1. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon

    major grip-gotta vent [music-related]

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mammamaia, Sep 26, 2013.

    have you ever heard a favorite song sung by a singer who has totally ignored the notes the songwriter wrote?

    does it make you want to throttle the sinner [not a typo!] and his/her arranger, along with the musicians who would abet the commission of such a dastardly deed, as it does me?

    for the umpteenth time in weeks now, i just heard yet again a major tv commercial that features a woman [i think] mangling 'new york, new york' to the point where only the words bear any resemblance to the original... it's so bad i have to mute the tv whenever it pops up, to keep from decking my beloved new oversized flat screen with the remote...

    what i want to know is:
    1.how can it be legal to do that to a written/copyrighted set of notes;
    2.how can any self-respecting vocal/orchestral artist do such a thing with a clear conscience... and
    3.how can any vocalist with half a brain think their version is better than the classic they've just murdered?

    ok... vent over... but i'm still seething!
     
    jannert likes this.
  2. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I was really upset when I heard Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. He changed the lyrics to one of the most perfect songs ever written, and it wasn't for the better. I love Jeff Buckley, but that was uncalled for, imo.
     
  3. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I get angry, sometimes, at the same thing. At other times, it doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes the singer just wants to show off his or her dazzling virtuosity, and fills the performance with boatloads of unnecessary notes. I don't usually like that, because it serves the singer and not the song. I cringed when I heard Stevie Wonder massacre Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind" that way.

    Still, music is the notes you hear, not the "black notes on white paper" you see. Sheet music is really only a simplified visual representation of a much more complex and subtle art. Everyone changes the notes, and often the chords, nearly every time a song is played.
     
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,847
    Likes Received:
    10,022
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    For me it can depend on the intent and treatment of the re-imagining of the song. I remember being very leery about Lauren Hill's cover of Killing Me Softly. I mean, come on, you don't touch Roberta Flack. Joni Mitchell, whose name I say with deep reverence not only as a singer but as a masterful writer of prose, has a tribute album where each song is covered by a different artist. I thought I was going to hate it, but I love it because the different takes on her songs speak of the emotional impact that was felt on the artist singing. I thought it was a truly respectful tribute to a woman of her caliber.
     
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    It depends on how the artist interprets the music. I think most people believe the original song to be the best interpretation simply because it's usually the first interpretation they hear. In my mind, one interpretation is just as valid as the other, no matter how much the notes are changed.
     
  6. Trish
    Offline

    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    New York
    I'd have to agree on that, entirely.
     
  7. Morgan Willows
    Offline

    Morgan Willows Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Arizona
    It's possible that it's because of my asperger's or ocd, but I can't even stand the original artist changing the sound of a song. Once I get used to the way a song sounds, anything else just sounds... wrong.
    For example, I'm a big Kansas fan, I grew up with their music and Masque is probably my favourite album from any band ever of all time, haha (if I was trapped on a desert island and could only take one musical album with me, it would be Masque). There's a song on that album call Icarus (borne on wings of steel) which has been my favourite song since I was about six years old. I heard another version of the same song by the same band on a later album and I can't stand it at all, it's atrocious. On the newer album (I think it was Two For The Show) they used different instruments for parts of it, a lot of the note timing was different, and even the small differences in the way the singers emphasize the lyrics drive me absolutely batshit insane.
    This effect isn't limited to music with me, though, which is why I suspect my ocd may contribute to things. I can't stand people misquoting lines from movies either; I'm quite literally compelled to correct a misquoted line.
     
  8. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,562
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Well, I think the right thing to do there is, indeed, to mute the TV. We, as consumers, have quite often the choice not to listen to something we don't like. I agree with @We Are Cartographers ; I'd rather the cover represented the vision of the person who covers it rather than repeats the original. Perhaps there's someone who likes the version you hate?

    I might get a little miffed if the cover became more popular than the original and I was the one performing the original, the one who wrote it, but I don't think I'd want to throttle Kurt Cobain if I was David Bowie.
     
  9. MsScribble
    Offline

    MsScribble Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Australia
    I was very peeved when someone did a cover of sia's 'I go to sleep' - they actually changed the chorus so it wasn't sung in the way that makes its such a sweet song. I was especially peevish because I BOUGHT the cd, thinking I should support an australian artist.
     

Share This Page