Posts Tagged ‘Helter Skelter’

I made an earlier post about how I came to know music in the pre-Internet Age. One thing I didn’t discuss was cover songs. Art gets regurgitated. Sometimes it’s an homage, an obscure reference, or sometimes a straight cover. We also have remakes and now even “reboots” in these exciting modern times.

There’s a lot that could be said about these efforts and the general response to them, but that’s for another time. In examining my own exposure to music, I realized something – some cover songs eventually led me to learn of the original artist.

A friend of mine made a comment to me on social media about how covers might diminish the originals because younger generations may first learn of the cover and never realize it was by someone else. I’m not making this post to agree or disagree, because it’s really up to the individual. Also, with the advent of the internet, everything changed. So much information is available at our beck and call. It’s unprecedented.

But back to my pre-Internet experience.

Though it took time for my passion for music to bloom, I eventually got into Mötley Crüe and the Thompson Twins. These two bands are obviously not related, except in one way – their covers. I heard the Crüe’s Helter Skelter and loved it. I mean, I loved it, and I had no idea it was a cover. Then the same happened with Thompson Twins’ rendition of Revolution. But I also happen to be a voracious reader, and one thing I used to do when listening to music was read everything I could on the album, cassette sleeve, c.d. booklet, etc.

I noticed that the same credits were not given on the two covers as all the other original songs. “Lennon-McCartney”? I’m sorry to say it took me some time to realize who they meant. At the time, I just wondered why the performing artists in question had not written these songs. It took me a while to get into music and realize the whole idea of covers.

This didn’t directly lead into my love for The Beatles, and once I did dive down that rabbit hole, I realized there were so many great songs of theirs I already knew. I eventually got to better understand music and the music industry. I would eventually discover other covers I loved that I didn’t initially realize were covers. I also found remakes I thought were equal to or an improvement on the original. To avoid any online flames, I won’t mention which one’s.

Covers are not necessarily a good or bad thing. They do not change the value of the original. They may obscure the original; they may lead someone to the original. For me, I say, do those covers, remakes, even reboots. We might get a lot of crap, but isn’t the occasional diamond in the rough worth it?