slaytonf

Go ahead, cry me a river.

117 posts in this topic

LOL

Yeah, I remember watching that "Dueling Cockers" segment on SNL the night it was first telecast, Eric.

(...what a shame Belushi died so damn young, huh)

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6 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Sorry, but what I've always loved about cover songs done my Joe Cocker was that he DID always put his own unique and distinct spin on the songs.

I mean, how many times have you heard a cover later done my another artist and say to yourself, "Why did they bother? Their version really adds nothing new to the song, other than them singing it."

(...and besides, because I've always loved the sounds of h o n k y tonk piano, that intro to his version of CMAR grabs me from the first few notes each and every time I hear it come on the radio)

You use the term 'cover' and I believe you have a 'rock and roll' view of what 'cover' means.

For songs written by a band \ band members and then recorded and released by said band,  anyone subsequently doing that song is doing a 'cover'.

Most jazz 'standards' were written by songwriters that never released a version of the song.    Cry Me A River was written by Arthur Hamilton.    I assume none of us have heard how he performed this song.   London's version was just the first released version of the song.    The point being that with standards all releases are 'covers' or none of them are (I say the latter). 

I do agree with you that there is a fine line between just mimicking a popular version of a song (not much creativity) and 'making it your own' which is why I said 'there is still room' (room for creativity). 

Therefore I should have added that one can also go 'off the rails' and do something very different musically  (very 'outside') and that is very creative and solid.   

While I enjoy what the Cocker band did with the song's melody and harmonic structure,  I don't feel the lyrics fit those revisions.    I would have changed the lyrics to Paddle down the River and made it about that.  

 

 

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32 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You use the term 'cover' and I believe you have a 'rock and roll' view of what 'cover' means.

For songs written by a band \ band members and then recorded and released by said band,  anyone subsequently doing that song is doing a 'cover'.

Most jazz 'standards' were written by songwriters that never released a version of the song.    Cry Me A River was written by Arthur Hamilton.    I assume none of us have heard how he performed this song.   London's version was just the first released version of the song.    The point being that with standards all releases are 'covers' or none of them are (I say the latter). 

I do agree with you that there is a fine line between just mimicking a popular version of a song (not much creativity) and 'making it your own' which is why I said 'there is still room' (room for creativity). 

Therefore I should have added that one can also go 'off the rails' and do something very different musically  (very 'outside') and that is very creative and solid.   

While I enjoy what the Cocker band did with the song's melody and harmonic structure,  I don't feel the lyrics fit those revisions.    I would have changed the lyrics to Paddle down the River and made it about that.  

Wait! Lemme get this straight here, James.

So, you're saying here that unless a song is "covered" by another artist and done in the very same musical genre, then it isn't a "true cover" of the song?

Hmmmm...well, if I'm got this straight then, not only do I disagree with you about this, but this would be the first time I've ever heard such a thing posited by anyone, also.

(...so what terminology should I be using here then?...just the word "version" or "rendition", perhaps?)

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45 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Wait! Lemme get this straight here, James.

So, you're saying here that unless a song is "covered" by another artist and done in the very same musical genre, then it isn't a "true cover" of the song?

Hmmmm...well, if I'm got this straight then, not only do I disagree with you about this, but this would be the first time I've ever heard such a thing posited by anyone, also.

(...so what terminology should I be using here then?...just the word "version" or "rendition", perhaps?)

You clearly misunderstood my point.   I'm saying that a cover is a song done by another artist other than the songwriter,  where the songwriter has released a recorded version of said song.   The focus here is on the songwriter.   

In the case of the standard American songbook most songwriters never released a recorded version of their song.  Therefore ALL recorded versions by ALL artist are NOT covers but just interpretations of said song.    

I.e. one has to have heard a recorded version of a song by the songwriter in order to create a 'cover' of said song.   When one has NOT heard a recorded version of the song the only reference point is the Sheet Music OR another artist's interpretation of said song.    

 For Rock (and Country as well),  where most songs are written by the artist or band member and the initial recording is performed by the songwriter and their band,  ALL versions by other artists \ bands are covers.   (because the reference point for these other artists is the initial recording by the songwriter).

You're viewing 'cover' from the POV of a listener of music and I'm viewing 'cover' from the POV of the creator of music.   

 

 

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Dargo:  Note I have a very similar POV related to movie 'remakes'.    I assume you have heard my rant about this.   From a creator POV the source material is the book or play or short story that a film will be based on.   It is NOT prior movies that were released from that source material.

