As most of you may already know, I am part of a music community called Muziboo where amateur singers/composers/musicians post covers and original work. I always find it interesting to see how people sing covers and also how covers are critiqued. It seems that in general there are a two different schools of thought. There are those who believe that when a person sings a cover, he should try to reproduce the original as is. If he is not able to, then it shows his inability to do so and is seen as a flaw/shortcoming in the cover. There is also a second set of people who believe when a person sings a cover, he/she should be creative and add some originality to the interpretation. The basic structure and the essence of the original should still be maintained though.
I belong to the the second school of thought. I have always believed that an artist should let his/her imagination run wild when doing covers and try to bring in as much of their own individuality as possible. I dont want my cover to be known for being just like the original. I would be much happier if people remember my version of the song for its originality. The next time they hear the original, I want them to think of my version. Today I was listening to Kris Allen’s version of Aint No Sunshine, which is what prompted me to write this artice. When he sang this song on America Idol last year, I was lost for words. It was that authentic and creative.. So much so that a lot of people now remember his version first. I am posting the original by Bill Withers and also the cover version by Kris Allen. I think this is one of the best examples of an excellent cover – Keeps the essence of the original and yet stand out on its own!
Bill Withers Version of aint no Sunshine:
Kris Allen’s Cover of Aint No Sunshine: