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Cover Songs
Cover Songs

Learn about modal verbs.

Date: Jan 24 2011

Themes: Music

Grammar: Modal Verbs


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It’s said that imitation is the best form of flattery. If that’s true, then in the music world, there’s no better way to show that you love a song than recording your own version of it.

Some cover songs remain extremely faithful to the original version of the song, while others take the song in a new direction by putting the cover artist’s own spin on it. Some of the best covers are so successful at capturing the true spirit of a song that they become even more well known than the original version.

Find out what Devan and Jeff think it takes to make a great cover song.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Devan:  So, what’s your favorite cover song of all time?

Jeff:  There are too many to list.

Devan:  So you do like when artists cover other people’s music, or would you rather them just play their own originals?

Jeff:  I don’t know, sometimes cover songs can be better than the original. But a lot of times I think they’re real cheesy.

Devan:  Sometimes they rework it in such a way that…especially if it’s by an unknown artist, when you hear their version you think that it’s original. For example, like Jimi Hendrix’ “Hey Joe,” I never knew that was a cover until recently.

Jeff:  Yeah, there’s that. He did “Along the Watchtower,” too, that Bob Dylan song.

Devan:  Yeah, most people think that’s a Jimi Hendrix song, not a Bob Dylan song.

Jeff:  Yeah, I know, I did for a long time.

Devan:  But when you can make it your own, I think that’s when it makes for a good cover song, when you put your own spin on it, add yourself into it, and make it your own, but still manage to stay true to the spirit of the original song.

Jeff:  Yeah, I like that. Sometimes people go pretty far though.


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Jeff thinks there are so many good cover songs out there, it’s hard to pick just one as his favorite. At the same time, he thinks some covers can be a little cheesy.

For Devan, the best cover songs are those that rework the original and really turn it into a new song. Some cover songs even become more popular than the original recording of the song. Devan thinks that is just fine, but Jeff thinks that sometimes cover artists go too far in their interpretation of a song. He thinks it’s important to respect the original version of a song while putting one’s own spin on it.

What is your favorite cover? Do you like it when artists make covers that are really different from the original version of a song?



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Russian Federation

I’m not such a fan of mainstream music, and within the music I listen to it’s more common to call such stuff remixes. And it’s just an ordinary thing. Some guys who’re really talented produce brilliant works of art putting a great spin on them, while creations of others are often a whole crap. What is more, generally it represents an opportunity for beggining musicians to buid up making a minimal contribution of their own – obviously, you’d be more likely to get interested in an artist if there were a famous star’s name followed as an original’s author name. Thus, it provides a sort of unfairness sometimes.

10:59 PM Dec 02 2012 |




I will give you an example of one of the most succed cover records that I’ve heard,is called “Nativity In Black – A Tribute to Black Sabbath”...Pretty good record! There is the presence of big bands of havy metal in the world,as Megadeth,White Zombie,Biohazard,Sepultura,Ozzy Osbourne and others…They interpret the great successes of Black Sabbath and all of its songs are pretty good! Check it out ;)

04:52 PM Dec 02 2012 |




Covers can be really beautiful but sometimes can be also a big defeat.

My lovely cover is TIESTO – “Adagio For Strings” ( in orginal by Samuel Barber).

09:49 PM Feb 12 2012 |



Russian Federation

I adore the cover version of the song "Englisnman in NY" by Sting… Ph-electro made this cover very well…  I like also "Girl you know it's true I love you" by Movetown ( original Milli Vanilli).... and  20:00 by Хаки (эту песню Барыкина кто только не перепевал на свой лад)

09:36 PM Apr 02 2011 |



Song: Ponte en mi lugar – Espinoza Paz
It´s a mexcian song, so good and unperfect inlove

09:06 PM Jan 24 2011 |



Yep, some singers can do good job on covering, but not losing the spirit of it.

02:06 PM Jan 24 2011 |

Shinichi Lover


WELL , I don't listen to songs, but I think it's not a good idea to cover songs!

usually the orginal songs are better >>

10:39 AM Jan 24 2011 |


Russian Federation

Some cover songs are as good as the original versions.

10:10 AM Jan 24 2011 |



United States

I really like tiffany’s covers on youtube . . She made the covers on beyonce, rihanna, and aguilera’s songs,and they are amazing . She put a spin on them, making them a bit different but still stay true to a original :)

09:54 AM Jan 24 2011 |




I don't think I like any cover song. There is really little chance a cover song is as good as the original one.

The reason you cover another song is because everyone likes its original version, so why do you think you can do it better?  If you have to copy something, copy songs from unknown singers or bands, you get more chance.

05:39 AM Jan 24 2011 |



 There are some bands that stay true to the spirit of the original song, and I like that kind of covers.

05:15 AM Jan 24 2011 |




Some cover songs are as good as the originals.

02:49 AM Jan 24 2011 |


filip.kSuper Member!


Usually cover songs are not as good as originals. Typically it comes to money …

09:26 PM Jan 23 2011 |

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