BUT for most viewers the 'source material' stuck in their brain when they see a 'remake'  are the prior film releases.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You clearly misunderstood my point.   I'm saying that a cover is a song done by another artist other than the songwriter,  where the songwriter as released a recorded version of said song.   The focus here is on the songwriter.   

In the case of the standard American songbook most songwriters never released a recorded version of their song.  Therefore ALL recorded versions by ALL artist are NOT covers but just interpretations of said song.    

I.e. one has to have heard a recorded version of a song by the songwriter in order to create a 'cover' of said song.   When one has NOT heard a recorded version of the song the only reference point is the Sheet Music OR another artist interpretation of said song.    

 For Rock (and Country as well),  where most songs are written and the initial recording is performed by the songwriter and their band,  ALL versions by other artists \ bands are covers.   (because the reference point for these other artists is the initial recording by the songwriter).

AH! Now I see what you were getting at here...I think.

However, I still don't see how my original statement and my use of the word "cover" within it had prompted your previous to this posting, as I recall using the proper terminology of "first sung and recorded" in reference to Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat ON" song and not the word "cover" in this regard earlier, but DID use the word "cover" in regard to Joe Cocker's Rock & Roll version of "Cry Me a River".

(...and thus which in turn prompted me to ask about that whole "different musical genre" thing)

 

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5 minutes ago, Dargo said:

AH! Now I see what you were getting at here...I think.

However, I still don't see how my original statement and my use of the word "cover" within it had prompted your previous to this posting, as I recall using the proper terminology of "first sung and recorded" in reference to Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat ON" song and not the word "cover" in this regard earlier, but DID use the word "cover" in regard to Joe Cocker's Rock & Roll version of "Cry Me a River".

(...and thus which in turn prompted me to ask about that whole "different musical genre" thing)

 

Yea, your use of 'cover' was related to Cocker generally and you're correct that his most famous 'hits' are covers, with Cry Me a River being an exception.    Hey, I just found an opening to get out my cover rant and I took it.   

(because with my musician friends it is an endless 'cover' debate since I tend to focus on sheet music and not recorded versions and get told too often 'you're not playing that right',   when 'right' is just defined by another record version they feel we have to mimic).

 

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25 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yea, your use of 'cover' was related to Cocker generally and you're correct that his most famous 'hits' are covers, with Cry Me a River being an exception.    Hey, I just found an opening to get out my cover rant and I took it.   

(because with my musician friends it is an endless 'cover' debate since I tend to focus on sheet music and not recorded versions and get told too often 'you're not playing that right',   when 'right' is just defined by another record version they feel we have to mimic).

 

But then once again, WHY would or could Cocker's version of CMAR not be considered a "cover"? Once again, is it ONLY because the song was NOT first written AND performed and recorded in an upbeat R & R format, and before THAT musical genre came to be?

(...who's to say Joe didn't first hear Julie's version and NOT see its "sheet music" and then said to his band's arranger, "Hey, I like this song, but what say we take it up-tempo?!")

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19 minutes ago, Dargo said:

But then once again, WHY would or could Cocker's version of CMAR not be considered a "cover"? Once again, is it ONLY because the song was NOT first written AND performed and recorded in an upbeat R & R format?

(...who's to say Joe didn't first hear Julie's version and NOT see its "sheet music" and then said to his band's arranger, "Hey, I like this song, but what say we take it up-tempo?!")

No it has nothing to do with how a song is done or the genre.   It is because there are no known recorded versions by the songwriter.   Therefore there is no original recorded version that represents how the songwriter felt the song should be done.   Sheet music will often state the desired tempo as defined by the songwriter and like I said it was creative for Joe and the band to deviate from the 'standard' tempo and I find stating the melody of the song in such a tempo pleasing.   I just don't think the lyrics fit an upbeat tempo which is why I made the joke about changing them to Paddle up a River.    (but hey I just saw the Streep \ Bacon film The River Wild and Joe's version, with updated lyrics would have been perfect for that film!).

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

Sorry, but what I've always loved about cover songs done my Joe Cocker was that he DID always put his own unique and distinct spin on the songs.

I mean, how many times have you heard a cover later done my another artist and say to yourself, "Why did they bother? Their version really adds nothing new to the song, other than them singing it."

(...and besides, because I've always loved the sounds of h o n k y tonk piano, that intro to his version of CMAR grabs me from the first few notes each and every time I hear it come on the radio)

Dargo-- What you said reminded me of a creepy song that I used to love in college called " Mama Told Me Not to Come".

