I was recently chatting to another about the "stealing" of music, specifically, this was meant in reference to what we now call a "cover" or style of music. The topic of our chat had to do with legendary blues guitarist, Hubert Sumlin.and if he "stole" his finger picking vs a pick technique from John Lee Hooker. It was said to me that he did admit it, I say, so what! He was a blues guitar genius! I have read some articles that suggest that it was Howlin' Wolf that told Hubert that he was playing to "heavy" and that Hubert then decided to use finger technique. Again, not sure if we will ever know, nor does it matter to me,.
The reason that I bring this up is that I am reminded about how all my faves have part of their style as a result of their own influences, this is not "stealing' to me. Whether it is a cover or a total remake of a song, it can be done very successfully with another style and interpretation. One of the first examples that comes to mind is Whitney Houston's cover of the Dolly Parton classic, "I Will Always Love You."
Some of my fave covers:
Dolly and Stairway To Heavenhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw_Codf29Pw
Al Green- How Can You Mend A Broken Hearthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzitOsxKJNY
Almost a cover, but more of a remake. Mary J. Blige & U2, "One"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpDQJnI4OhU
Oh gosh don't get me started on the late, great Eva Cassidy!
Song Bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJFmM2gGhq
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccCnL8hArW8
Ray Charles cover of the classic by Leon Russel, "A Song For You"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgZTvLFRYrE
Closing with one, if not the best example of a cover that I can think of. I know that Carrie Underwood has an enormous amount of fans. I mean absolutely no disrespect to her what so ever, but I wish she would chose better material! She is exceedingly talented!! It's just that when I (for example) saw her "Blown Away" video, I thought, darlin' you don't need, nor should you have multimillion dollar effects in your videos that totally distract from your talent that speaks for itself in your voice! Keep it real Carrie, hang around VG for some of the best influence and advice! VG was perfection here!!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX15hq2VxdQ