challenge to cover bands who put "their spin" on songs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by duff beer, Feb 24, 2013.


  1. duff beer

    duff beer

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    There are always a lot of comments from people who say their band likes to put "their spin" on known covers.

    Are any of you up for a challenge?? It would be interesting to hear some versions of how your band puts "their spin" on known covers. Let the talkbass readers comment on whether or not "your spin" was an improvement, or if it sounds like your band doesn't know how to play the song...

    Any takers??
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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    I'm game.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  3. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1

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    I call that a win. Good job.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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    Thanks, man! I realize my playing on that track is crap - it was live, and I'm fairly sure this was my first gig with the band. We were all sort of 'working out the kinks' then and there....
  5. speak2planets

    speak2planets Supporting Member

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    IMO, the greatest "twist" on a known song is Devo's version of "Satisfaction". But Phish's take on "Helter Skelter" is a close second. Its done in weird tritones and is super evil sounding.
    OEW3 likes this.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

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    So, let's differentiate between "cover" bands and "tribute" bands.

    The latter is really supposed to look and sound as closely to the original as possible.

    The former is generally out there in the clubs playing stuff that folks recognize, filling the dance floor (if the audience dances), and generally having a good time. In this case, my experience is that the rendition needs to be close enough so the audience recognizes it (everyone agrees on this); but, more importantly is that it swing hard and at least have something original in it to keep it fresh (NOT everyone agrees on this).

    Anyhow, I have had to quit the scene the past year due to straight job demands; but will get back into it. Meanwhile, here are a couple of cover clips from my last cover band (a group for whom I have very fond memories). A little of the original and a little to keep it fresh. Enjoy!

  7. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

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    Hendrix doing All Along The Watchtower.../thread
  8. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

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  9. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen

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    I realize my playing on that track is crap - it was live, and I'm fairly sure this was my first gig with the band. We were all sort of 'working out the kinks' then and there....

    ..Hey PacMan, not so. I think that track was pretty slammin' myself- Very nice vocals; guitar was tasty, Bass sounded just fine.
    Not that familiar with the original cuts at all, but I could tell there was flavor in your band's interpretation. Well done---

    As a matter of fact, everything posted so far is to a high standard I think.
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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    I appreciate it, Sherwood, but that is definitely not my best playing.
  11. Hawkbone

    Hawkbone Supporting Member

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    That's the key distinction. What would music be without 'personalized' covers? For one thing, a well done but flavored cover can be a portal to enjoying a new band.

    Some notable covers:
    Rage Against the Machine - Maggies Farm
    Led Zeppelin - Lemon Song/Killing Floor
    Johnny Cash - Hurt
    Nirvana - Love Buzz
    Primus - Have a Cigar
    Mad Season - I Don't Want to Be a Soldier
    Masters of Reality - It's So Hard
    Big Sugar - Let it Ride
    Soundgarden - Search and Destroy
  12. Jim Nazium

    Jim Nazium Supporting Member

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    OK, but let's face it, you play better on an off night than most of us will ever play.

    Back on topic, I like that arrangement of the Marc Cohn tune. Is it an "improvement" on the original? Not necessarily, but it sounds fresh, which is a good thing when you're playing a 20-year old song. Yet it will still be familiar to most of the audience, and it's danceable. I give that 5 out of 5 stars.
  13. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

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    Your off nights are better than any of my 'on' nights.

    Excellent work. The creativity in that medley is terrific.
  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Unmanageable Member Supporting Member

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    This is all well and good, but these are hardly what you would call iconic songs. It's easy enough to put a spin on a song that has no major iconic hooks, and wasn't played day in and day out on FM Radio for decades.

    Please keep in mind, I am playing in the Classic Rock genre, and there is probably no harder genre to get something by the audience. And no fair, those of you who are listing famous original artists who covered something.

    The point is, cover bands that either "improve" or "put a fresh spin" on a well-known song. So far, I think we have two examples of doing just that.

    Anyone else?

    To be honest, I don't think I can provide one. We pretty much play the songs in the vein of the original artist, or we're doing a cover of a cover. I'll let you know if I come up with something.
  15. Vince Klortho

    Vince Klortho

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    Some more great covers :

    Johnny Cash : Rusty Cage (originally by Soundgarden)
    Infectious Grooves : Fame
    Infectious Grooves : Immigrant Song
    Red Hot Chili Peppers : Higher Ground
    Red Hot Chili Peppers : Fire
    Manfred Mann : Blinded By The Light
    Stevie Ray Vaughan : Voodoo Child
    Stevie Ray Vaughan : Superstition

    A few bands ago I was in one that played covers and some friends asked us to play at their wedding. We played "Birthday" by the Beatles and we sang Wedding instead of Birthday. At the end of the break we dropped into the theme from "Mission Impossible" for a little while and then went back to the break and the rest of Birthday. The newlyweds and the crowd loved it. Unfortunately, I don't have a recording of it.
  16. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen

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  17. thedudebrah

    thedudebrah Supporting Member

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  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Supporting Member

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    Oh man, I love Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies!
  19. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Supporting Member

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  20. oldrocker

    oldrocker

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    John Coltrane's twist on "My Favorite Things" was pretty good too.

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