Cover to cover – Il Buono
At the moment there’s an anti-speeding TV campaign being run with various bereaved people holding photos of lost loved ones with a caption showing their name and when they died (one was in 1968 – seriously, 1968 was before I was even thought of), and over the ad is played a slow and teary version of The Cure’s Pictures of You sung to sad piano chords. The contrast between that and the original made me think about a brief series on the Good, the Bad and the Downright Bloody Ugly of cover versions.
First the Good, and since a Cure song is what prompted this I thought I’d start with one of my favourites. I’ve enjoyed their music and the humour in many of their videos for years, and oh, Jeez, how I wish I could write my wife a love song like Just Like Heaven. Never mind the guy’s wallet, it’s that kind of talent I envy. Yes, okay, his wallet too, but if we’re honest, guys, what a thing to be able to give the woman you love, eh? For my money karaoke efforts should be drowned out with loud and preferably accurate gunfire, but a few years back Katie Melua did a cover version which not only did not make me what to hurl things at the TV but in fact made me listen to those beautiful lyrics again. As good as The Cure’s original? Usually I rate originals above the cover but you know what, I just can’t decide with this one. Both versions are on my iPod and looking at the number of times they’ve been played there’s not much in it, so on that basis I think I have to say that Katie Melua’s version is probably about as good or pretty damned close (even if the top she wore in the video seems to suffer from crop circles).
Enjoy two good versions of a great song.