Cover song [cover]
- Deena Weinstein
A performance or recording of a song which has previously been recorded by another performer. A cover song may be performed live or it may be recorded on any medium; the song on which a cover is based is known as the original. (A live performance of a song by the musicians who recorded the original version, no matter how similar or different from their record, is not considered to be a cover.) Covers are ubiquitous in all forms of popular music, from show tunes (notably “Summertime”), holiday standards (“White Christmas”), jazz (“Take Five”), and country (“Crazy”). During the 1930s and 40s virtually every worthwhile single was quickly covered by other major artists. During the 1930s there were six versions of “Body and Soul” in the US charts at the same time. Pop and rock music have spawned many thousands of covers, with Beatles’ originals, such as “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby” ranking as the most covered songs. The initial releases of many of the most famous early rock performers, from Elvis to the Beatles and Rolling Stones, were cover songs....