Sunday, July 2, 2017

Most Inappropriate Covers

In the pop music world a "cover" is when another artist performs their version of a song originally written/recorded by a different artist. Jose Feliciano doing "Light My Fire" by The Doors, for example. We don't really have this in classical music because the composer is usually not the performer. So here goes, my list of the most inappropriate covers, some of which have actually happened!

  • Pope Francis doing a spoken-word cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil"
  • Keith Richards doing a cover of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl (and I Liked It)"
  • Hugh Hefner doing a cover of "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" (definitive version by Maurice Chevalier)
  • Scarlett Johansson performing "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men on violin
  • William Shatner "singing" "I'm Too Sexy..." by Right Said Fred
  • Humphrey Bogart doing "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
  • The Beatles doing "Besame Mucho" by Consuelo Velázquez

Of course none of these would actually happen, right? Right? As a matter of fact, four out of the seven I listed above DID actually happen! Would you like to guess which? I'll give you one for free. Here is William Shatner, performing, in his unique way, "I'm Too Sexy":


Marc Puckett said...

"Although a prolific recording artist and composer in her native Mexico, to the rest of the world Consuelo Velázquez is known almost exclusively for one song." Ray Conniff and Andrea Bocelli give the B.s a run for their money. Julie London is great, the Ventures live! in Japan! in 1965, not so much, nor Sumi Jo. Pan pipes, ukulele versions, club remixes (Sean Finn & Picco seem the masters...), Spike Jones on his album Spike Jones Goes Crazy. Of the ones I began listening to, I only finished Markku Laaminen's Finnish version, which abandons the Velázquezan melody altogether (although there may be some re-working of it in a way I can't articulate).

Am listening to Enrique Granados's Goyescas no IV, Queyas, ó la Maja y el Ruiseñor, which Velázquez claimed inspired her, and, contrary to my expectations after reading that at Wikipedia, I see I was wrong to have doubted.

Bryan Townsend said...

Living in Mexico it is almost impossible to escape innumerable mariachi versions of Besame Mucho, which is a very lovely song! I see you had some fun exploring the various covers.

Granados is a wonderful composer, warm, lyric and touching. I don't know the Goyescas nearly as well as I should.