Author Topic: Albums of “reimagined” songs  (Read 2441 times)

Albums of “reimagined” songs
« on: May 28, 2019, 02:12:35 AM »
Sting’s just brought this out.
https://www.billboard.com/amp/articles/columns/rock/8504335/sting-revisits-reimagines-police-solo-hits-my-songs-collection
Is there anything fucking worse than this rehashing shite from legacy artists? Who buys these albums?
I just had a listen out of morbid curiosity. Despite the fact that calling it “My Songs” is cheek -  in my mind many of these songs belong to Summers and Copeland too (some of them would be shadows of themselves without their great influence on them,) who wants these inferior copies when it’s piss easy to find the originals?
Some of the songs are pale slightly slower versions of Police Songs sang without the youth, range, passion, and the inspired playing of The Police.
Others are bland watered down solo hits with added drum machines.
Bollocks to that. Besides he already did this with an orchestra, Symphonicities, equally rubbish.

Are there other artists that have done this?
Didn’t Jeff Lynne re-record the ELO hits a few years back playing every instrument and replacing the strings with a bloody synthesiser?
The annoying thing is, these versions come up when you search for that song on music services . They’re going to end up in playlists. And the “young people” will think the crackling early Police hits are plodding bland tosh.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 03:17:48 AM by TheMonk »

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 02:33:26 AM »
I've said it before & I'll say it again- that story about his stripey 'bee' jumper is bullshit. he's called sting because he's a prick.

here's stewie looking at him from behind the kit, & the trademark on his cymbal there isn't the only rude word on his instruments.


Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 02:52:49 AM »
Mike Doughty re-recording/re-hashing a bunch of Soul Coughing songs.

Which I still maintain was simply designed to spite his former bandmates, and any Soul Coughing fans left, because the new versions are just...so much nothing. Bland production, mediocre arrangement, sang with all the passion of a man reading from a lyric sheet in one take and going "fuck it, that'll do".

Compare the slick, funny, chaotic, bonkers tune that is Super Bon Bon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80O6qCCr9Xc), with Doughty's reimagined version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=803smSs_4LY).

The former is a menacing piece of rock/jazz/whatever that just builds into a juggernaut of glorious chaos, and within that remembers to be catchy and memorable. The latter is like one of those terrible songs Damon Albarn records in his hotel room and dumps out as Gorillaz B sides. Only not as good.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 03:11:10 AM »
Mike Doughty re-recording/re-hashing a bunch of Soul Coughing songs.

Which I still maintain was simply designed to spite his former bandmates, and any Soul Coughing fans left, because the new versions are just...so much nothing. Bland production, mediocre arrangement, sang with all the passion of a man reading from a lyric sheet in one take and going "fuck it, that'll do".

Compare the slick, funny, chaotic, bonkers tune that is Super Bon Bon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80O6qCCr9Xc), with Doughty's reimagined version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=803smSs_4LY).

The former is a menacing piece of rock/jazz/whatever that just builds into a juggernaut of glorious chaos, and within that remembers to be catchy and memorable. The latter is like one of those terrible songs Damon Albarn records in his hotel room and dumps out as Gorillaz B sides. Only not as good.

yeah, that's horrible. the original hasn't aged well, really, but that new one.... midi clocked. absolutely machine-precise, no slinkiness.

also, that video... fucking hell. "hello, central casting? we need some hipsters.... well, how many you got? can they bring cassette recorders & stuff?"

oh- the original vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRqP52c0OLU

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 03:23:53 AM »
yeah, that's horrible. the original hasn't aged well, really, but that new one.... midi clocked. absolutely machine-precise, no slinkiness.

also, that video... fucking hell. "hello, central casting? we need some hipsters.... well, how many you got? can they bring cassette recorders & stuff?"

oh- the original vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRqP52c0OLU

That's the main issue with all of the "re imagined" songs he did. Soul Coughing always had this jazzy, improvisation feel to everything they recorded. Tempos would go all over the place, but it worked within the loose, smoke infused New York vibe there music always seemed to create.

The new songs are all at the same tempo. All of them. Boring drum machine shit.

And yeah, the original vid...it's a pretty typical kind of vid you'd expect to see from an American alternative band in the 90's. All close up's shot with wide angle lenses, band trying not to look bored while wearing silly costumes, all that good stuff. I'd argue that's aged worse then the song. But it's a Gondry-esque masterpiece compared to...whatever the new video is trying to do.

Twed

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 03:25:38 AM »
Peter Hook creeping around doing shit versions of New Order/JD tracks

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 03:33:51 AM »
That's the main issue with all of the "re imagined" songs he did. Soul Coughing always had this jazzy, improvisation feel to everything they recorded. Tempos would go all over the place, but it worked within the loose, smoke infused New York vibe there music always seemed to create.

The new songs are all at the same tempo. All of them. Boring drum machine shit.

And yeah, the original vid...it's a pretty typical kind of vid you'd expect to see from an American alternative band in the 90's. All close up's shot with wide angle lenses, band trying not to look bored while wearing silly costumes, all that good stuff. I'd argue that's aged worse then the song. But it's a Gondry-esque masterpiece compared to...whatever the new video is trying to do.

first time I heard it was when this aired...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izvMFk29M24

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 03:34:36 AM »
Peter Hook creeping around doing shit versions of New Order/JD tracks

I mentioned this elsewhere, but I heard hooky & co doing 'unknown pleasures' & I liked it.

imitationleather

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 03:40:38 AM »
I mentioned this elsewhere, but I heard hooky & co doing 'unknown pleasures' & I liked it.

I saw them do that albuim live a few years back and was pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Especially since I'm not the biggest Joy Division fan, and I especially don't like it when New Order play Joy Division songs.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 04:03:20 AM »
I saw them do that albuim live a few years back and was pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Especially since I'm not the biggest Joy Division fan, and I especially don't like it when New Order play Joy Division songs.

when I looked into it yesterday morning, there seemed to be seven or eight versions of the same thing available. the one I heard- several times, courtesy of KXLU being lazy- was the australian one, which I promptly bought for a tenner on discogs. thing that struck me was that it sounded like joy division if they'd been a rock band, & had gigged/rehearsed a lot more than they actually did. & hooky's singing, if that actually was him I heard... a lot closer to curtis' voice than I would've thought possible. good effort. I don't like him much for any other activity, but if anyone's going to sing JD songs & get them right, it's probably hooky.

famethrowa

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 04:31:48 AM »
I remember Chris Rea did this a bit back in the 90's, isn't it just a way to divert money away from your old record company back towards yourself?

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2019, 07:14:15 AM »
I remember Chris Rea did this a bit back in the 90's, isn't it just a way to divert money away from your old record company back towards yourself?
Ah. If music is art, it’s the equivalent of da Vinci whacking out a new Mona Lisa thirty years after the fact. But now with blonde tips and a different  nose.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2019, 07:25:13 AM »
I remember Chris Rea did this a bit back in the 90's, isn't it just a way to divert money away from your old record company back towards yourself?
That was Squeeze's line when they did it a few years back, though they tried to make exact duplicate recordings rather than 'reimaginings'.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2019, 07:49:34 AM »
Gilmour actually re recorded Money for a Floyd best of in the early 80's to get around some legalities of the band switching lables although I remember it sounding very similar to the original bar the production having a little more 80's slickness.

buzby

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2019, 08:59:46 AM »
when I looked into it yesterday morning, there seemed to be seven or eight versions of the same thing available. the one I heard- several times, courtesy of KXLU being lazy- was the australian one, which I promptly bought for a tenner on discogs. thing that struck me was that it sounded like joy division if they'd been a rock band, & had gigged/rehearsed a lot more than they actually did. & hooky's singing, if that actually was him I heard... a lot closer to curtis' voice than I would've thought possible. good effort. I don't like him much for any other activity, but if anyone's going to sing JD songs & get them right, it's probably hooky.
How does this this sound anything like Ian Curtis, other than a vague similarity of accent? He's not even singing the right tune. Or this? He sounds like Ian would have sounded if he'd blown out his vocal chords maybe. He is better on their later Closer-era songs after Ian started using the deeper crooning voice (assisted by Hannett's studio trickery). I'm not saying Bernard is any better at singing JD songs either - whenever New Order have done them live it's made me cringe (I think it was Hook who pushed for them to start doing them regularly too - they used to be an extremely rare occurrence prior to their second reformation in 1998).

