Popular Song (Wildly Different Genre Version)
September 25, 2011 8:28 PM   Subscribe

The Rework. I'm looking for examples of the self-cover in a different style, i.e. a reimagining, where the musician reinterprets their own song in a new genre. Is this a thing?

Sorry if it's obvious, but I can't come up with a term to describe this phenomenon.

Examples: Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" (Adult Contemporary Version); Washed Out's "Far Away" (Lounge-lizard Inspired Soft-Rock Version); Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (Country Road Version)

I only tentatively use the term "cover", because it seems to imply a separate artist recording their own rendition. This would be the artist returning to their own work. I guess "Unplugged" versions technically count, but I'm more interested in cases of a more deliberate genre shift. Also, I'm aware that certain artists, such as Bloc Party, will usually commission a bunch of (electronica) artists to remix their album in a specific genre. So, not so much remixes in that fashion. Thanks for your help.
posted by stroke_count to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Country Honk, on the Rolling Stones's Let It Bleed, which was a very different rendition of their single, Honky Tonk Women.

Revolution 1, from the White Album, a much slowed-down version of the Beatles's hard-rock version of Revolution released as a single.

(See, 30 years ago, there were these releases called singles. . . )
posted by megatherium at 8:33 PM on September 25, 2011

Layla - Eric Clapton original and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXcqXRMldoI&feature=related
posted by carmicha at 8:40 PM on September 25, 2011

Vanilla Ice recorded a nu-metal version of 'Ice Ice, Baby' a few years back. Sorry for that.
posted by mcrandello at 8:40 PM on September 25, 2011

Oops - here's the remake for Layla
posted by carmicha at 8:42 PM on September 25, 2011

Costello & Naive is a kinda jazzy, acoustic re-interpretation of lots of Costello's early classics.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:45 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

On the off-chance that you don't know, Sufjan has two additional re-envisionings of Chicago on the Avalanche outtakes album.
posted by threeants at 8:54 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Counting Crows did an entire album like this, with new arrangements of their own songs: Across a Wire (Disc 1).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:58 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hendrix recorded 2 completely different versions of Voodoo Child on the same album.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:01 PM on September 25, 2011

This is basically Bob Dylan's career. He reinterprets many of his older songs to sound like his latest albums. Recently the Bootleg Series Vol 8 includes some of this, including two new versions of Mississippi and a new version of Things Have Changed - granted these are more recent songs but are still redone. And Nashville Skyline has a crooning country cover of Girl From the North Country (with johnny Cash). And The Bootleg Series No 5. Live 1975 has a two-cd set of Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue reinterpreting many of his songs in a biting hard-rock manner.

So yeah, this what Dylan has been doing for thirty years.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:10 PM on September 25, 2011

There are two different versions of "Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies, and if I recall correctly, Michelle Shocked does two versions of Fogtown. Rancid and Lucinda Williams both released fully acoustic versions of their most recent albums, as well.
posted by pazazygeek at 9:12 PM on September 25, 2011

Todd Rundgren - With A Twist....

(This actually contained his third studio version of "Hello It's Me", if you count the one he did with The Nazz as his.)
posted by treblemaker at 9:17 PM on September 25, 2011

Cat Power - In This Hole from;
What Would the Community Think
Covers Record
posted by lrobertjones at 9:22 PM on September 25, 2011

The Allman Brothers Band released three different versions of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed". (But they weren't different genre, just each successive version was much longer than the previous one.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:40 PM on September 25, 2011

Foo Fighters; original and acoustic versions of "Everlong."

Similar previous thread.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:42 PM on September 25, 2011

The New York Dolls re-did Trash as reggae on the Cause I Says So album.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:43 PM on September 25, 2011

Blues Traveler has a whole album worth of these, called Cover Yourself. (Some are more dramatically reimagined than others.)
posted by danb at 9:51 PM on September 25, 2011

Alanis Morissette re-recorded all of Jagged Little Pill as an acoustic album in 2005.
posted by auto-correct at 11:06 PM on September 25, 2011

Devo doing a semi-acoustic folk version of "Jocko Homo" in 1988, also available with better audio on the live album "Now It Can Be Told: Devo At The Palace."
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:15 PM on September 25, 2011

Now that I think about it, Devo's "E-Z Listening Disc" is pretty much a whole CD of re-imagined self-covers.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:22 PM on September 25, 2011

I've only heard the audio of it, but Stone Temple Pilots did a great "lounge version" of Sex Type Thing on Unplugged.

