African American Covers

by Toni Hall

Example 1

In 1992 Whitney Houston made a cover to Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You for the movie “The Body Guard”. Whitney made the country song RnB. 

Dolly Parton had a light timbre while Whitney’s started light and turned bright and resonant. Whitney’s version was done in a higher octave. Dolly Parton had less range. Whitney had a wide range going from low notes to really high notes.Her pitch altered frequently throughout the song. Parton kept more of a mellow tone though it did change from time to time. 

Example 2

In 1968 the Creedence Clearwater Revival made a country song called Proud Mary. Tina Turner covered the song and made it RnB in 1971.

There was a lot of syncopation in Tina Turner’s Proud Mary to make the song more upbeat. The instruments used a brassy timbre. Unlike the Creedence Clearwater Revival version Turner does a lot of yelling. Both artist at times seem to have a raspy timbre, but mostly the original.

Example 3

Jimi Hendrix released a cover to a Bob Dylan song the same year it was  made. Hendrix remade Bob Dylan’s 1968 folk/rock song, All Along the Watchtower.

Hendrix and Bob Dylan both have a breathy timbre. However, Hendrix had more of different pitches. He would often go from low to yelling. In Bob Dylan’s version, the syncopation is very obvious with the harmonica.There is also a lot of rhythmic variety in Hendrix’s version, creating syncopation. 

White American and White British Covers

Example 1

Lady Marmalade was a song originally made by a group called LaBelle. Christina Aguilera remade the song in 2001 for a movie called Moulin Rouge. 

While both were performed in groups, Aguilera’s version had a routine while the Labelles just individually sang and danced on stage.The women singing in Aguilera’s had a rehearsed performance and the Labelles did not. Both had a lot of energy and they both sang with the microphones on their hands. 

Example 2

The 1964 song Tainted Love by Gloria Jones was originally a RnB song. In 1981 a British duo, Soft Cell, made a pop version of the song. 

Both singers stood in the same spot giving emotion with their face while doing lots of hand movements. The only true difference is Gloria did not hold a microphone. 

Example 3

Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground is a funk/rnb song originally recorded 1973. remade by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1989. 

Stevie Wonder sat the whole time and played the piano during his performance. The Red Hot Chili Peppers did the exact opposite. They jumped around and had lots of movement. However, they both played their own instruments throughout their performances. Stevie played his piano and the Red Hot Chili Peppers played guitar and drums. 

Works Cited

Einav, Dan. “Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower — redefined by Jimi Hendrix.” Financial Times, 22 May 2018, https://ig.ft.com/life-of-a-song/all-along-the-watchtower.html.

 

Finn, Heather. “The Real Story Behind Why Dolly Parton Wrote the Song “I Will Always Love You.”” Good Housekeeping, 6 April 2018, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a30570197/dolly-parton-i-will-always-love-you-lyrics-meaning/.

 

“Lady Marmalade.” Song Facts, https://www.songfacts.com/facts/labelle/lady-marmalade.

 

Lorinczi, Seth. “That’s a Cover?” Cover Me Songs, https://www.covermesongs.com/2018/02/thats-a-cover-tainted-love-gloria-jones-soft-cell.html.

 

Meyers, Marc. “’Proud Mary,’ From John Fogerty to Tina Turner: Anatomy of a Song.” The Wall Street Journal, 23 May 2013, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323648304578494993596953764.


“The Original Vs The Cover – “Higher Ground.”” 2 Loud 2 Old Music, 12 September 2018, https://2loud2oldmusic.com/2018/09/12/the-original-vs-the-cover-higher-ground/.



 

Other works by the Author

African American Music

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Covers

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