I think this was a Three Dog Night song. I never cared that much for them, but they put it over in a cute way.

But when I heard Eric Burdon, my favorite British Invasion rock /blues singer, do his version he knocked it out of the park. Some songs Just are more conducive to certain artists. Or you could also say, some artists know how to utilize their material better than others.

And one of the things that I always liked so much about Eric Burdon was  no matter what material he had, he knew how to make the most of it and put his own indelible mark on it.

Even after all these years when I hear " The House of the Rising Sun",it still sounds fresh and gritty to me.

In the 60s, The Stones and The Animals used to do some of the same Rock classics on their albums--One particular song by Chuck Berry was called "Around and Around".  I was totally amazed how different both of their versions sounded. 

The Stones:

Keith Richards,  Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were light years ahead of The Animals in terms of their instrumentation and approach to playing. Simply put, The Stones were the most technically Superior Group in the British Invasion. 

 But I always preferred to listen to The Animals version of "Around and Around because Eric Burdon simply understood the song and knew how to sing it better than Mick Jagger. Jagger was good for television with his quirky little dancing jerks and he wrote some good songs better suited to his own ability with Keith Richards, but when it came to singing these rock and roll standards, he just didn't really come up to snuff.

 

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I always loved that Belushi send-up of Joe.  He also did a funny take on ROY ORBISON I couldn't find a separate clip of.  Heard he actually strapped a 2x4 to his back to do it! :D  LOVE it when as Roy, he fell to the floor and waved his arms and legs wildly yelling "Help!  I can't get UP!"  :lol:

Sepatone

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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

Dargo-- What you said reminded me of a creepy song that I used to love in college called " Mama Told Me Not to Come".

I think this was a Three Dog Night song. I never cared that much for them, but they put it over in a cute way.

But when I heard Eric Burdon, my favorite British Invasion rock /blues singer, do his version he knocked it out of the park. Some songs Just are more conducive to certain artists. Or you could also say, some artists know how to utilize their material better than others.

 

"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" is a song by American singer-songwriter Randy Newman written for Eric Burdon's first solo album in 1966. Three Dog Night's 1970 cover of the song topped the US pop singles chart.

Since Newman wrote the song for Burdon,  I don't view Burdon's version as a 'cover'.   But clearly the Three Dog Night version is.

This makes my point;  often the most well known version is considered to be the 'original' and all other versions 'covers',  but that is often NOT the case. 

In addition songwriters often get forgotten,   like Newman was here, by saying the performer of a song makes the song 'their song'.   Nope.  

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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

Dargo-- What you said reminded me of a creepy song that I used to love in college called " Mama Told Me Not to Come".

I think this was a Three Dog Night song. I never cared that much for them, but they put it over in a cute way.

But when I heard Eric Burdon, my favorite British Invasion rock /blues singer, do his version he knocked it out of the park. Some songs Just are more conducive to certain artists. Or you could also say, some artists know how to utilize their material better than others.

And one of the things that I always liked so much about Eric Burdon was  no matter what material he had, he knew how to make the most of it and put his own indelible mark on it.

Even after all these years when I hear " The House of the Rising Sun",it still sounds fresh and gritty to me.

In the 60s, The Stones and The Animals used to do some of the same Rock classics on their albums--One particular song by Chuck Berry was called "Around and Around".  I was totally amazed how different both of their versions sounded. 

The Stones:

Keith Richards,  Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were light years ahead of The Animals in terms of their instrumentation and approach to playing. Simply put, The Stones were the most technically Superior Group in the British Invasion. 

 But I always preferred to listen to The Animals version of "Around and Around because Eric Burdon simply understood the song and knew how to sing it better than Mick Jagger. Jagger was good for television with his quirky little dancing jerks and he wrote some good songs better suited to his own ability with Keith Richards, but when it came to singing these rock and roll standards, he just didn't really come up to snuff.

 

Actually Princess, "Mama Told Me Not To Come" was another of songwriter/performer Randy Newman's "creepy" songs that he wrote, but yes, for Eric Burden's first solo album in 1966 and after he spit from The Animals.

Randy would later record it himself and include it in his 1970 album "12 Songs", the same year Three Dog Night's hit recording of it would top the pop/rock charts.

(...and so I suppose in THIS case, and according to what James said earlier about "covers", could this be a case of the songwriter HIMSELF "covering" his own song???)

