Friday, March 16, 2012

"Rate Your Preference"

I present today two renditions of the same song. “Sometimes I Dream”, written by Merle Haggard, and performed in their individual styles by Merle Haggard and Steve Young.

Tell me which version you prefer. I have my favorite, but I want to hear from you.

It’s weird. A guy writes a song and another guy does it better. Wait! Did I just give away my preference?

Actually, I didn’t. There’s a third singer in the race. But, unfortunately, they are not available on Youtube. That guy can only be heard in my basement. And he may be the best one of them all.

Anyway, there's still these other two Let me know what you think.


Gnasche said...

It is my opinion that the original writer always performs the "best" version - even if they can't sing. The reason for this is because I believe writing music and lyrics is always taking an intangible concept and making something tangible out of it. The purpose of the song is to get the audience as close to that intangible concept as possible. The word choice, music choice, and presentation choice by the person who actually experienced that concept is always going to get the audience closer to that.

Another person's presentation of it is already removed from the original concept - so there's no way they can possible be better at getting the audience to that state of mind. It may be more entertaining, and even more easy to relate to, but the best version will always be by the one who originally experienced the impetus for the song.

Yes, even if I truly "like big butts", I will never be able to convey how Sir Mix-A-Lot "likes big butts" better than Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; Mr. Steve Young's makes a good song better. The song is a blues song. Mr Haggard's arraignment, for want of a better word, is too "studio", while Mr. Young's is raw and natural. This sells the song.

I'd like to hear Mr Haggard's acoustic take on it, if such a thing exists.


Zaraya said...

Dear Mr. Pomerantz; I should not post when I am hungover. I am sorry about accidently a lot of words.


YEKIMI said...

I like Steve Young's better. But now you've hit upon a weak spot of mine. When I worked in radio and I heard a song I like I tended to end up researching it and finding out as much as I could about it including hunting down rare obscure versions of it or the songwriters take on it. Case in point: The Marcel's "Blue Moon". Written as a ballad, The Marcel's version completely upended it and they made it their own. But, I like BOTH versions. Another one: "Mr. Bojangles" The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's version was my favorite until I heard the songwriter, Jerry Jeff Walker, sing it. It's hard to explain, but his version seems to just jump out at me, maybe because he lived the song, met the person it was based on and it seems to come out in his voice. And if you haven't seen his version, take a look:

pumpkinhead said...

For my money, the most stunning instance of a cover outstripping the original.



Although I may be cheating because lead singer of the group is not the group member who wrote the song.

BTW, I preferred Merle's version.

Zaraya said...

Dear Pumpkinhead; I think you switched the links to your videos as Gary Jules is the person doing the Cover (first link marked 'Original') and Tears for Fears (second link marked 'Cover') are the writers of "Mad World"


pumpkinhead said...

Dear Ms. Zaraya, you're right.