I had a brief facebook conversation the other day with somone about cover songs. Or more precisely, one song that was recently covered.
My friend's post had a link to the cover version of the song along with a comment that said "better than the original".
Was it better than the original? Well, no, not really. But it was fresh and new and on his mind.
We eventually agreed that the cover was not better than the original. Covers rarely are. Especially if the original recording was written by the original artist.
Are there exceptions? Sure. At least as far as we are concerned. However, a certain twitter conversation enlightened me to the fact that some regard any covers as inferior. The conclusion of that conversation ended in "to each his own."
The writer of the song usually has a personal investment in the song and/or a story interwoven into the song and can sing it like they mean it.
A lot of it has to do with perspective. Was the first time you heard a song the original, or was it a cover?
Growing up, the only version of "Blinded by the Light" I ever heard was Manfred Mann's. Little did I know that the song is a Bruce Springsteen original.
Listening to the local classic rock station, my daughter would start singing along to a song.
Me: "How do you know that song."
Her: "It's in (some animated movie). They do it better in the movie."
All perspective. But for the most part, give me the original.