer to the Cowboy Junkies' cover, which I hated with a passion since it was so...limp, so drained of energy. Like they were all on smack, which I suppose fit the whole hipster alt-country image they were trying to project.

Anyway, I don't tend to like covers of older tunes, because so many of them are just unspeakably lame in terms of technical merit (and worse, so many of them are live cuts, which just accentuates the problems) but once in a while the remake is actually better than the original. I wonder if my attitude towards remakes is because the "original" got fixed in my head as the "correct" version? That's certainly true about a number of Blue Oyster Cult songs that I first heard live in concert and later off the On Your Feet Or On Your Knees double album; the studio version of "ME 262", for example, just completely lacks the furious energy of the live track. Would I feel differently if I'd heard Secret Treaties first, though? Would the studio track sound more authentic to me now? There's no way of knowing, of course, it's just one of those things that bubbles up occasionally and gets me to thinking.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
qob
Aug. 24th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
I love good covers!
I subscribe to the Coverville Podcast. good stuff
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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