What a difference a few decades make. Call it a creeping malaise or a reflection of the times. Film and television have essentially created a new cottage industry. Take a sprite, fun, pop song from a different era and turn it into a moody ballad. This APTV video compiles a list of 10 songs in your favorite TV shows and films you didn’t realize were covers.
The emotional arc of these cover versions ranges from cinematic grandeur to aching austerity. What they all have in common is a complete sonic rehaul that comes off positively opaque. The jams your parents may have roller-skated to decades ago have now been given an exasperatingly widescreen treatment. Some may find this trend gleefully perverse. Others who go back to the original source material may listen like they’re passing the aftermath of a car accident. (Read: It’s so startling, you can’t stop listening.)
The atmospheric qualities of these particular covers completely shine. Let’s face it: Your basic rock cover version doesn’t majestically enhance the original. Sometimes, we simply enjoy the comedy of other bands mishandling another genres. Consider how many people waste time fighting over the purported superiority of covers. Which one is better, this version or that one? What’s really exciting is when the remake completely overtakes the original. When you have the songwriter endorsing the cover version as superior, that’s shocking. Because how often does that happen?
Rest assured, we’re not complaining about these kinds of covers. We’re totally down with liposuctioning joy from things once considered disposable. Why? It gives the art a new resonance that might not be revealed any other way. Maybe there’s an audience that’s now ready for them. Besides, sometimes you need more than a remix to get someone’s heart in a claw hold.