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High-risk, high-reward covers you'd like to try

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pklima, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    What are some covers that you aren't really sure would go over well, but have good reasons to think they might get a really excellent audience reaction? I'll just pick one. I think it has a really great chance of sticking, but I can't really be sure because I don't know anyone who's tried playing it live.

    Nadia Ali "Rapture" - a classic dance club hit that never really got radio airplay around here. That follows the same pattern as my huge audience favorites by Sean Paul or Daddy Yankee, though this is in a very different style. She's also done an acoustic version, so it's definitely possible to do this song with "real instruments".

    I'm expecting most choices to be very different from mine, LOL.
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    OK, a very different choice then: King Crimson's "Red"
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you check out the band King Comfy in my signature, you'll see that most of our material is high risk, high reward.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Funny in my cover band days the the harder more technical songs we tried never went over well but the easy songs 3-4 chords killed. My motto is the KISS system on covers.
  5. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Very! But I can possibly see that working out great in some contexts. Death metal, maybe?

    I've actually played one sort of complicated song that went over surprisingly great - "No, thank you!" from the K-On soundtrack. It's also the most rock song I've ever played live. It sounds kinda complicated AND the lyrics are in Japanese. That always gets big applause though more in a "wow, that was impressive and awesome" way than in a "play more stuff like that so we can keep dancing" way.

    Although risk doesn't have to have anything to do with being technical or difficult. Hell, "Rapture" sure isn't.

    Wow, the "Humpty Dance" and "Funky Cold Medina" especially caught my eye as exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I officially hate you.

    You have HORNS.

  7. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Bonin in the Boneyard! Toughie. My hat's off to you sir.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep, since my avowed goal is to get everyone to sit down and shut up. ;)

    There are quite a few Zappa tunes I would like to try in my duo, but I guess I'd have to play guitar instead of bass on most of them. Peaches En Regalia would probably top my list. The Ives piece for multiple marching bands would be pretty cool too though.
  9. "Damned For All Time" from JC Superstar. Took me months to convince my band to try it, but people really dig it.
  10. Habanera Song from Carmen.
  11. In the right setting I've always thought Stranglehold would be pretty awesome. Probably not if you're a cover band but it'd rule as an original band playing covers if done well.
  12. RFord04

    RFord04 Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    Flint, Michigan
    I think that songs a pretty obvious choice, actually. I've seen it done many times, including in my own cover band I used to be in. It always went over pretty well at most bars. Not much risk involved.
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Yeah, but I have a crappy voice so I need all the gimmicks I can get my hands on. The repertoire and format was selected to deal with my limitations as a vocalist. After dealing with vocalists with various issues, I decided to take on that role for the time being, just to make some progress. I'm a chubby middle aged Korean dude, and I'm not gonna compete with some twenty something year old chick with curves and pipes doing Top 40 and dance. I'm a low-mid tenor with little range, and the silliest sounding falsetto, so I'm not attempting 80s and arena rock. I'm not talented enough to compete with what's hot at the top tier, so I decided to go where others aren't and work with what I got.

    I decided on the material based on era (mostly 90s), and popularity combined with frequency of other bands doing that song. Basically, well known popular tunes other bands aren't doing. I also was shooting for the ability to exploit the horns and doing alternate arrangements. For example, we do a common bar favorite like Shipping Up To Boston with the horns playing the main melody riff, and we do a popular tune like The Impression That I Get that other bands don't do.
  14. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Your bass player smokes!
  15. The Manic Street Preachers did a very cool version of "Suicide Is Painless" (the theme from M.A.S.H). I've wanted to try it, but nobody thinks it will work.
  16. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    We did a nightmare show in Ohio once, where it was too hot, the sound crew was too stoned, and I almost got into a fight with a bunch of bikers.

    The crowd was unruly, and slam dancing. And they were shouting at us angrily when our sound check took to long.

    Thank GOD we did Stranglehold, and did it well, because all that anger turned into pure rock and roll partying, and we were rock and roll heroes to that throng of drunk, dangerous nuts.

    Of course, that led to its own problems. A guy was really angry at me for not going back to his trailer to smoke dope. I don't smoke dope.

    And I don't go to weird guys' trailers, either.

    These are good rules to live by.
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    If we had horns, we would do "Make me Smile" by Chicago.

    Not to mention what Tower of Power songs we would play!
  18. Compared to my vocals, you sound like Ray Charles! I have a very low voice as well, and while I never sing lead on any song, my voice does work very well with harmonies. Like Clint Eastwood said in one of those Dirty Harry movies, "A man's got to know his limitations".

    Those horns are groovy - very classy sound!
  19. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
  20. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    We cover "Sh** Da** Mother F****r" by D'Angelo. Hugely risky cover, but people love to get down to it from my experience. Always turns into a giant dance party.