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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,LynnH The shame in singing covers (145* d) RE: The shame in singing covers 16 Jun 14

"Love will tear us apart", Joy Division vs June T & The Oyster Band. There is, on the Joy Division website, a long list of bands who have covered the song. June & The Oysters are almost certainly the only people on the list who don't try to imitate JD.

Or.... Richard Thompson, " Whoops I did it again". Not a note for note, riff for riff copy of wossernames original.

I seem to recall a comment from RT concerning a punk version of "Vincent Black Lightning" which was, if I recall, "If it works for them, great! I'd far rather people find their own interpretation than imitate me."

Or, going back in time, Bob Davenport singing "Memphis Tennessee"...acapella!

The problem is that most of us are probably solo musicians accompanying ourselves mostly on guitar, which automatically invites comparisons with other musicians. I can't play guitar like Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and the rest of them so I have to find an accompaniment that I can get my fingers around and which I'm happy with. I also try not to perform a song as soon as I've learnt it but rather leave a period of months for it to 'bed in' and so water down any quirks I might have unconsciously picked up from the musician I learnt it from. The same applies to my own songs.

Leaving the 'tribute bands' aside, what really annoys me are, on the one side, those pedants who perform a song exactly as somebody has recorded it, even down to text blackouts(!) etc. and put down all other interpretations, and, on the other side, those who make changes merely for the sake of it, adding nothing whatsoever to the song. There are some changes which perhaps work as a one-off gag - I've done "The Wild Rover" as a one-off hip-hop number- but they remain unrepeatable one-off gags. I'm not condemning changes per se, they just have to be convincing, adding to, and perhaps opening up another take on the song in question.(see Richard Thompson above)

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