The Light sound great musically, but they should do as they are all experienced veterans (plus Hooky's son, who fills in on bass when his dad is singing and Yves Altana is busy on guitar) and they have probably played at least 5 times more shows than Joy Division ever did (it also helps being a 6-piece, so you don't get the problem JD had live of having to get a non-guitar player to play guitar when Bernard had to play keyboards).

purlieu

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2019, 01:27:17 PM »
Yeah, it's very often an attempt to reclaim ownership when you've permanently sold your rights to a label. The Shadows did it back in the late '80s when EMI wouldn't let them license their own back catalogue for use on contemporary compilations. So they re-recorded 20 of their most well-known '60s and '70s tracks, which were then included on various 'greatest hits' sets. They're not as bad as they could be - they specifically went for a dry, non-'80s sound, to try and recreate the feel of the originals, but they are let down by synth strings and choirs.

FSOL have recently begun doing this, but using the original as a jumping-off point for a whole new mini album of re-interpretations and related tracks. The version of Yage is staggeringly close to the original, which is remarkable given that their stuff was all done live rather than multi-tracked.

Sometimes it can be a creative act, especially if the songs have changed dramatically through years of live performances. Wire have a history of developing their songs live, leading to a fair few releases like It's Beginning to or Back Again, The Drill, Change Becomes Us and elements of Send. Orbital are releasing a 'live in studio' album of a number of tracks this year for their 30th anniversary, showcasing how some of them have become entirely different beasts over time.

Maybe it's because I got into music largely through '90s electronic music, where self-remixing was commonplace, but I do quite like these sorts of things, as long as they're done well. It's interesting to hear a different side of a song.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2019, 02:08:06 PM »
I quite like the 'Frank Black Francis' album which has the unusual format of Disc 1 containing his original solo acoustic demos for Pixies songs from 1987, and Disc 2 featuring weird new versions of classic Pixies tracks.  Most of the reworkings are totally different to the originals and FRANKly (...!) it's good to have a version of Where Is My Mind that hasn't been overplayed into redundancy in its post-Fight-Club popularity.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 02:16:09 PM »
Steve Albini should reimagine Songs About Fucking as a winsome ukulele and little girl mobile phone advert vocals album.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2019, 03:44:16 PM »
Rise Above was the first Dirty Projectors album I heard, whenever ago, and I fell in love with Dave Longstreth there and then. It's his take on Damaged by Black Flag, an album he hadn't listened to in over a decade. "Impressionistic" is only the half of it. The title track gives indication enough of the sort of thing he and his cohorts get up to for the duration. Annoyed a lot of people, but I think it's gorgeous. Sort of served as a bridge between the meandering, noodling, abrasive, sometimes unlistenable sort of stuff that Longstreth was putting out of himself in the early days of DP, and the more immediately tuneful, poppier sort of a stance he adopted on the likes of Bitte Orca.

EDIT: Not what you're asking for, there, is it? Stupid of me. I'll leave it there for me to think back on any time I catch myself tutting at a poster that has clearly misread the OP.

A good example of the sort of thing you're talking about done right, in my opinion, is the first volume of the Randy Newman Songbook. There are further volumes, I just learned, but the first one is the only one I have and the only one I've heard. It is wonderful. It actually replaced all the albums those songs originally appeared on for me. I must spend some time with Vols 2 & 3, now that I know that they are things in the world.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 04:35:18 PM by DukeDeMondo »

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2019, 05:44:11 PM »
Frank Black Francis. None of them as good as the originals, but interesting nonetheless.

Edit: What Avril said.