I guess there's also the Police's reworking of "Don't Stand So Close to Me", though I don't believe it was too popular with fans. Most synth-poppy, less peppy than the original.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:10 AM on September 26, 2011

posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:10 AM on September 26, 2011

I came here to say the same as allen.spaulding.

Bob Dylan has been "covering"/"remixing" his own songs for years, especially when performing live (to the chagrin of many, and the joy of countless others).

I imagine any of his live albums or bootlegs will contain many of his classics performed in this style.
posted by fakelvis at 12:13 AM on September 26, 2011

Muscles - Ice Cream orig.
Muscles - Ice Cream piano version
posted by Trivia Newton John at 1:07 AM on September 26, 2011

After UB40 covered "Red Red Wine" and made it a reggae song, Neil Diamond performed it that way in concert (not sure if he ever recorded it) - and had a good time doing it. Though I think a good part of his enthusiasm came from the sudden influx of royalties ;)
posted by lemniskate at 3:57 AM on September 26, 2011

Tom Waits has done this kind of thing. His album Frank's Wild Years has two versions of "Innocent When You Dream" and "Straight to the Top," and many of the songs on his live tour album Big Time are performed in a style that's very different from his studio recordings of them.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:22 AM on September 26, 2011

Darren Hayes does this with songs from his Savage Garden days - hell I believe he's been doing this ever since he was *in* Savage Garden (see: MTV Unplugged). Here's a good example: Break Me Shake Me, and the concert version which is mire hard-rock and a bit more metal.
posted by divabat at 5:56 AM on September 26, 2011

Wham! - I'm Your Man

George Michael - I'm Your Man '96

(Since Wham! was basically George Michael anyway, it's very much a remake by the original artist.)
posted by hippybear at 6:03 AM on September 26, 2011

Everything But The Girl - Driving

Everything But The Girl - Driving (along with several other remade tracks from their Acoustic album)
posted by hippybear at 6:24 AM on September 26, 2011

Ah, there are many examples.

Peter Gabriel's current project New Blood (which comes out soon) will be symphonic arrangements of many of his back catalog, often with startling new interpretations.

Here's a quick snippet of Red Rain, and of course the original.
posted by hippybear at 6:30 AM on September 26, 2011

Men at Work - Overkill (1983)
Colin Hay - Overkill (2002, seen in the Scrubs episode, My Overkill)
posted by Sutekh at 7:16 AM on September 26, 2011

I am so embarrassed to know this, but Shania Twain actually did this with her entire album Up! -- there was a country version, a pop version, and an "international" version. I feel it needs to be said that I own none of these.
posted by somanyamys at 8:11 AM on September 26, 2011

Cyndi Lauper redid Girls Just Want to Have Fun in a reggae style. The second version is called Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun).
posted by yawper at 10:20 AM on September 26, 2011

Built to Spill did this recently, re-recording one song from each album as synth-pop. Some of the songs were awesome, some not so much.
posted by besonders at 10:34 AM on September 26, 2011

As an indie singer-songwriter, Will Oldham recorded most of his stuff with kind of a sparse, desperate, often-haunting sound, under the name "Palace", usually just using guitar and his broken-sounding voice. Years later, he re-recorded a bunch of his old Palace songs with a lush, markedly more cheerful country-western sound, and released them as "Bonnie Prince Billy sings Greatest Palace Music." You can hear the difference in the example below:

Palace: I Send My Love To You
Bonnie "Prince" Billy: I Send My Love To You
posted by Greg Nog at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2011

Frank Zappa did this a lot. One example: Trouble Every Day (1966), More Trouble Every Day (1975). "Peaches En Regalia" is another song he tended to revisit.
posted by dfan at 1:03 PM on September 26, 2011

This may be too obvious but Radiohead's Morning Bell was released in two significantly different versions from Kid A to their following album Amnesiac, although that might be more alternate version territory (they were almost definitely recorded during the same session) rather than a proper revisit of the material some time later.
posted by the foreground at 8:12 AM on September 27, 2011

« Older Your dinner and Bob Dylan are both ready, sir   |   MST3K for kids? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.