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Covers: Better than the originals

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    Lou Rawls - "She's Gone"

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      Just before he became famous, Elton John recorded vocals for budget albums of re-recorded hits. Young Reg recorded such hits as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", "Yellow River", "Up Around The Bend" and, naturally, "Young Gifted And Black". They are all inferior to the originals, obviously, but one of them, I reckon, is better than the poorly-produced original is "Neanderthal Man", a 1970 hit for Hotlegs (the future 10cc). Elton's budget cover doesn't sound like the vocals were recorded from the studio's toilets. If you want to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YTSf4Et15Q

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        I was a big fan of 10cc as a kid, but one of life's great bafflements is how the hell Neanderthal Man by Hotlegs was ever a hit.

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          The Third Degree - "Mercy"

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            Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
            I was a big fan of 10cc as a kid, but one of life's great bafflements is how the hell Neanderthal Man by Hotlegs was ever a hit.
            Yeah, it's not very good, is it? But I suppose at the time it sounded quite different from everything else, with those loud drums.

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              Definitely not better than the original, but a really cool cover. I could have posted this in 4 or 5 different threads (reggae, today's earworm, heard it in a grocery store--although I heard it in Chipotle tonight):

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                Ooh, that's great!

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                  Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                  I was a big fan of 10cc as a kid, but one of life's great bafflements is how the hell Neanderthal Man by Hotlegs was ever a hit.
                  I loved Neanderthal Man still have the single in fact. I can't imagine it being done differently, it'd be like covering an early Gary 'US' Bonds hit ie: both impossible and utterly futile.

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                    Originally posted by G-Man View Post
                    Just before he became famous, Elton John recorded vocals for budget albums of re-recorded hits. Young Reg recorded such hits as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", "Yellow River", "Up Around The Bend" and, naturally, "Young Gifted And Black". They are all inferior to the originals, obviously, but one of them, I reckon, is better than the poorly-produced original is "Neanderthal Man", a 1970 hit for Hotlegs (the future 10cc). Elton's budget cover doesn't sound like the vocals were recorded from the studio's toilets. If you want to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YTSf4Et15Q
                    I remember Danny Baker playing Elton's version of Young, Gifted and Black and saying: "No you're not Elton, you're a fat bloke from Pinner."

                    David Bowie did a bit of this as well. I've heard his version of Penny Lane, where he affects an unconvincing northern pronunciation.

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                      Kashief Lindo - The First Cut Is The Deepest (1994). Not better but very likeable:

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                        Young Gods Did You Miss Me

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og7KGjVUUVU

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                          Glad to see 'Satisfaction' was already in here, as it's probably my favorite re-work. The Slits doing Grapevine is great as well.

                          The Les Thugs version of "Moon Over Marin" is a transcendent piece compared to the DK original. Alice Donut - "Halloween" as well, from the same Virus 100 album.

                          While I love Black Sabbath, both Faith No More doing "War Pigs" and uh, 1000 Homo DJs covering "Supernaut" might be preferred over the originals if you put a gun to my head.

                          Karen Elson doing "Season of the Witch". Flying Lizards - "Money". Lyle Lovett - "Stand by Your Man".

                          In the category of Maybe Not 'Better'; So Different They're Worth Mentioning: Tricky - "Black Steel", Big Black - "The Model", Anthrax - "Got the Time"

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                            Although Seals & Crofts 'Summer Breeze' from 1972 has a certain West Coast charm, there's no denying that the Isley Brothers 1974 version is superior.

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                              A few responses since there's a lot posted that links to my musical interests. First, SD's post above: the early to mid 1990s was a golden period for better or worse of dancehall singers doing covers. Wayne Wonder and Sanchez are two, whose albums during that time are almost entirely filled with songwriting credits listed as Adapted.

                              Les Thugs are such a good band. I'm going to avoid derailing this thread and put a video in the earworm thread, which might be one I posted before but such is life.

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                                Originally posted by scratchmonkey View Post
                                In the category of Maybe Not 'Better'; So Different They're Worth Mentioning: Tricky - "Black Steel"
                                This. I really like the Tricky version - he makes it soiund incredibly 'other'.

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                                  Martina Topley-Bird’s (uncredited) ‘what the hell is this?’ vocal makes the Tricky cover for me. Can remember playing it on a new-ish stereo back in 1995 and those repeated lines seemed to leap out at you from all corners of the room. Brilliant version.

                                  Originally posted by gjw100 View Post
                                  Although Seals & Crofts 'Summer Breeze' from 1972 has a certain West Coast charm, there's no denying that the Isley Brothers 1974 version is superior.
                                  This is also correct.

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                                    Rachid Taha - Rock El Casbah

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                                      Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                      Rachid Taha - Rock El Casbah
                                      I like that he changed the lyrics (beyond translating them) and "reclaimed" it because he found the original patronising towards north African culture.

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                                        Mostly I have posted stuff that is good, but usually not better than the original. Here is a case where I think the cover is better (and I am a huge Dylan fan). There are other covers of this song, but for me this is the best (although I had a good Echo and the Bunnymen version on a vinyl bootleg at one point--since sold that vinyl).

                                        The Animals, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

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