Talk:Cover version

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 Definition A recording or performance of a song or piece of music that is not the original. [d] [e]
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What the devil means "A and R men"? This should definitely be clarified.

It is, in the 2nd para - Ro Thorpe 18:01, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm *pretty* certain that, in fact, the K-Trio's version of Tom Dooley was a *cover* of it being sung just *slightly* earlier by the Tarriers, a fine, and now completely forgotten group, that preceded the Trio by about a year -- I actually owned their original record. They are the ones who had a big hit with Hill and Gully Rider or whatever that song was.... Hayford Peirce 19:14, 5 March 2008 (CST)

Place cursor over 'A&R men' (in fact it's better without the spaces), and all will be revealed!
Now I'm going to google the Tarriers... Ro Thorpe 13:43, 6 March 2008 (CST)
The WP article on the song makes all clear. Ro Thorpe 13:49, 6 March 2008 (CST)

answer songs

Do we want separate article about these? In a sense, they *are* cover songs -- just with different words....

  • The Wild Side of Life -- It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
  • He'll Have to Go -- He'll Have to Stay

Hayford Peirce 15:12, 6 March 2008 (CST)

WP's article is pretty short, and over half of it is about hip-hop, so I think those would go very well here for now. Ro Thorpe 15:17, 6 March 2008 (CST)
On the other hand, WP's article on Cover version is a gazillion words long! Geez! I think, upon mature consideration, that we'd probably better have two separate articles. Sooner or later, the different sections would get long enough split, and that might cause redirect etc. problems. Hayford Peirce 16:30, 6 March 2008 (CST)
Allez, allez (to quote Justine) - Ro Thorpe 17:25, 6 March 2008 (CST)
As in Les Malheurs du Vertu, where she might be encouraging the gardener, say, in his efforts? Hayford Peirce 12:56, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Don't know what the Belgian Justine gets up to when she's not on court...she did get a divorce... Ro Thorpe 13:23, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Oh, forgot about her! Don't pay much attention to the modern players. She probably doesn't do as much swinging (even of a racquet) as the other one, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 14:04, 7 March 2008 (CST)


"Because the songwriter, through the publisher, gets most of the royalties from each playing of a cover tune, cover songs are both a form of flattery and a source of income for songwriters" -- I hate to sound like a WPian, but could you give a *source* for this? I just can't believe that the *songwriter* gets *most* of the royalties from a cover. Ie, at a minimum, more than 50% of the revenues. More than the singer? More than Capitol Records or RCA or whoever? If that's really the case, then why would anyone *bother* to cover another song? It wouldn't be worth the effort unless you *knew* it would be a million-seller, in which case, I suppose a small percentage would be worthwhile. I'm not dogmatically saying that this statement is *not* correct -- I'd just like to see some sourcing for it. Thanks! Hayford Peirce 12:56, 7 March 2008 (CST)

I don't have a ready source for that statement. It is what I have been told by songwriters. Many covers are done as an homage to the original artist, or as an answer song, or are made to help bring attention to a new artist. Some artists, particularly in the 50s and 60s, essentially gave away most of their rights to royalties by signing very bad contracts. Also, artists still make money for their performances, ie concerts. One hit song fills concert venues. After all of that blathering, I will, of course, try to find an actual reference for you. David E. Volk 13:19, 7 March 2008 (CST)

May this help as an intro? [1] Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 13:32, 7 March 2008 (CST)

Thanks Jeffrey David E. Volk 14:10, 7 March 2008 (CST)

Did covers fail?

Until at least recently, they were still fairly common in the old-fashioned type of country music. Since I don't listen to the stuff anymore, since, oh, 2000, I dunno what the situation is now, though....

I wasa referring to the 'instant' pop covers in 60s Britain, before revivals came to be called covers. I think it may well have been another one by Cilla; anyway, everyone bought the American version & the Brit one sank, & the practice stopped, for good (in both senses). When exactly 'cover' changed its meaning I don't know because I didn't listen to pop music much again until the 70s. Ro Thorpe 13:20, 7 March 2008 (CST)

Cover songs are alive and well. The thing is, radio and MVT just don't bother giving credit to the true artists, the songwriters, anymore. Ask anyone who wrote Pancho and Lefty, and they'll say Willie Nelson (it was Townes Van Zandt, whom many have covered). Its funny, when Al Pacino plays a role, people never assume he wrote the material. But everyone seems to think whoever sings a song must have written it. David E. Volk 13:25, 7 March 2008 (CST)

When I was an actual published writer of novels (and many shorts) the single question I was asked the most was: "Do you do your own covers?" Geez! Hayford Peirce 14:06, 7 March 2008 (CST)
That's not a story; that's a bad pun. --Robert W King 14:09, 7 March 2008 (CST)
True. But it's still a true story. The second most asked question was: "Where do you get all your (crazy) ideas?" Hayford Peirce 14:11, 7 March 2008 (CST)

= Name of article - move to cover song?

