Musical covers

Hello WDBX fans! This is Jessica of Jessica’s Jukebox. I’ve always wanted to have a musical blog. But now that we have one here on WDBX, it took me a few days to come up with something to talk about. Then one of my friends posted this video on her Facebook page:

This is Johnny Cash doing “Rusty Cage,” originally by Soundgarden.

Here is Soundgarden’s original song:

Nevermind the differences in the videos, this is almost a completely different song! In fact, I think I’ve heard the Cash version more often (at least lately) than the Soundgarden version. I didn’t even realize it was a cover (apparently from an album that Cash did of all covers.)

I thought I’d write about this because *usually* (though not always), I’m not a big fan of covers. Take, for instance, almost ANY cover of almost any song by The Beatles. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any that improves upon the original. (If you were at the Sunset Concert this summer where the band tried to sing “Hey Jude,” you know what I mean!) Now, I do enjoy the I Am Sam soundtrack. But I wouldn’t say it’s better than the original songs. I like them, but if I feel like listening to “Let It Be,” I prefer the original to the Nick Cave version on the soundtrack.

However, I think that soundtrack does have a few winners. “Across the Universe” by Rufus Wainwright is perhaps my favorite version of that song:

But again, that version is pretty different from the original. I think it has to be different enough that I’m not trying to sing along to it like it’s the original.

I also have come to enjoy cover bands. I haven’t heard that many, but I’ll give a shout-out here to “This Must Be the Band” (, a Chicago-based Talking Heads tribute band. I’ve seen them twice, and they are amazing! They actually re-kindled my interest in the Talking Heads. It’s also just way better to hear any band live – and if it can’t be the original band, a good cover band is just as good (right?!)

What do you think about covers, or cover bands?

Also, if this is interesting to you, or if you have other thoughts about what you’d like to see on this blog, please let me and the other DJs know! And please remember to renew your WDBX membership today!


3 comments on “Musical covers

  1. ltsailiata says:

    Thank you for posting the video of Across the Universe. I have the CD, but I’ve never seen the video. [TV impaired by choice] I am a HUGE fan of covers, as my playlists will reveal. They make me think of the artists and the material in whole new ways. And now I have to figure out how to embed the video in the blog. My Cat Stevens posting has a PSA in the “comment”box. New challenges on a daily basis!

  2. I think Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt” is one of the most amazing covers I’ve ever heard. The wild thing is how (with the exception of one or two words) he manages to give the same lyrics a completely different spin. Sometimes, a cover just “owns” the original, and overwhelms it. But I can still enjoy Cash’s and Reznor’s versions because they are so far apart, stylistically and in their interpretation.

  3. rootsrockinreggae says:

    Thanks for the inspiring ;video of the little girl and the red balloon. It put my spirit in a quiet place.

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