Many songs get re-recorded over the years, whether by the original artist or different ones. It became a natural thing.
The more I get into the hobby, I feel the very original version is the best one to my ears. Regardless of recording capability at the specific time. This thread is to share some examples of that. E.g.:
The above is a classical example. Folks growing up back in the 90s remember that one way too well.
Then I start noticing in TV series and recently in movies as well. What have they done with the Nirvana song in Batman 2022, for instance?
It’s funny you bring it up because I saw Batman and they seem to not use the whole song but the parts that are more like the original. Then again I could be remembering it wrong but it took me a few times to hear it and understand that it was remixed in the movie. It sounded so good I even questioned if they used a different singer but then realized it is Kurt but the recording seemed way better and detailed vs. how I remember the song.
I just went to listen to the remixed song on YouTube and yea that is way different and I don’t remember most parts in the movie, just the simple acoustic parts with Kurt singing chorus with the acoustic guitar.
In the movie it works great and adds a wonderful atmosphere! The song itself beginning to end is fine. Not a favorite. Definitely them really scoring it up and I don’t blame them for doing it because if you’re seen the movie that song choice was a perfect pick.
But for listening without the movie on a sound system… I’d probably pass.
The great thing about remixed and remasters is it doesn’t detract from the og song. If it’s better then that’s awesome. If it isn’t then it’s easily ignored and they learn from their mistakes hopefully
I tend to prefer the original version too, but it depends on the case and how well the remake is executed. As a rule, I strongly dislike mainstream pop versions because they tend to be laughable, odd, boring, or ill-advised. Case in point: Michael Jackson’s cover of The Beatles “Come Together.”
Some songs are so attached to a specific artist/version that one cannot imagine an effective remake or even a remix…Stairway to Heaven…Bohemian Rhapsody…
Some songs become pop standards and are performed by dozens of artists over the years. It then becomes a matter of taste. I once pulled together a playlist of about 20 versions of “Route 66” – the funniest mangled the town names. (The Stray Cats sang Barstow → Reno → San Diego. Reno is hundreds of miles north of Route 66). Some percentage of new songs will become standards over time, such as Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”…and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”…and unfortunately Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
Some songs are so heavily transformed by a new version that you’d never guess the original artist. Sting wrote “I Hung My Head” but it was remade by Johnny Cash. Per the old west lyrics it’s much more of a Cash song than a Sting song. The Clash remade “I Fought the Law” and it’s way different than the original, as is Rod Stewart’s pop remake of Tom Waits’ growly “Downtown Train.”
Well, the loudness wars have infected the production of nearly all pop, rock and country music in this generation. Music is mastered just too loud these days, reducing dynamics and leading to congestion and distortion.
So, a lot of stuff recorded pre-2000 sounds better than the recordings of today. A perfect example: Listen to any Beatles recording, especially the more dense, complex stuff from “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul” onward. Sir George Martin was a master producer, elicting the dynamics of a song while maintaining pinpoint imaging and separation of tracks.
A lot of current producers and mastering/mixing specialists could learn from him.
As for covers, most are inferior to the original. A few exceptions immediately surface: “Live and Let Die” by Guns N’ Roses, “I Fought the Law” by The Clash, “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, “Wonderwall” by Ryan Adams, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” by Motley Crue, “You Really Got Me” by Van Halen.
Not making judgments on original vs. cover here, but interesting list of fairly well-known cover songs compared to their original or preceding versions, some of which are in the “didn’t know it was a cover” category. (Like “Tainted Love” was a 60s song by Gloria Jones, or “Black Magic Woman” was originally recorded by the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, before Santana.) In many cases both can be great in their own way.
In some cases, “Andy Warhol,” “Califronia Dreamin’,” the writers gave their song to someone else before recording it themselves, or in the case of “Motorhead,” rerecorded it with a new band.