Started on the Far Away Series, and refined by the bloggers noted below, I've been somewhat of a wannabe player in the Battle Of The Bands blogfest, which happens on the first and fifteenth of each month. These guys are to blame for this foolishness:
Far Away Series
Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
Tossing It Out
Your Daily Dose
The way it works is, I put up two versions of a song and you tell me which one you like better.
Simple right? If you look at past comments, some people agonize over this decision, but I'll let you in on a little clue.....there's no wrong answer! Whatever you like IS the right answer!
There's supposed to be a post in five days or so where I tally up the votes and disclose my preference, but I'm generally not motivated enough to do that second post. Plus, if you can sit infront of a computer, I am assuming you can count.
Sometimes, a cover song becomes more popular than the original-in fact, sometimes the original goes largely unheard and people assume that the cover is the original.
The preceding paragraph pretty much sums up Rod Stewart's career in the 90's, as he made a fortune off of syrupy covers of songs that (for me) lacked the power of the original.
A good example is Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately."
Now I am giving away my vote here, but for me, Stewart never comes close to capturing the passion that Van does in the original.
Van wrote the song with spiritual intent, so he's singing to God, and you can feel the emotion coming off of the grooves (or the bytes, if you're playing a CD).
Rod makes it a love song, and does a serviceable job. But it sounds like he's singing a song somebody else wrote to score a top 40 single.
In fairness to Rod, it worked charting in both the US and the UK, and becoming his last (to date) top five single.
Listen for yourself and see what you think.
Interestingly enough, Van Morrison covered himself, performing the song with The Chieftains on their album The Long Black Veil. Here is that version-not intended to be part of the voting, but heck, if you like it best, why not?