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)
(original by Fleetwood Mac 1970 – covered by Judas Priest in 1979)
(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)