Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cool cover song of the week...

Johnny Cash was truly a legend. He was amazing in that while he always stayed true to himself as an artist, he was never afraid to experiment with new styles or take on songs that his contemporaries would never have dreamed of doing, particularly Nine Inch Nails' Hurt, which he covered in 2003.

His songs are the first thing that come to mind when I think of Johnny Cash. The plaintive melodies and his ability to tell a story simply with his voice is a gift that not many artists, past or present, have. But the beauty of songs like Ring of Fire, Folsom Prison Blues and, of course, I Walk the Line, is that their simplicity lends themselves well to other artists' interpretations, whether faithful or slightly creative.

In 2004, the former rock group Live released a cover version of I Walk the Line on their greatest hits compilation. While faithful fans of Live and Johnny Cash were aware of the cover, many others weren't until American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry sang Live's version of the song during the show's fifth season in 2006. (Joaquin Phoenix sang a more faithful version of the song in his Oscar-nominated performance as Johnny Cash in the 2005 film Walk the Line.)

I have always been a fan of Live, particularly for lead singer Ed Kowalczyk's vocals, and I think his range works tremendously well on this song. But you be the judge. (My apologies for the video; that's the price you pay with YouTube!)

Here's Johnny Cash's original version:

Here's Chris Daughtry's Live-inspired version:

And here's Joaquin Phoenix's version from Walk the Line:

Check out my previous Cool Cover Songs of the Week:

Borderline by The Counting Crows

How Deep Is Your Love by The Bird and The Bee

Life in a Northern Town by Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Jake Owen

I Don't Want to Talk About It by The Indigo Girls

Only You by Joshua Radin

Pure Imagination by Maroon 5

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Blake Stratton

What a Fool Believes by Neri Per Caso

Poker Face by Daughtry

Back to Black by Ronnie Spector

I Will Survive by Cake

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by The Stereophonics

Rolling in the Deep by John Legend

Go Your Own Way by Lissie

Winner Takes it All by McFly

What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone

Careless Whisper by Seether

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