The Original vs. The Cover – “Heroes”

Welcome back to The Original vs. The Cover. We are now going to look at the classic David Bowie song “Heroes” that was recorded by Bowie back in 1977 during his Berlin era. The cover song we are battling against is The Wallflowers’ version they recorded for the movie “Godzilla” back in 1998. Two powerhouse performances going up against each other and which one will win? We will see.

The song was written by David Bowie and Brian Eno and was inspired by Bowie’s producer, Tony Visconti as he embraced his lover as they were standing next to the Berlin Wall. The song is about two lovers coming together when one was from the East side of the Wall and the other from the West. They will let nothing stop them from being together, not even the Berlin Wall. It is a beautiful sentiment. Now the song was released in 1977 and the song did fairly well going to #12 in the UK and was platinum status in the UK as well. It didn’t really do much in the States, but I still remember hearing the song. It has made many lists as one of the greatest songs of all time (which doesn’t bode well for The Wallflowers, but we will see.

DAVID BOWIE

David’s version was inspired musically by The Velvet Underground’s song “I’m Waiting for the Man” as the tempo and rhythm of the song plod along in the same fashion. The song and a lot of David’s music from the Berlin Era is very experimental. The drums, the keyboards and the guitars are arranged to be a little noisy in an anthemic sense to give it a rich, full texture, but the coolest part of the song is how they recorded the vocals.

The vocals are done in what is known as gating. Three microphones were placed at different intervals from David. The first at 9 inches from David, the second at 20 feet and the third at 50 feet. As David sang each verse, a different microphone would be used and as each verse came, the first microphone would be shut off and the second opened. As he sang each verse he had to sing louder and with more energy giving the song the effect it as if each verse was more important and sung more powerful as the song builds and builds. It makes David’s vocal so effective in their delivery in bringing emotion and power to the song. I have to say it is quite brilliant.

THE WALLFLOWERS

David’s song is one of his most covered songs, but I think the most famous is probably done by The Wallflowers. The band kept that same plodding pace, but the sound of the instruments is brought to the 90’s and modernized with a fuller band sound and a I think the drums and guitar are even more robust sounding then the original. They seem more alive and gives the song a more rock sound.

On the vocals, Jakob Dylan doesn’t use the same technique as David, but he is able to project his voice with each verse driving the song to be more powerful and emotional as it went on. Jakob and the band didn’t really change much on the song as they understood the importance and gravity of the song and were able to capture that feeling and yet I felt they made the song their own and make it sound like a Wallflowers’ song.

THE VERDICT

I have to admit they are both fantastic versions of the songs. As much as I love the musical stylings of The Wallflowers and Jakob Dylan’s vocals, there is no denying David Bowie’s legendary vocals. David Bowie is my choice of the winner for the best version of this song. I mean, it is David Bowie no less. He is a legend for a reason. Plus the pain staking efforts they went through to get the sound they wanted alone makes this song the best version. David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti brought us one of the greatest songs of all time so naturally it is my pick. Now, if you like The Wallflowers version, I can see why you’d pick it as it is great in its own right.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

LYRICS:

“”Heroes””

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I’ll drink all the time
‘Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we’re lovers, and that is that
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d’you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We’re nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we’re lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh
Just for one day

Written by David Bowie and Brian Eno

Tuesday’s Memes – David Bowie

I have been doing these collections for over two years and I have not done a David Bowie collection.  What the heck was I thinking…forget that, what was I waiting for.  That misstep is now fixed as I scoured the internet for a collection of memes celebrating all that is great about David Bowie. You are missed sir, but your music (and memes) will live on forever.

He wasn’t just Cool…He was David Bowie…

8a464d84ec397b07ce057478bb812be2

david-bowie_o_531110 Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – David Bowie”

David Hasselhoff – ‘Open Your Eyes’ – Album Review

When I head David Hasselhoff (or The Hoff) was putting out a new album of cover songs, I told myself that I have to listen to this for the train wreck that it is going to be.  I mean The Hoff has never been popular in the States for his vocal talent and yet, I was intrigued.

David has put together an eclectic list of covers and the most interesting part is the line-up of musicians he was able to get to assist with these covers.  Let’s look at the cover songs and those individuals who helped out.

