Saturday, June 5, 2010


Songs are open to interpretation and so artists always try and take a beloved song and do their own version of it.

Sometimes, but not too often, a singer can recreate a song and make it even better than the original but usually, we either get a pleasant and harmless take of the song or a really bad and painful rendition.

So, I'm going to present the original version of a few songs and then a remake of the song and say which one I prefer.

Here we go:

Done: "Young Hearts Run Free" - Candi Stanton - (1976)
Young Hearts Run Free.mp3

Redone: "Young Hearts Run Free" - The Swell Season - (2010)
Young Hearts Run Free.mp3

This is really no comparison because nobody could possibly top Ms Stanton's version of this song, which is one of my all-time favorites, but I have got to give props to Glen Hansard. He gives us a passionate, acoustic take of this song and he is secure enough not to feel the need to change any of the pronouns. I think he's a great singer and I really like what he did to the song.
This song was done as part of Levi's Pioneer Sessions and here Mr. Hansard explains why he chose to record this song:

Done: "What a Fool Believes" - The Doobie Brothers - (1978)
What a Fool Believes.mp3

Redone: "What A Fool Believes" - Aretha Franklin - (1980)
What a Fool Believes.mp3

I have always loved how Ms Franklin has taken many songs made popular by other artists and completely re-imagined them and made them her songs. She did it again with the Doobie Brothers' hit song and while she gives it her spin and it is a fun and interesting version, it doesn't really come close to the pure, simple, and soulful quality of the original.

Done: "Don't Speak" - No Doubt - (1995)
Don't Speak.mp3
Redone: "Don't Speak" - Leela James - (2005)
Don't Speak.mp3

"Don't Speak" is one of my favorite songs from No Doubt and Ms James decided to tackle this rock ballad and gave it nice R&B groove. While both versions are very similar in feel and I really admire what Ms James did to the song, but I have to say that I prefer the original by a slight edge. I guess because I know that Gwen Stefani wrote the song based on her personal experience with her ex-boyfriend, bass player, Tony Kanal that I am connecting more with her version.


During a loving musical tribute while receiving this year's lifetime achievement award from BET, we were reminded of what an amazing ...