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  #1  
Old 08-10-2019, 01:05
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Manics covers that were better than the originals...

... and the ones that missed the mark.

What do you think, people? Where did the boys excel and where should they have thought again?

Personally, I think "Umbrella," "Working Class Hero," "Pennyroyal Tea," "Charles Windsor" and "Wrote for Luck" vastly improved on the originals.

On the side, I much prefer the originals of "Velocity Girl," "Red Sleeping Beauty," "What's My Name"

Funny, with the 3 McCarthy covers, I kind of feel "Charles Windsor" is amazing, "Bourgeois" (sp.?) is as good as the original, and "Red Sleeping Beauty" is pretty weak. One from each category
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:18
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The one cover which really bugs me is "Umbrella" because it's part of a trend I really hate - male guitar bands covering great pop tracks by women. It always comes with a whiff of irony and sexism which riles me. There is no way in which the Manics' "Umbrella" is better than Rihanna's original, which is an absolutely perfect pop song. I mean, I enjoy their version, because it's a competent take on a great song, but if I want to listen to "Umbrella" I'm absolutely going to listen to Rihanna, not the Manics.

Sorry, touched a nerve, rant over As for their other covers I have no real opinion as I don't really listen to them much - apart from "Out of Time" which I adore, but am not that familiar with the original.

Great idea for a thread though! And now I've been reminded how much I love the original "Umbrella" I'm off to watch the video and reminisce about that summer of 2007 when it never stopped raining...

Last edited by blackflower; 08-10-2019 at 09:25.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2019, 10:54
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Charles Windsor absolutely.
Also It's So Easy.
Heh, I like it hard core, can't help it. ♥

For the rest, I'd need to re-listen the originals to compare.

I think Raindrops was cute in Manics' version, but better? Questionable. Especially because I was a teenager when I first grew to love it and it does indeed sound fit for a teenage TV drama.

I like Damn Dog, Working Class Hero, Pennyroyal Tea and Been a Son too, but as I said before, I can't compare them to their respective originals now.

As for Red Sleeping Beauty, it once started playing in my dream while I was taking a nap. The sound felt so real and so loud that it woke me up. It's an experience I'll never forget. And I'd put it in the same category as the so called "exploding head syndrome", which I've been experiencing every now and then since I was young and didn't know was something unusual that had a name.

The three Clash covers I've heard, well, they're cute, but I do prefer the originals here and I believe our favourite uncles would agree too. It seems like they played them just for fun and that's nice, but nothing too serious.

Umbrella, it's okay, but I wasn't too impressed by either version, to be honest. I do respect Rihanna, but mainstream pop is just not my scene. I don't hate it, but it doesn't speak to me for most of the part.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You and Last Christmas were a bit over simplified in my humble opinion. But they were cute too.

That's it for now, I might come with more later.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2019, 11:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackflower View Post
The one cover which really bugs me is "Umbrella" because it's part of a trend I really hate - male guitar bands covering great pop tracks by women. It always comes with a whiff of irony and sexism which riles me. There is no way in which the Manics' "Umbrella" is better than Rihanna's original, which is an absolutely perfect pop song. I mean, I enjoy their version, because it's a competent take on a great song, but if I want to listen to "Umbrella" I'm absolutely going to listen to Rihanna, not the Manics.
I agree with all of this so, so much. And, naturally, female dominated pop music is seen as worthless compared to male dominated rock music. Therefore people automatically say the rock version is way better than the original without so much as a second's thought.

While I'm sure this was not the Manics' intent, it plays into that mindset regardless. Female-sung pop song suddenly becomes culturally acceptable thanks to all male rock band cover version. Yeah ... no!

As for the original question:

Bright Eyes, Pennyroyal Tea, Last Christmas and Take the Skinheads Bowling were all improvements on the originals. Velocity Girl too.
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Old 08-10-2019, 14:31
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Wake Up Alone is pretty awesome. Can't believe that was recorded more than 12 years ago!
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Old 08-10-2019, 20:16
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Primitive Painters is my favourite. A great song to begin with and a lovely counterpoint to the rest of the JFPL era.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2019, 20:54
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The Manics are such a particular band with a particular make-up and chemistry and identity that any cover they do sounds like the Manics trying to do a cover.

It's also the reason why no one has covered the Manics or even cites them as an influence.

All the Manics' covers are great in their own way - I think Suicide is Painless, It's So Easy, Train in Vain, Pennyroyal Tea, and Sweet Child are all great fun. But I can't take any cover they do too seriously.

And in response to the particular point of OP's post, the Manics haven't improved on any of the originals in the slightest.
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Old 08-10-2019, 20:57
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Acoustic version of Red Sleeping Beauty, no contest...
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2019, 23:05
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This is the Day for me. I love that. They've really made that one their very own. And Velocity Girl

But Pennyroyal Tea can't touch Nirvana...should be ashamed of yourselves...though I think Hole performing that one live is the best version
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Old 09-10-2019, 00:35
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I really love loads of the Manics’ covers and I don’t feel like it needs to be a competition with the original versions really, I think it’s often a very complicated thing to compare covers with originals, because there’s often so much more than simply comparing two recordings - there’s nostalgia, originality, context, preferences of style/vocalists/production...

With that said, I can say one of my favourite covers the Manics have ever done possibly benefits from my not ever having heard the/an original recording (if it even exists?) (!) - The Horrors’ Vision Blurred. (Did the ‘original’ ever get released?) The nearest I’ve heard to an original version is a short, heavily distorted clip of a live performance on YouTube...

The Endless Plain of Fortune cover needs mentioning too, I love that.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2019, 00:50
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I like the covers they did for War Child, Raindrops and Out of Time. I also like The Drowners with Richey on the video, which couldn't be more different to the original song.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2019, 17:15
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I hate covers mostly. Self indulgant waste of time. Having said that, James version of To See a Friend In Tears ia rather lovely.
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2019, 18:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porco View Post
I really love loads of the Manics’
covers and I don’t feel like it needs to be a competition with the original versions really, I think it’s often a very complicated thing to compare covers with originals, because there’s often so much more than simply comparing two recordings - there’s nostalgia, originality, context, preferences of style/vocalists/production...

With that said, I can say one of my favourite covers the Manics have ever done possibly benefits from my not ever having heard the/an original recording (if it even exists?) (!) - The Horrors’ Vision Blurred. (Did the ‘original’ ever get released?) The nearest I’ve heard to an original version is a short, heavily distorted clip of a live performance on YouTube...

The Endless Plain of Fortune cover needs mentioning too, I love that.
Exactly this! Vision Blurred is one of the best MSP tracks ever, even if they didn't write it themselves. Awesome. And Endless Plane....love it. Other than these, I particularly like Wrote For Luck, This Is The Day, and Out Of Time.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2019, 22:37
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Theme From MASH. It's basically the only one that has melded into their catalogue that it's easy to forget its a cover.
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2019, 19:56
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Hot take time!

"Feels Like Heaven" is the best manics cover.

Yup.

The chorus is incredible. James' voice, the harmonies, the skyscraping falsetto. The whole thing is just perfect. Also, people love it. Play it to anyone, any normie on the street and they will dig it, guaranteed. Also, Hold Me Like A Heaven, a magnificent song, is very much informed by this cover. They recorded it about a year later, it has a similar astral chorus, similar 80s sound, and also features the word Heaven. Even the key might be the same...

Raindrops is nr 2 for me. Always liked Take The Skinheads Bowling too.
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