Track List:

  1. Open Your Eyes (Feat. James Williamson of The Stooges) – Lords of the New Church Cover
  2. Head On (Feat. Elliot Easton of The Cars) – The Jesus & Mary Chain Cover
  3. I Melt With You (Feat. Steve Stevens) – Modern English Cover
  4. Lips Like Sugar (Feat. A Flock of Seagulls) – Echo & The Bunnymen Cover
  5. Heroes (Feat. Composer Tyler Bates) – David Bowie Cover
  6. Here I Go Again (Feat. Tracii Guns) – Whitesnake Cover
  7. Jump in My Car (Feat. Todd Rundgren) – Ted Murley Gang Cover
  8. Rhinestone Cowboy (Feat. Charlie Daniels) – Glen Campbell Cover
  9. If You Could Read My Mind (Feat. Ava Cherry) – Gordon Lightfoot Cover
  10. Sugar Sugar (Feat. Steve Cropper) – The Archies Cover
  11. Mit 66 Jahren (Feat. Patrick Moraz of Yes and the Moody Blues) – Udo Jurgens Cover
  12. Sweet Caroline (Feat. Ministry’s Al Jourgensen) – Neil Diamond Cover
  13. That’s Life – Frank Sinatra Cover

hoff-lp2

Continue reading “David Hasselhoff – ‘Open Your Eyes’ – Album Review”

Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums

One way to tell how good a band really is is to see them live.  If you can’t do that, then it is to listen to one of their live albums.  If they can capture what they have done in the studio and bring it to the stage or even take it up a notch, then you have a solid band.  Growing up, I was never in to live albums.  It was all studio albums for me.  One day, that changed and live albums became the thing.

Now, I tend to be gravitating to the live albums and trying the get them on vinyl or even CD if that is all I can get.  I figured we would go through what Live albums I have in my collection, then with the ones I am trying to get, my Top 5 Favorites and lastly let you weigh in on which ones I have to get my hands on as I am sure there are some I am not aware are great and I should go grab.

We will kick it off with the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!  It was the Kiss Alive albums that did it for me.  These things are great.  I have 4 of them…Kiss Alive!,  Kiss Alive II, Kiss Alive III and Kiss Unplugged.  They did get original with their names as you can tell.

IMG_1020

But that is not all, I also have a ton of Kiss Bootlegs as you have seen through my Kiss Bootleg Series…

Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums”

Friday New Releases – November 30th

The last Friday of November and Christmas is just around the corner which means one thing.  Album releases start to become relatively scarce. You want to drop your album early enough that it makes it on people’s Christmas list, but not too late where no one will grab it as they have spent all their money already on Christmas presents.  Now, there isn’t a whole lot I care about this week and in fact, there is only one.  Some of the other might get a listen sooner or later.  Have a great day and let me know what you are interested in hearing.  Mine is in Blue.

  • 61WAzq7sdaL._AC_US320_QL65_.jpg   Def Leppard – The Story So Far – (Virgin EMI/Mercury):  Def Leppard is bringing yet another greatest hits release.  Just what we needed, right?  Well….not really.  However, that doesn’t stop me from buying it.  I have it on pre-order for the vinyl so I can’t get the 7″ Single of their Depeche Mode cover of “Personal Jesus”.  Yes, I am becoming a completist with Def Leppard.  Anyway, this is a pretty complete greatest hits package and not a bad one to get if you don’t have on yet.  Enjoy!!

  • 31Ncg-T41kL._SS500  The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – (Dirty Hit / Polydor / Interscope)
  • 91CRBGCU3QL._AC_UL115_  Neil Young – Songs for Judy – (Shakey Pictures Records)

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 30th”

Friday New Releases – October 12th

Welcome to another Friday of music new releases.  There are a bunch to choose from, but sadly I am not real thrilled about any of them.  That is probably a good thing since I had so many from last week that I am still enjoying.  There is one I will listen to out of the bunch (highlighted in Blue) and the rest who knows if they will ever find the playlist.  Hopefully with all to choose from, there is something that you will gravitate towards. Let me know what interests you are doesn’t.  Thanks and have a great weekend!!

  • 51DBuL6UKqL._AC_US436_QL65_  Tobymac – The Elements – (Forefront Records):  Tobymac has always proven to me he is a talented artists whether it was with DC Talk or his solo works.  The mixture of hip-hop, pop and rock is always a great combination.  He spreads the word and makes it an enjoyable experience.  This will be the only album this week that is a must listen, the rest…ehh!.

  • 614qJEKidaL._AC_US436_QL65_  Live – Local 717 E.P. – (Kalvary Records):  It has been awhile since any new Live material and it is much needed.  I heard the song below and was intrigued.  This might be first up for the day.