 

Edited by Dargo
Ah, I see James beat me to the punch here
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7 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Actually Princess, "Mama Told Me Not To Come" was another of songwriter/performer Randy Newman's "creepy" songs that he wrote, but yes, for Eric Burden's first solo album in 1966 and after he spit from The Animals.

Randy would later record it himself and include it in his 1970 album "12 Songs", the same year Three Dog Night's hit recording of it would top the pop/rock charts.

(...and so I suppose in THIS case, and according to what James said earlier about "covers", could this be a case of the songwriter HIMSELF "covering" his own song???)

 

I guess I really do like Randy Newman!--- even though I'm rather short. LOL

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4 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

No it has nothing to do with how a song is done or the genre.   It is because there are no known recorded versions by the songwriter. 

Not always:

Actually, quite a few clips of Mercer singing appeared in the documentary TCM ran on him several years back.

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52 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Actually Princess, "Mama Told Me Not To Come" was another of songwriter/performer Randy Newman's "creepy" songs that he wrote, but yes, for Eric Burden's first solo album in 1966 and after he spit from The Animals.

Randy would later record it himself and include it in his 1970 album "12 Songs", the same year Three Dog Night's hit recording of it would top the pop/rock charts.

(...and so I suppose in THIS case, and according to what James said earlier about "covers", could this be a case of the songwriter HIMSELF "covering" his own song???)

 

Now see I did lighten up on my definition of 'cover' by saying that when a songwriter writes a song specifically for a singer \ band,  and that is the first release of said song,  that version is NOT a cover.    (but Cry Me A River wasn't written for London,  but instead Ella, but it just wasn't recorded and released).

But it is funny that Newman did the song later one.   While it sounds very odd,  I believe this is a case of a songwriter doing a cover of his own song!      

Newman is one great songwriter,   so it isn't so odd that something like this would occur with him.  Note that Carole King is another one that is unique like this.   She wrote so many songs for various singers \ groups before deciding many years later to record and release some of them. 

 

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Cover or not?

 

(I'd say they're arrangements, not covers.)

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1 minute ago, Fedya said:

Not always:

Actually, quite a few clips of Mercer singing appeared in the documentary TCM ran on him several years back.

Mercer only wrote the lyrics to those songs,  right?    So while you have a good point I would say it is only half not always.   ;)

But yea,  some of the songwriters associated with the great American songbook did release singles of their own songs,  like Hoagy Carmichael.   As much as I love Hoagy (one of my favorite songwriters),  his versions of his own songs are not my favorite version.

As for Mercer;  My favorite lyricist (by far).   

 

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Well, I was having a little Dargo-style fun.

 

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26 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Not always:

Actually, quite a few clips of Mercer singing appeared in the documentary TCM ran on him several years back.

I've always loved Johnny Mercer. Not just because he wrote the lyrics for Andy Williams' signature song Moon River, LOL,  but because he's one of the few lyricist who worked primarily as a lyricist, but who also wrote a number of beautiful songs all by himself.

Fred Astaire decided to musically use the Johnny Mercer song "Dream" as the theme for his movie Daddy Long Legs.

So Astaire also gave Johnny Mercer the opportunity to write the lyrics and music for most of the movie. The result was another Fred Astaire classic "Something's Gotta Give".

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42 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

I guess I really do like Randy Newman!--- even though I'm rather short. LOL

LOL

Well, I suppose you know that Randy's "Short People" was really a take on the idea of intolerance, doncha.

He's always loved writing songs in the character of others and by doing so, mocking them, ya know.

(...another favorite of mine of his always being his "Political Science", and where he makes fun of right-wing "America First" type nutcases)

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Johnny Mercer appeared on The Andy Williams Show several times. I can vividly remember both of them singing " Accentuate the Positive" cuz it was an old one wartime time song that my mother liked. In addition to the lyrics for Moon River he also wrote lyrics for The Days of Wine and Roses and Charade-- all with Henry Mancini.

Andy Williams never sang any of the songs in the various movies, but he became associated with them by having hit records.

How he got associated with Moon River is a terrific story. When it was up for the Oscar, Mercer and Mancini asked him to come to the Academy Awards and sing the song. He's been associated with it ever since. At that time, he had already recorded his Moon River album only a month before the song won the Oscar.

At his concerts Andy used to call Moon River: " The gift that just keeps on giving."

