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.