I love a cover

I love a good cover. Today, I ran across this list of the best and worst covers of all time and it got me thinking about the art of covers. I know people who hate them, regardless of quality and a lot of people just don't seem to get the point. To some degree it goes back to that punk ethos of DIY, and the frequently heard defense for many a mediocre act, "At least they write their own stuff."

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

So what?

Really, isn't it better to take a great song and reinterpret it than pump out your own mediocre rip-off? Obviously, economics and the expectations of the music marketplace demand that a band hoping to be anything but a bar act write some of their own material, but I, for one, would love to see a resurrection of the long-dormant practice of putting a cover version or two on albums. It not only gives the listener a peek at the band's influences and taste, it can also really bolster the strength of an album if a great cover replaces a mediocre or dull "original."

It can also be a real service to fans, especially the younger ones. In my younger days, before filling every available slot in my brain with music trivia and history, I was introduced to some pretty important acts through other bands' covers. The Cowboy Junkies tipped me to the Velvet Underground, R.E.M. introduced me to Syd Barrett and the Jam was my entry point to the Kinks. In light of how important those acts, particularly the VU and Barrett, ended up being to me, I owe a considerable debt of gratitude to the bands that covered them, giving me not only a great song, but also a push in the right direction musically. -- Cory Casciato

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.