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What Would People Think?

Sunday, February 04, 2007


.....covered CCR/Tina Turner, Dylan/Hendrix, and Foo Fighters. Awesome.

Also, Jeff has proven he probably won't have a successful career as a prophet, and this amuses me.
Also, I miss my friends. Don't get me wrong - Christy is my best friend ever. But the only other friend I have who lives nearby is Dan, and he and I only see each other every couple of weeks. It's different being out of school. I no longer have situations which force me to interact with a bunch of people my age. I miss my old brothers in arms.

Also, Christy and I saw Dreamgirls last night. My favorite song - "Jimmy's Rap." Eddie Murphy was awesome in every scene.

Also, I'm asking y'all to hold me to something. If - as I truly believe - my purpose on this Earth is to love God and love my fellow human beings, I've got to break out of my protective professional middle class shell. If Jesus hung out with the prostitutes, the lepers, the Gentiles, and the tax collectors.....then, dammit, the least I can do is interact with the homeless person who asks me for money instead of averting my eyes and hurrying to work. Hell, that's not even the least I could do....it's not enough. I need to seriously invest my time and resources in service. I don't know what yet, but I want you to hound me 'till I get on it. If I don't make community service of some sort a regular part of my life now, it'll never happen.

Also, I've been listening to the new Switchfoot album. I LOVE "Faust, Midas, and Myself."

Also the mostly-annoying, occasionally-insightful, always-interesting Dailykos does a great job of puncturing the myth of peace protesters spitting on Vietnam (and now Iraq) vets.....and the even greater myth that the real reason we lost in Vietnam was lack of "will."

This post has been another random mix of the deep and shallow brought to you by Ben's tired brain. Wish it could have proved more worth the read.


  • No, Prince covered CCR (which was also covered by Tina Turner), Bob Dylan (which was also covered by Jimi Hendrix) and the Foo Fighters (who in turn covered Prince's "Darling Nikki" a few years ago). Though I admit that I too initially said Hendrix when Prince played "Watchtower", and almost immediately felt like I needed to surrender my rock n roll credentials. (Speaking of which, who knew pre-"Dreamgirls" that "Hound Dog" was a cover?)

    Finally, "Purple Rain" has never sounded more fitting.

    As for Jeff, I've heard it said that a prophet is not without honor, save in his own country. I believe that was Charlie Brown.

    When you start hanging out with prostitutes, let me know.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/05/2007 10:35 AM  

  • I'd argue that "Proud Mary" has become an American standard, and therefore Prince did not cover CCR.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 2/05/2007 2:18 PM  

  • Prince covered a song that is known in the popular consciousness as a song sung both by Tina Turner and CCR. Same for "All Along the Watchtower" and Dylan/Hendrix.

    By Blogger Ben, at 2/05/2007 9:51 PM  

  • Actually, the popular consciousness would commonly associate "Proud Mary" with Tina and "Watchtower" with Hendrix. This does not mean that the popular consciousness is correct, nor does it change the fact that the songs were originally written by John Fogerty and Robert Zimmerman, respectively.

    "Proud Mary" may be an American standard, but there is still a definitive first recording of the song. Therefore, Prince did cover CCR.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/06/2007 10:38 AM  

  • Yeah, but I still missed "When Doves Cry," "7," "1999," "Raspberry Beret," etc.

    And the ad that was filmed next to the Whole Foods I occasionally go to... awesome.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2/06/2007 12:02 PM  

  • Mike - in your mind is there ever a point where a song can become enough of a standard that playing it is no longer considered a cover? What is that point? You "Proud Mary" was a cover. What about "Mack the Knife" or "Fly Me to the Moon"?

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 2/06/2007 4:28 PM  

  • Jeff - I wondered whether Prince would play "1999", but figured he would neglect it for fear it would show how outdated he was.

    Matt - When there is a definitive first recording of a song by the artist that originally composed the song, it will always be a cover when another artist performs it. Over 2000 artists have done their own versions of "Yesterday", and yet one can hardly argue it is anything other than a Beatles song. At what point would you argue a song becomes a standard and no longer a cover?

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/06/2007 6:00 PM  

  • Matt - no one artist really originated either of those songs. The former is from the German "Threepenny Opera"; the latter is a cabaret song written by some random dude and made famous by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie some 20 years after it was written. When there's a definitive original version of the song by a pop artist, it's a cover. Thus, "Proud Mary," no matter how much of a standard it is, will always be a CCR cover, since it was written by and made famous by that band.

    That having been said, Prince's cover was more in the Ike and Tina style than in the CCR style.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2/06/2007 6:59 PM  

  • Alright, I guess I understand the distinction you guys are putting forth.

    All the same, part of me still likes the idea that a song can become so universally known/performed that it loses cover status. Songs like "Yesterday" or "Proud Mary" or "Respect". Everyone does those songs, and they're so well known, and even though there was a "definitive" version done the song itself has transcended that definition and is played in different forms and styles and interpretations by all sorts of artists. I'm hard pressed to draw a distinct line where the covers seperate from the standards, but I still like the idea that a song can transition from the one to the other.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 2/06/2007 10:36 PM  

  • Jeff hit precisely on the point I've been trying to make but haven't been able to articulate.

    The version Prince did of "Proud Mary" had a lot more in common with the Tina Turner version than the CCR version. Similarly, Prince's cover of "Watchtower" sounded electric-guitar-solo-friendly a la Hendrix. (Admittedly, it's been years since I've heard either the Hendrix or the Dylan version, but I seem to remember the Hendrix version rocking out more).

    It seems to me, based on the style of his covers, that Prince was covering the more famous versions of those two songs. I put forth the following theory: when Artist 2 has covered Artist 1's song and done so in a significantly different way (i.e. different musical style)....then if Artist 3 covers the song in the same manner as Artist 2, he is covering BOTH Artist 2 and Artist 1. This theory accounts for the fact that Artist 3 is borrowing some of the creativity from BOTH Artist 1 and Artist 2.

    Therefore, I stand by my assertion that Prince covered CCR/Tina Turner and Dylan/Hendrix. And I refuse to surrender my rock 'n roll credentials.

    - Ben (writing from work)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/07/2007 5:23 PM  

  • I see your point and am willing to concede your slashes. Since you acknowledged both the original author as well as the artist responsible for the most famous version (a debatable point on "Proud Mary", as I'm not sure I've ever even heard Tina's version of that song other than in live format), you maintain your rock n roll credentials. Sorry for sparking the long meaningless discussion, but its my natural inclination as a songwriter to give credit to the original author of a particular work.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/08/2007 10:08 AM  

  • Two more things:

    1) My word verification for the last post was "ydumb", which is just awesome.

    2) It is possible to actually log into your Blogger account from work. The government hasn't taken that freedom away just yet.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/08/2007 10:09 AM  

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