Songs before and after

I was out driving with my sister the other day and “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City” started playing in the car stereo. She said she loved that song, but was well aware that it wasn’t Whitesnake’s own tune. It’s an old R & B-song from the 70’s actually, but not too many people know that. Whitesnake have somehow made it their own.
 
 Some songs just work better the second time. Maybe because the timing is better, or because everything can be perfected. Either way, it’s an interesting phenomenon. I went for years thinking that Diamonds and Rust and Green Manalishi were Judas Priest-originals. Probably because those were on the first Priest-album I ever bought, Unleashed In the East. I figured those were all their own songs.
 
I’m sure you can think of a bunch of great covers that were improved and modernized to fit a different (and often larger) audience – but here are a few that I could think of from the top of my head:
 
I LOVE ROCK’N’ROLL
(original by Arrows 1975 – covered by Joan Jett in 1981)
 

 
  
  
AIN’T NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
(original by Bobby Blue Bland 1974 – covered by Whitesnake in 1978)
 
 
  
  
DIAMONDS AND RUST
(original by Joan Baez 1975 – covered by Judas Priest in 1977)
 
 
 
GREEN MANALISHI
(original by Fleetwood Mac 1970 – covered by Judas Priest in 1979)
 
 
 
 
ACTION!
(original by The Sweet 1975 – covered by Def Leppard in 1993)
 
 
 
 
 

I DIDN’T KNOW I LOVED YOU (‘TIL I SAW YOU ROCK’N’ROLL)
(original by Gary Glitter 1972 – covered by Rock Goddess and more in 1983) 

 

4 comments

  1. Ronnie Soo

    TV Tropes (a wiki originally dedicated to storytelling conventions in television but has expanded to include other media) call it ‘Covered Up’ when the cover version of a song supplants the original in peoples’ mind. I’ve been thinking about much the same thing myself; my sister had the original ‘Ain’t No Love’ (and she is NOT a Whitesnake fan!) I suppose you’d have to include ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ here although I’m not sure Quiet Riot improved it, they certainly made it a US hit though. Admittedly a decade after Slade’s original dominated the British chart!David Bowie is on record as saying kids think its cool that he plays ‘a Nirvana song'(The Man Who Sold The World) – I’ll leave you to look up what Bowie THINKS when he hears that! :D

  2. Ronnie Soo

    Actually – thinking about it some more, Russ Ballard is the king of this phenomenon. ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, ‘On The Rebound’, ‘New York Groove’, ‘God Gave Rock and Roll To You’ to name just a few… all his songs, all made famous by other bands. He is the most ‘covered up’ artist in rock I think!

  3. Daniela

    How could I forget Quiet Riot! Shame on me. :) You’re right, sometimes a song really needs that second chance to come alive.

  4. Ronnie Soo

    That page on TV Tropes lists loads, although it’s general music not specifically rock. Fascinating all the same, and I found quite a few *I* didn’t realise were covers!Another band that did well out of covers was Great White; I knew ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ was a cover but not ‘Face The Day’ – originally by Aussie band The Angels. Here it is!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndq5Ed-zMsI

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