Rev+

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2019, 10:10:29 PM »
Luke Haines did this entirely as a fuck-you move to the label he was finishing up his contract with.  Sling out a cheap compilation?  Nah, let's get an orchestra in and completely murder the songs.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2019, 06:32:38 AM »
hooky's singing, if that actually was him I heard... a lot closer to curtis' voice than I would've thought possible. good effort. I don't like him much for any other activity, but if anyone's going to sing JD songs & get them right, it's probably hooky.


He sounds like Ian would have sounded if he'd blown out his vocal chords maybe.

yeah, I don't think we're disagreeing exactly.... if you factor in the passage of time, & pretend that curtis & co had actually toured the album to perfection back in 1980-1, this is probably what they would've sounded like by the time of curtis being in his fifties. IMHO.

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2019, 08:05:55 AM »
Brian Wilson did an album of mainly BB covers with Don Was tied in with BBC documentary circa 1995 ("I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"). It was OK but only if you were already a big fan, which I was and am.

https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Wilson-Wasnt-These-Times/dp/B000LQAPD0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Just_Wasn%27t_Made_for_These_Times_(album)

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2019, 09:17:24 AM »
SteveDave talks about the Beatles...

This band https://applejamband.com/home have recorded an album of songs that the Beatles wrote in 1968 (or about 1968 in the case of "India India" and "The Happy Rishikesh Song") and didn't record (or gave away) in the style of the White Album.

They've previously done an LP of earlier songs (that they imagined fit between "A Hard Day's Night" and "...For Sale") that were given away.


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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2019, 11:24:39 AM »
Rise Above was the first Dirty Projectors album I heard, whenever ago, and I fell in love with Dave Longstreth there and then. It's his take on Damaged by Black Flag, an album he hadn't listened to in over a decade. "Impressionistic" is only the half of it. The title track gives indication enough of the sort of thing he and his cohorts get up to for the duration. Annoyed a lot of people, but I think it's gorgeous. Sort of served as a bridge between the meandering, noodling, abrasive, sometimes unlistenable sort of stuff that Longstreth was putting out of himself in the early days of DP, and the more immediately tuneful, poppier sort of a stance he adopted on the likes of Bitte Orca.

EDIT: Not what you're asking for, there, is it? Stupid of me. I'll leave it there for me to think back on any time I catch myself tutting at a poster that has clearly misread the OP.

It was the first thing I thought of, too.

gilbertharding

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Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2019, 11:40:30 AM »
Isn't Jeff Lynne doing this with all the ELO stuff? Note-for-note cover versions, and then delete the originals from history because they're not 'good enough'?

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2019, 11:44:29 AM »
That was Squeeze's line when they did it a few years back, though they tried to make exact duplicate recordings rather than 'reimaginings'.

With Squeeze's Spot The Difference, the main purpose of recording duplicates was for licensing reasons, with Universal supposedly being in a position to pay them nothing for their hits.  To their credit, they didn't push it much as a greatest hits album (or very hard at all, as it came and went quickly) and there was a great effort made to track down original synthesizers, amplifiers and... Paul Carrack, so it could be as authentic as possible.  I can definitely hear the differences, but I suspect the non-discerning ear wouldn't.

Of course, as soon as the album was released, one of the songs they didn't re-record, 1989's If It's Love, ended up being used in some US tv ad.  Wonder if that was a 'fuck you' from Universal's team.

Re: Albums of “reimagined” songs
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2019, 12:02:36 PM »
Didn't Roy Orbison rerecord some stuff in the 80's post-Blue Velvet? The Chi-Lites re-recorded "Oh Girl" in the 80's too and it lost some of the soul of the original. Was this a common thing in the 80's because of CDs, like they thought they needed new pristine versions of the songs for the exciting new format?

Brian Wilson's Smile sort of falls into this category too as the majority of the music was officially available previously. I thought it got better reviews than it deserved because of the idea of it rather than how it actually sounded, which was, let's be fair, like an album recorded 40 years too late, in the wrong era, by a man well past his prime.