Cover Songs No.2

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

So everybody knows the song “Heroes” by David Bowie, right? It is one of my favourite Bowie tracks. It is also one of the most widely covered Bowie songs. Here are some, starting with the original for the sake of comparison.

And if you remember 90s, you’ll remember the successful cover by Bob Dylan’s son in The Wallflowers–a band that got kind of a bad rap, partly due to their universal appeal. I think they were a pretty decent band, and they might be dated, but that could also in part be because they were one of the bands to make that sound of radio-friendly 90s alternative rock.

And this hypnotic rendition by Nico, is amazing. I think she captures the spirit of the song as David Bowie intended it. As usual, she sounds removed, which I feel is part of the intent of the original–a sort of restrained distance that climaxes. I much prefer the live version of this song to the studio renditions, because she seems to ignore keys and timing. She looks really rough and intense here. 

Oasis in true britpop fashion performed this over the top semi-psychedelic version, grounded by a tambourine and anthemic vocals. I have no idea if I actually like it, I think it might be overproduced and doesn’t have a chance to build up or culminate, and would work better if they had made it shorter or less compressed and slick. 

Blondie covered “Heroes” also, and it’s a very strange cover. It has thin, compressed guitar, and really loud vocals. Everything is really quiet except Debbie Harry actually, and I’m actually okay with that because her phrasing is really trademark, but I do miss hearing the band more prominently. But, hey, it was live! 

And the song that prompted me to make this post is “Heroes” by Phil Wilson as played on a banjo of all instruments. It’s really awesome, and a completely different take on the song than any other I’ve heard. 

Anyway, stay gold kids.

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