I dub today, and every Tuesday hereafter, “Cover Version Contest Tuesday”. I had begun this contest on my journal, but I thought it better to make it more public so that anyone, anywhere, and anytime can feel free to take part! Although, not to perpetuate that hipster mentality, my music taste isn’t exactly the most popular, and there are a good few bands here most people won’t have heard of or like, but I think of it as a good way for all who stumble upon my humble blog to broaden their musical horizons, or simply to enjoy reading others’ opinions about your favorite songs, and offer your own thoughts too!
The basic premise of the game is that I have a list of all the songs in my library which are covers. Each Tuesday, I will post up the song in question, plus its original, and any other versions if applicable, with information about each, and all you have to do is listen to each one if you don’t already know them, and leave a comment saying (and explaining if you like) which one you prefer!
(I don’t expect many people to see this in the beginning, but ah well. I thought it would be fun anyway :D)
My list of songs is in alphabetical order, making the first incarnation of the Cover Version Contest a match between Sarah McLachlan’s “Adia” and Avril Lavigne’s cover of the same song. I will specify each week whether I also listen to the original – in this case I don’t – and I always give both songs a new listen through just to consolidate my decision. Have a listen to the songs yourselves, and tell me what you think!
Sarah McLachlan, a Canadian singer, released “Adia” in 1997, from the album Surfacing. Apparently she wrote it to a friend in apology for marrying the friend’s ex-boyfriend! Hear the song here:
Avril Lavigne is also a Canadian singer, and she covered the song on a live EP named “Control Room” in 2008.
They’re very similar in sound – that’s the first thing I always note. The song’s barely changed at all between the two versions. It’s a very cut-and-paste cover, and that’s okay, if a little uninteresting.
Avril does have the tendency to go off track vocally sometimes, but I think her voice sounds pretty in this song; considering that it’s a live performance, I can forgive the little wobbles I don’t like! She does give it feeling, but of course Sarah wrote it with real feeling about a real situation, and that shows in hers. I’m so used to Avril’s version (having heard it before Sarah’s, actually!), and because of that, I prefer hers – Sarah’s, traitorously enough, sounds like a weaker imitation to me simply because I heard the other version first! Weird, I know; stupid, definitely; but I’m giving my honest opinion. 🙂
A bit of a boring start, it’s true, but if you stay for the ride, subsequent Tuesdays will definitely be more thrilling than “female Canadian singer vs female Canadian singer with no changes to the song’s arrangement”! I definitely have some interesting gems waiting in the pipelines!
Are you a Sarah McLachlan fan already and view the cover as mediocre? Do you love Avril enough to prefer her version? Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂
Until next Tuesday,