One of Andy's best jokes in his concerts was about his mother, who always demanded to see his Oscar when she would come to his home. He would placate her with--oh it's at the office. She actually thought he had won the Oscar for the song  because the song truly became his. LOL

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15 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

I grew up watching Lola Albright singing on Peter Gunn at Mother's.  She actually made some recordings with Henry Mancini and she is about on the level of Julie London, maybe not quite as polished.  And Richard Dawson's ex wife Diana Dors could sing like that as well.  Very passable and entertaining but not really what I call great singers.

These kind of singers -- you've got to say-- you've had a few drinks you're having a good time, you're not going to be that critical anyway.

 And all three were very traditionally beautiful women.  Until Barbra came along that was part of the criteria for being a saloon singer --you had to have the traditionally beautiful classical looks, unless you were a black  artist singing  jazz or the blues. 

Barbra broke that mold-- she made people listen to her because she had an extraordinary  unique voice with that killer range, so she made people accept her non-traditional beauty because they wanted the whole package. Barbra made it possible for women who were not cookie cutter beautiful to be taken seriously as nightclub singers and in general in Show Business.

Barbra aside-- Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland,  Eydie Gormé,  Dionne Warwick -- and I don't want to count out the men because they could handle it just as well-- Nat King Cole , Tony Bennett ,  Johnny Mathis or Sinatra, just to name four, could easily handle the song on the level that it deserves.

They would do their own version or arrangement, which would fit in with their style and  into their own repertoire.

But Cry Me A River is a song that can stand up and come through with any level of singer and it's acceptable.

Probably this old standard would even hold up  for a rendition by Herman's Hermits. LOL

 

BTW it's *Dinah Washington. She's one of my favorite singers too and undoubtedly she sings the song splendidly.

She was known in her lifetime as the "Queen of the Blues". My favorite Dinah Washington song is Where Are You? A 1937 song by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson.  Dinah had a hit with it in 1962. It was one of the last songs she recorded , as she died the next year.

 

Naturally, singers adapt a song to suit their style, but in that they don't always choose the right song, or adapt it successfully.  And one has to realize whether what one likes in a performance is the singer's style, or the adaptation itself.  Many songs can stand a great deal of manipulation in tempo, tone, arrangement.  Some examples are "All Along the Watchtower," famously covered by Jimi Hendrix.  Joe Cocker had great success with "With a Little Help From My Friends."  But the song in question here is one that requires the singer to express the emotion without embellishment, or pyrotechnics.  The singer has to demonstrate control of voice, pace, inflection; maintain a calm facade, while communicating the concealed ocean of hurt, bewilderment, and injury.  That's where the song gets it power, from the contrast between the cool outward demeanor and the internal emotion.  

And thank you for alerting me to my typo.  I proof all my comments, because I am an atrocious typist, but that one got past me.  Demonstrating the reason I am not a proofreader.  And Dinah, who had one helluva powerhouse voice, shows how she could rein it in, yet still knock you over.

5 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Now see I'm lighten up on my definition of 'cover' by saying that when a songwriter writes a song specifically for a singer \ band,  and that is the first release of said song,  that version is NOT a cover.    (but Cry Me A River wasn't written for London,  but instead Ella, but it just wasn't recorded and released).

 

This is a surprise to learn.  The rendition I've heard of Ella Fitzgerald doing the song, it hurts to say, is marred by her swinging it.  And this song don't stand swinging.

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Slay-- as I said before I think artists work best within their own genres, but it certainly is fun to hear different Renditions of different kinds of songs.

I think my favorite rendition of a Beatles song is by Ray Charles. His " Eleanor Rigby"is something to behold!

Full disclosure Re: Ella. Ella  Fitzgerald is considered to be the greatest American jazz singer of all time. I was in France when she died and they just about had a national the day of mourning.

 But I personally have never cared for all of that scat singing - - although I can take it in limited doses.  Even though I know that it takes a great deal of technique and ability to do it. Mel Tormé did a lot of it too and he did it well.

But that's just the way taste is, you can never account for it. LOL

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And now I gotta question here about "Mercer" and "covers".

Okay, now remember in that cartoon "Bugs Gets the Boid" when the hapless Beaky Buzzard tells his quarry Bugs...

http://www.nonstick.com/audio/soundsource/Beaky_Buzzard/ltbk_017.mp3

...well, my question is: WAS Beaky doin' a "cover" of Mercer and Arlen's "Blues in the Night" or NOT???!!!

(...so, whaddaya say, James?...YOU seem to be the authority on all this "cover" stuff here, dude!) ;)

LOL

 

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