Covers of Songs by Black and White Artists

Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was covered by Whitney Houston. While Dolly Parton originally sang it as a country. Whitney’s version is more R&B. The singing style is about the same for both artists. However, Dolly’s version is slower, while Whitney’s is a little more upbeat. The timbre of their voices differ as well; Whitney sings in a high outburst, while Dolly is low and subtle. 


Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” was covered by Eric Clapton. While the use of guitars was similar, the two songs are very different. Marley uses a more bass beat, giving a more funk feel. In Eric Clapton’s version, his background singers use an opera-singing style.

The Isely Brothers covered Seals and Crofts “Summer and Breeze” in 1972. Their version incorporated rock-style elements like an extended guitar riff. Ronald Isley’s soulful voice added another dimension of emotion to Seals and Crofts original. The Isley Brothers enunciated and stretched the lyrics—plus the lyrics they added—. In contrast, the duo sang flat and monotonous, with their words overtop of another. The original production featured a continuous loop of the same beat and melody. At the same time, the sibling band included more instruments that emphasized the emotion of the song. Ronald Isley’s wails and throaty voice and Seals and Crofts constant never changing pitch exemplified the difference in timbre between the two artists.

After carefully listening to both songs, I have come to the conclusion that the chorus and beat of both Elvis and Big Mama Thornton’s version of Hound Dog are really similar. The difference between the two artists versions are that Elvis’ version is more upbeat and would therefore fit into the pop music genre. Compared to Big Mama Thornton’s version which is slower and more emotional than Elvis’. Throughout her version her voice was more raspy and dry so I concluded that her cover would fit into the folk music genre.

Outkast is more fast and upbeat, Maine’s version is more calm, slow, and mellow; Outkast is hip hop whereas The Maine is contemporary. In Maine’s version of “Roses,” the lyrics are sung at a slower pace than Outkast. In the original version of the song, there are more instruments being used than in the cover; they used only guitars and tambourines.

Musiq Soulchild covered the Rolling Stones “Miss You” in 2003. In the original, the song was a mix of rock, disco, and blues. Musiq Soulchild’s cover was mainly R&B. The production differed in that Musiq SoulChild incorporated layers of beats and instruments. In contrast, the Rolling Stones emphasized vocals more than the production. Mick Jagger’s voice is a dry grit; it is audibly exaggerated, while Musiq SoulChild’s voice was effortlessly intune with the beat.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.