Cover songs reworked in different time signatures.
September 28, 2009 1:09 AM   Subscribe

Looking for cover songs that have been reworked in a different time signature.

I got the idea for this question when I came across this. The song you hear this band performing in the video is played in 3s (in a 6/8 feel), but on the album, the song is in 4/4 time.

So I wondered to myself, there must have been bands/artists in the past decade or two that have covered (famous) songs, but took the songs apart while keeping the original lyrics and put it all back together in a different time signature.

Youtube links would be great. 70s~90s pop/rock preferred. Would love to hear some Beatles songs redone in different time signatures. Bands have done this right?
posted by querty to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
A band called bedhead did a similar thing by playing one of their own notated songs upside down--(I can't remember if they changed the time signature or not)

Lepidoptera / Leper

I'm pretty sure you could google at least one version of Blackbird in a different time signature.
posted by at the crossroads at 1:29 AM on September 28, 2009

Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" which is written in 7/4 (with the exception of two 4/4 bars in the chorus) was covered with a different time signature by Erasure in 2003. Erasure's version changed the song to a pretty straightforward 4/4 arrangement (I think they keep one 7/4 in their version of the chorus).

Peter Gabriel's version is here. [YouTube]
Erasure's version is here. [MySpace Video]
posted by darainwa at 1:41 AM on September 28, 2009

One of cortex's many Hallelujah covers was a mashup of it with Take Five by Dave Brubek.
posted by The Pusher Robot at 1:49 AM on September 28, 2009

posted by mirepoix at 2:02 AM on September 28, 2009

St. Etienne's version of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" is in 4/4, while the Neil Young original is in 3/4.
posted by rhizome at 2:08 AM on September 28, 2009

Does Me First and the Gimme Gimmes count?
posted by transporter accident amy at 2:20 AM on September 28, 2009

Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends" cover is in 6/8
posted by timshel at 4:20 AM on September 28, 2009

Minor Threat - Straight Edge (original) vs. NOFX - Straight Edge (cover)
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:22 AM on September 28, 2009

Tears for Fears Mad World was covered by Gary Jules (featured most notably in Donnie Darko.)
posted by xingcat at 4:45 AM on September 28, 2009

OK that Erasure video is just wrong in more ways than I care to count. They picked up on one line (I was feeling part of the machinery) and couldn't even interpret that correctly.

So I know nothing of time signatures, but these are very different than the originals

Bim Skala Bim SKA cover of Brain Damage
Cheryl Crow covering D'yer Mak'er
posted by Gungho at 4:48 AM on September 28, 2009

The Mission Impossible theme song is in 5/4, has been covered in 4/4. (See the "change to the theme song" section in that link.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:18 AM on September 28, 2009

Doctor Who theme tune original: Similar to your example, in triplets

Mankind disco cover version: Straight 4/4
posted by momentofmagnus at 5:29 AM on September 28, 2009

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring has a disco version (used in Boogie Nights, I believe) that's not the original 9/8.
posted by aswego at 6:08 AM on September 28, 2009

Metafilter user umbú produced a fine cover (with a(n apparently) mostly-faithful translation of the lyrics into Portuguese and a charming reinstrumentation) of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army": "Macapa" (or maybe "Macapá"). The original is, I think, in 4/4; umbú's version is in "an Afro-Peruvian 12/8".
posted by yz at 6:36 AM on September 28, 2009

My Favorite Things by Pomplamoose is partially in 5/4 (original is 3/4).
posted by Daily Alice at 6:57 AM on September 28, 2009

Jawbox did a cover of Cornflake Girl that is in 7 for some parts.
posted by jalexc at 7:51 AM on September 28, 2009

Fly Me to the Moon is originally a waltz. Frank Sinatra's version is 4/4.
posted by Bearman at 8:38 AM on September 28, 2009

Richard Cheese specialises in 'Lounge' versions of various Pop, Rock and Rap songs... some of these definitely fit what you're looking for, and others are just hilariously funny and may not be safe for work. Enjoy :)
posted by dirm at 9:09 AM on September 28, 2009

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Nouvelles Vagues, who released an album of 70's and 80's tunes in a bossa nova beat. Then released a second album which was a little less bossa nova and a third album, which includes the now-inevitable countrified version of a Depeche Mode song.

I cannot do youtube searches or links from work, but I can tell you that the live performance (from the tour in support of the first release) of Bela Lugosi's Dead is more than worth the price of admission. Story goes that the guys behind the first album just rounded up French women singers, young enough to be sometimes completely unfamiliar with the originals, taught them the songs phonetically and set them loose.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2009

Do we count Dread Zeppelin's reggae/elvis covers of zepp tunes?
posted by spicynuts at 11:20 AM on September 28, 2009

Alanis' cover of My Humps vs. the original?
posted by peagood at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2009

not sure of the time signature, but Devo's cover of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? is pretty different
posted by Redhush at 6:36 PM on September 28, 2009

I've never see the actual sheet music, but I believe that Neil Sedaka's second, and wonderfully beautiful, version of "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" is in 6/8 time, and a much slower tempo that the original, which is in 4/4.
posted by Dolley at 6:50 PM on September 28, 2009

Would love to hear some Beatles songs redone in different time signatures.

Not exactly a cover version, but this might be of interest to you, if you're not already aware of it.

The Beatles' 'I'll Be Back' (from A Hard Day's Night) is in 4/4 time, but there's an early version on Anthology 1 that's in 6/8 time.

You can also hear it over the credits of the third episode of The Beatles Anthology.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:12 PM on October 8, 2009

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