As a top North West Party Band, cover versions are what Slinky does. Sometimes we stay true to the original, and sometimes we like to ‘Slinkify’ things a bit, take our versions of Seven Nation Army, or I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book for example. The fact is that at a party, a wedding or any other event, people want songs that are familiar to them. Songs that they know and love – so they can get up, sing along, and have a damn good boogie! This combined with the thrill of a live band – it’s a winning combination, and the reason why so many people are choosing to book a live band for their wedding or other function.
Of course, there are many bands out there performing covers for many different reasons. Some want to pay tribute to artists who have influenced them. Some want to highlight their own musical style by covering a song in a very unique way. Sometimes a new artist will cover a popular song as a way of getting themselves heard. Whatever the reason, covers have been around for ever and so we have put our heads together and compiled a list of some of what we consider to be the best, or the most different ones.
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
This one has been covered over and over, but by far the most well received version was Jeff Buckleys. Although it didn’t become a hit until after his death, it has been widely acclaimed as one of the greatest cover versions. John Legend calling it ‘As near perfect as you can get’
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
Originally recorded by Bob Dylan in 1967, it became a top 20 hit for Jimi Hendrix just 6 months later. Dylan couldn’t argue with his interpretation, stating “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
Joe Cocker – With a Little Help From My Friends
Released by, of course, The Beatles in 1967, their own version of this song remains well loved. It is one of the most covered tracks, having been done by at least 50 other artists. However it is Joe Cockers radical reworking of the song in 1968 which stands out, being regularly polled as one of the greatest cover versions of all time.
Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal
From 2001 – the band admit to wanting to pay homage to Michael Jackson, both in the song and the video. “We want to pay homage to Michael Jackson, but on our level. Obviously we’re not that glitzy, so we just want to tastefully take the stuff that’s cool in his videos and apply it in our own dirty little backyard way.” This one went to number 1 in Australia, New Zealand and the US Modern Rock Chart, and to number 3 in the UK.
Marilyn Manson – Sweet DreamsA big hit for The Eurythmics back in 1983, this was covered by Marilyn Manson in his own unique style in 1995 and helped to catapult him into the mainstream, along with some extra lyrics and a video which is not for the faint hearted!
Sid Vicious – My Way
Talking of artists covering songs in their own very unique way, how could we leave this one out! What can we really say? Vicious did not know all of the lyrics when he came to record the song in 1978, so he made many of them up, in a way that only he could. Certainly an iconic contender for most memorable cover!
Beatallica – Hey Dude
While only loosely falling into the category of ‘Cover Version’ we wanted to include this unlikely mash up from Beatallica! Combine The Beatles with Metallica and what do you get? Well, ‘Hey Dude’ of course! It shouldn’t work, but it does… doesn’t it?
We would love to hear your opinions. What is your favourite cover version? What the worst one? Take a look at our repertoire and tell us what tracks you think we should be doing. What tracks would you be looking for from a live band?