Cover Version Contest – Lemonheads vs Suzanne Vega

So begins a new feature, partly lifed the idea of other people’s blogs (thanks for that) and partly because I paid for the video upgrade in anticipation of an interview with my mates from Rev 78 so I could integrate their videos and scintillating live performances into the Q & A.  But I’m still waiting for them to send me the answers so I need to make use of the video function.   So Revsters, what is going on with my interview?!

Anyway, I decided to launch a weekly contest to decide which is better – a cover version or the original.

I can only use ones where the cover version is on my Ipod.   I then find it on Youtube which luckily for the less well-known versions some lunatic has sat in their bedroom uploading the tracks to a picture of the record sleeve or something).

I’d love to hear your comments on the cover version and how it compares.

First up is a straightforward easy one, no wild interpretations of the original going on here.  The Lemonheads fronted by part-time drug abuser Evan Dando against virtual recluse Suzanne Vega

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  1. Looking forward to seeing the series continue.
    I went with Suzanne. Even though I like electric guitars, drums, the whole thing, the Lemonheads version just left me meh.
    I think Suzannes version is more powerful, if only for the subject with her haunting voice.
    I could do without the 80s pop touches though…

    Song would probably be best delivered by a solo acoustic guitar.
    Just sayin…

    • I’m in agreement, I think Suzanne will win this hands down, my aim is to find the ones where the cover surpasses the orginal so it’s gonna have to have added something new to it. But will the shock of something new win out over familiarity?

      I know of 30 covers I have, and I will have to scroll through theIpod to find some others I can’t recall.

  2. Hmmm.. you need some more voters! I think I just totally skewed your ballot with my vote for Vega: only because while I like the Lemonheads, certain songs are just a ‘classic’ and any other way is just wrong, and for me, this is one of them. However, I do have one example of a song where I liked the cover better: here’s the original on youtube (, and here’s the rather cool cover (

    Whaddya think??? Which one is better?

    • I’ll check them out at home, it’s dress down Friday but that’s where the fun stops, music won’t be allowed

      Hopefully I’ll get more voters once America wakes up, most of the followers are there, but they should already be up, they must be busy at work….

    • No no, Cakes and Shakes – you want this one. (sorry Joe)

    • I actually really like both versions, and it’s interesting that they seem to be telling different stories even though they sound so similar (to me, the original is clearly the two people involved in a bad breakup, but the cover sounds like a collection of people sharing similar experiences of bad breakups in different relationships).

      Okay, I sound way too clinical. Never mind. I also like the parody. 🙂

  3. If I may take this moment to shamelessly promote the object of my stalkings, one Mr. Greg Dulli, I think you’ll find PLENTY of cover material to work with there. It’s a small hobby of his, in both his bands — the Afghan Whigs and the Twilight Signers. The Twilight Singers even came out with a covers-only album, She Loves You. Highly recommended! And as for my favourite cover of theirs… I don’t know… it would be a toss-up of The Afghan Whigs covering the Supreme’s “My World is Empty Without You” or TLC’s “Creep.”

    As for today, Vega, obvs.

    • Singers not Signers. Damn typos.

    • Of course, only know The Afghan Whigs work, they’re playing a Barcelona festival I usually go to this year, but I’m not going alas. 😦 Hopefully they’ll stop in London for a pre festival warm up or something

  4. Suzanne. I saw her perform this at the Grammy’s with an acoustic guitar. Compared to every other act that night, this song was the only one to give me chills.
    Haunting. Chilling. Great.

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes

     /  March 12, 2012

    I had never heard the Lemonheads version so thanks for that. I never thought to look for it anywhere else, only knew it with Suzanne Vega. BUT I absolutely loved the guitar at the end on the Lemonheads one. Love that kind of sound.

    I’m definitely coming back – this is a great contest 🙂 I voted Vega.

    • I had no idea I had it either, I recalled a band doing it but didn’t know it was them but found it hidden on an old record of theirs.

      Suzanne is gonna walk this one though, and rightly so I think, I will have to try and find one that I think is better than the original for the next contest and see how that fares.

      • If you want to stick with the same cross-genre kind of thing, take a look at Harry Chapin and Ugly Kid Joe – Cats In The Cradle.


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