  • 51pFKgIYAtL._SY300_QL70_  Elvis Costello & the Imposters – Look Now – (Concord Records)

  • 413OeeqtLUL.jpg  Tom Morello – The Atlas Underground – (Comandante): This one might get a listen…this song is pretty good.

  • 51uS3scxmmL._AC_US436_QL65_  Kurt Vile – Bottle It In – (Matador):  Okay, maybe this one too.

  • 61K5jDNoQFL._AC_UL115_.jpg  David Bowie – Loving the Alien 1983-1988 (11 CD Set) – (Rhino)
  • 61cLx3dyPoL._AC_US320_QL65_  Blues Traveler – Hurry Up & Hang Around – (BT Recordings)
  • 81MY6RPdsAL._SX522_.jpg  Evanescence – Synthesis Live – (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
  • 81GSD64tv0L._SX522_  Nazareth – Tattooed on my Brain – (Frontiers Record)
  • 51BqXIWsX0L._AC_US436_QL65_  Seventh Wonder – Tiara – (Frontiers Record)
  • 81pOu3lDOCL._SX522_.jpg  Imperllitteri – The Nature of the Beast – (Frontiers Record)
  • 71gM8z8h7QL._SX522_  City of Thieves – Beast Reality – (Frontiers Record)
  • 71sWDhwaRML._SX522_  Creye – Creye – (Frontiers Record)
  • 81mu9XvjxML._AC_UL115_  Eric Clapton – Happy Xmas – (Bushbranch/Surfdog)
  • 41cGdmvrV0L._SS500  Young the Giant – Mirror Master – (Elektra)
  • 512S+VNZwlL._AC_US436_QL65_  Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Rocket – (Verve Forecast)
  • 71NkozUUzaL._AC_UL115_.jpg  Graham Parker – Cloud Symbols – (100% Records)
  • 81fgAt+w9vL._SX522_  Atreyu – In Our Wake – (Spinefarm Records)
  • 51JfdCwUb4L._AC_US436_QL65_  John Hiatt – The Eclipse Sessions – (New West Records)

The Original vs The Cover – “China Girl”

As everyone is aware, David Bowie had what is called his Berlin Era which was the time period between 1976-1979 when he lived in Berlin and recorded several albums including ‘Low’, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lodger’.  During that same period, Iggy Pop was living in Berlin as well and the two got together and wrote the song we covering this month on The Original vs. The Cover.  That song is “China Girl”.

The Original version of this song is actually by Iggy Pop.  It was released by Iggy in 1977 on his album ‘The Idiot’.  David Bowie’s version didn’t come out until 1983 on his album ‘Let’s Dance’.  I will tell you that at the time of Bowie’s release I was completely unaware that Iggy had done this song 6 years earlier so I thought this was the original.

There has been discussion over the meaning of the song over the years.  One group believes the song is about a Vietnamese woman that Iggy was completely infatuated with.  Her name is Kuelan Nguyen.  The song is about his desire to be with her, but at the same time warn her of the problems of Western Civilization and the damage it can do as you can see with the line…”Visions of swastikas in my head”.  The fact the were in Berlin probably added to that commentary.

The other camp thought the song was about Heroin since the term “China White” is a term used to describe heroin.  The girl in the song was considered the Heroin and all the problems it can cause.  I can believe either version, but the truth is it was actually about the woman that Iggy was crazy about.  I prefer the love story over the drugs.  Now, let’s get to the music.

Continue reading “The Original vs The Cover – “China Girl””

Friday New Releases – June 8th

Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s list of notable releases…at least notable in my book.  There is only one MUST HAVE and a couple others I will get to as well.  Take a look and let me know what you are looking forward to and what I might have missed.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.

  • 4846771  Tremonti – A Dying Machine – (Napalm Records):  The Creed and Alter Bridge guitarist strikes out on his own with his other band Tremonti.  This time he takes on lead vocals and fronts one hellavu hard rock band.  If you are a fan, then this is a MUST HAVE in your collection as it is mine.  The band bring us their fourth album…that is right…their fourth and we can never get enough.

  • 51ePleVw4rL._SY300_QL70_  Sunstorm – The Road to Hell – (Frontier Records):  The great Joe Lynn Turner brings his vocals to the band’s fifth album and the man can still sing at just 66 years young.  The Hackensack-ack-ack-ack born singer has fronted a few bands you might have heard about…Rainbow and Deep Purple.  He still brings the fire and intensity with Sunstorm.  Check them out.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 8th”