The first one comes to mind for me is Love Hurts. I've heard older versions of it but I don't even recall who originally did it and don't have time to look it up now. The Nazareth version is amazing to my ears.
The Everly Brothers 1960 released in 1961.
Yea, I looked it up.
Wow yeah, goes back to when I was born. No doubt I'd heard the Nazareth version before I even knew it was a cover, the Hair of the Dog album was one of the great ones from my high school years. The gravely voice and delivery along with the eerie ebow lead section just really seem to give the song an authenticity I don't feel listening to the original or any other cover of it.
Paul Shaffer's arrangements (transcriptions?) for the Blues Brothers were generally more pleasing to my ears than the originals, perhaps in part due to better sound reproduction. Specific examples would be Gimme Some Lovin' and Soul Man.
Why does no one who covers this song play the piano part correctly? It starts on the C#, not the root B.
....and WAY too much buss compression on this version.
Interesting! Will have another listen to the Patti Smith original.
This piano problem reminds me of the "extra guitar note" problem in covers of "Cissy Strut" by The Meters. Almost everybody, including well-known pros, plays the 2nd section of the guitar melody wrong, by adding at least one extra note. I learned this while listening to an interview with Meters bassist George Porter Jr.
[Interesting! Will have another listen to the Patti Smith original.
Patti version. Form takes it's time evolving...takes a while to get to the F#, and double as long to get to the octaved B at the end of the form. C#, D, B, D, C#, D, E, D, C#, D, B, D, C#, D, F#, D, C#, D, B, D, C#, D, E, D, C#, D, B, D, C#, D, B (8va), D
Natalie version. Much more intricate form, but shorter. F# shows up right away, and the octaved B shortly after. E turn omitted entirely. B, D, C#, D, F#, D, C#, D, B, D, C#, D, B (8va), D, C#, D
The Garbage one is doing it a third way! More like Patti's version, but shorte like Natalie, so no E turn...and no octaved B. B, D, C#, D, B, D, C#, D,B, D, C#, D, F#, D, C#, D.
Financially, the greatest remake may be Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You", later done by Whitney Houston. One of my favorite entertainer interviews was Dolly Parton talking about the song. Elvis Presley wanted to record the song but his manager insisted that Dolly sign over half of the song writer royalties. She refused. When Whitney Houston recorded the song, according to the Dolly interview, "When Whitney recorded it I made enough in royalties on that song to BUY the Elvis catalog."
With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock just around the corner, it seems fitting to add The Who's performance there of "Summertime Blues."
I like the Eddie Cochran version better because The Who's version, although musically superior, left out the punch lines at the end of each verse (Example; you can't use the care 'cause you didn't work a lick)
Her remake from "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic" has a more centered delivery that realizes the full potential of this composition, and lets me really feel it. When she cries out "It's not fair!" it just reaches right into me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TUnVtu_JIk