Covers day 4

I never realized when I began this that I would want to extend this as there are just too many bad covers out there. No fear, I am not going to go beyond this week, but I want to include an omission that was pointed out to me by a friend. Since I highlighted Dolly Parton yesterday, I have to add this horrible cover of (I almost can’t even type it, it is so horrible!) believe it not, Stairway to Heaven! Listen at your own risk.

Anyway, getting on to today’s entries. Does being a superstar entitle you to cover any song that you want? I don’t think so, but apparently, some do. I am not going to decided what defines a superstar, but suffice it to say, Madonna certainly fits the bill. She has been listed as the most successful female recording artist of all time, and she has sold over 200 million records worldwide. So it comes as no surprise that a star of her caliber would think that they could record anything they wanted.

In 2000, Madonna recorded a cover of American Pie by Don McLean. Now aside from being one of my all time favorite songs, this was just plain WRONG! Sure she can sing nice, but the song has a very specific meaning and although it was recorded for a film (The Next Best Thing) there is just very little way one can use this song out of context.

On the good side, I can easily look to The Beatles for a couple of good covers, Please Mr. Postman, Rollover Beethoven, and Rock and Roll Music, but that would be too easy. So I am going to Mr. George Michael. He has been cited as being the most played artist on British Radio over the past two decades. In 1991 George Michael did his Cover to Cover Tour where he covered a lot of songs. The biggest hit from this tour was Don’t Let the Sun Go down On Me by Elton John. They sang the song as a duet at the Live Aid concert in 1985 and recorded it together at a George Michael show in 1991. The song was originally recorded by Elton John in 1974 and was a major hit for John, but the 1991 recording was #1 on both the UK and American singles charts.

Tomorrow I am going to post what I think are the best and worst covers of modern music, so stay tuned!


American Pie by Madonna

American Pie by Don McLean

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me by George Michael (and Elton John)

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John

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