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Covers have always been a controversial subject, regardless of genre. My opinion has always maintained that when done well, they are great, but done poorly they are terrible.
Marilyn Manson’s cover of Depeche Mode’s classic “Personal Jesus” was met with outrage by many Depeche Mode purists, but I felt it was one of Marilyn Manson’s strongest tracks. Marilyn Manson has likewise covered 80′s pop classic Sweet Dreams by the Eurhythmics, with his vocals adding a fantastic subtext to the track.
Wednesday 13 is another artist that likes to perform covers of existing tracks. His most (in)famous is Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” which he wrote while fronting the Murderdolls (still on an indefinite hiatus). He also covered Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream” for a great track that vastly improves the original with Wednesday 13′s signature throaty vocals.
The Sisters of Mercy themselves (or rather himself) have also recorded covers, including the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”/ Like Marilyn Manson’s covers, replacing Mick Jagger’s vocals for Andrew Eldritch’s adds an undertone to the original track that creates a unique interpretation of its own.
Sheffield goth band Libitina also covered Pulp’s 90′s pop classic “Common People”. Unlike previous covers that kept the words and altered the structure, Libitina chose to maintain the song’s rhythmic structure and radically altered the lyrics to create the classic “Gothic People”. When I first this track in one of their live gigs, I was blown away while trying not to snort the snake bite and black out of my ear.
With this new decade, I am beginning to wonder what tracks from the past ten years will be covered. One of my guilty secrets is to liking Oasis’ “Do You Know What I Mean”. I cannot deny that I would like “Do You Know What I Mean” covered by a goth band, to see what they would make of it. I doubt this is going to happen soon, as it is a relatively recent record, from a commercially successful act; so the financial aspect will prevent this happening in the short term.
What do you think will/should be covered? Are you a purist that feels covers are selling out and is lazy song writing, or do you feel that covers offer an alternative interpretation to an existing track? Let me know what you think.
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