To me, the article should be named cover song, because it is songs we are talking about. Do any of the other authors disagree with this? David E. Volk 13:54, 7 March 2008 (CST)

I have never heard the expression 'cover song': it is always either 'cover version' or just 'cover'. Ro Thorpe 13:59, 7 March 2008 (CST)
I always heard "cover" and was baffled by its meaning until I looked it up a few years ago and discovered that it meant "cover song". We could Google it, I suppose and see what turns up. Personally, I would call the article "Cover song", since, to me, that describes it better....

Also, Ro, no one in 'Merka knows what the hell a skittles song is.... Hayford Peirce 14:09, 7 March 2008 (CST)

To me, the term cover version occurs when multiple people have covered a song, sometimes even the original band will re-release different cover versions on later albums. Around here, everyone says cover, and understands that it is short for cover song, except when used as cover band. Thus, cover version is short for cover song version, with the usual omission of song. David E. Volk 14:15, 7 March 2008 (CST)

'Cover version' is the name of the WP article, and has long been the accepted term. 'Cover song'? - well, it's not the song that asks to be covered, is it?
Don't know where you got 'skittles song' from, Hayford, I don't know what it is either... Ro Thorpe 14:39, 7 March 2008 (CST)
A likely story! "prompted a skiffle cover version by Lonnie Donegan" Hayford Peirce 15:01, 7 March 2008 (CST) - Aha! Just shows you how the word is almost archaic. I shall atttempt a definition if there is not one already. Ro Thorpe 18:53, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Thanks for the Skiffle article -- I remember the Lonnie Don. version of "Rock Island Line" back around 1955-56. I downloaded it, in fact, a year or so ago from somewhere....Hayford Peirce 19:14, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Pleasure. It was Donegan's version of Dooley that my parents bought (ostensibly as a present for me). And did I mention there was a further version of This Ole House a year or two back? - Ro Thorpe 19:20, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Nope. But the WP article on the song (a whole article!) says there was a Brit version about 3 or 4 years ago that actually made the charts! Would like to hear it (or am I being unduly masochistic here?) Hayford Peirce 19:27, 7 March 2008 (CST)
Ah, yes, Shakin' Stevens, a r**k & r****r - I think it was a faithful version, though - Ro Thorpe 10:03, 8 March 2008 (CST)
Faithful to *what*? as Bill Clinton might ask. Have you ever heard the Stuart Hamblen original? Actually, the Clooney version is so upbeat, with such a (badly played) honky-tonky piano, that it's *almost* the dreaded RnR words....Hayford Peirce 10:56, 8 March 2008 (CST)
Yes, I'd like to hear the sad original. The Clooney version, on the BBC Light Programme incessantly during my infancy, was a nagging irritant. Go and restore the house yourself, woman! Ro Thorpe 11:10, 8 March 2008 (CST)
I just *loved* it (I was 12). Still do, for that matter. The Hamblen version is 2080K long -- can you handle that? If so, your regular email address? Hayford Peirce 12:17, 8 March 2008 (CST)
Well, it might have been Alma Cogan's version I was hearing: I was too young to be interested in such. Thanks for the offer: how can I find out how many K I can handle? - Ro Thorpe at Hotmail dotcom 12:53, 8 March 2008 (CST)

The legal page reference that Jeffrey provided above calls them cover recordings. Oh well. My 2 cents have been added, and I am off to other topics. David E. Volk 14:50, 7 March 2008 (CST)

More on royalties from covers from An Old Skeptic

I've still never gotten over (or really believed) the notion asserted that covers (maybe only used to) paid the writer 50% and the publisher 50%, with nothing leftover for the artist (unless, I suppose you consider the publisher to be the recording company, who then shares with the artist).

For instance, take a look at -- it was a #1 in the States for Gogi Grant, and, at the same time, a #8 in GB for Tex Ritter. One of those two must have been a "cover", by definition. Are you saying that maybe Tex Ritter got nothing for having a #8 hit?! And that he was covering just as a friendly gesture towards the songwriter?! Stop me from laffing so hard -- it's beginning to hurt! Hayford Peirce 20:29, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I assume what's meant is the royalties paid by the record company to the publishers. Peter Jackson 09:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


The article implies this doesn't mean what one might naturally suppose it to mean, i.e. something involving singing. If that's right, I think it should make clear exactly what it does mean. For example, most classical recordings might be considered cover versions in some sense, though there's also a fair amount of new music and recently dusted off old music. Peter Jackson 09:48, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Quite, and I've edited the lead accordingly. Ro Thorpe 13:31, 24 July 2014 (UTC)