Tag Archives: beyonce

Covert covers – part one

Have you ever been in a discussion with people who claim that Joe Cocker wrote the song “With a Little Help From My Friends”? Or even better: have you ever seen the expression on the face of a Marilyn Manson fan when he finds out that “Tainted Love” is a cover? There are actually a lot of great hits that weren’t written by the artist that you think wrote them. That’s why we uncover a few of them.

With a Little Help From My Friends

Now that we’re talking about the king of covers – Joe Cocker had his big breakthrough with The Beatles’ song “With a Little Help From My Friends.” The track was released in 1964 and was the singer’s second single. His debut song was “I’ll Cry Instead” which wasn’t a great success, but also a Beatles cover.

If I Were a Boy

Not only hippies from the sixties do covers. Nowadays it can even be found in genres like hip-hop and R&B. For example, the song that was originally written by BC Jean has become a Beyoncé number one hit. The story goes that BC Jean offered her version of “If I Were a Boy” to different labels. Nobody wanted it. A year later, Beyoncé’s song was released, which was a literal cover of the song written by BC Jean.

All Along the Watchtower

Depending on which generation you’re addressing, people will have their own view on “All Along the Watchtower.” Where one labels John Mayer as the author of the song, someone else will overturn this fact with the knowledge that Mayer has clearly covered the track from Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 album Electric Ladyland. What most people won’t tell you is that Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the track one year earlier in 1967.

Valerie

Amy Winehouse is a legend. At the age of 27, the young pop star died as a result of what can be described as a demanding lifestyle. With songs like “Valerie,” Winehouse scored high in the 2006 pop charts. Still, against all expectations, the track is a cover. Indie-rock band The Zutons from Liverpool released the original song in the same year.

Hound Dog

It is a well-known fact that Elvis Presley directly copied many of his songs from the R&B charts. This was very common in the fifties and sixties. Different groups listened to very defined musical styles. The song “Hound Dog” from 1969 is actually a cover of a Big Mama Thornton track from 1953.

Tainted Love

Anyone who claims that “Tainted Love” is a track by Marilyn Manson is right. The shock rocker released the song on his record The Golden Age of Grotesque in 2003. It is also a cover of… no, not Soft Cell. She conjured up the song in 1981, but this was also a cover. The original track is by Gloria Jones. Jones released the song in 1964.

Torn

Do you remember that video clip from the nineties by the Australian pop star Natalie Imbruglia? Natalie is standing in the center of a film set where the video is being recorded. Each time she has to adapt to the situation. Sometimes because the director wants her to, other times because something goes wrong. “Torn” marked Imbruglia’s breakthrough, however, it is a cover of the American grunge band Ednaswap.

Hurt

Country singer Johnny Cash scored his last big hit with “Hurt” in 2002 just before his death. The song goes through bone and marrow, because you hear Cash sing his life story. A life of pain, sorrow and love. It is therefore difficult to acknowledge that the track was written eight years earlier in 1994 by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails for the record The Downward Spiral. Yes we know, it hurts.

Jam along!

Did you get inspired by the fact that the songs mentioned above are actually covers? Time to jam along and create your own version. Now you can even enlighten your audience with the truth behind “All Along the Watchtower,” “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Hurt,” Take a moment in between songs to feed your listeners some paradigm breaking trivia.

Pay particular attention to how people react when they find out that “Torn,” “Tainted Love,” “Valerie,” “Hound Dog and “If I Were a Boy were not written by the artists they had in mind. Happy jamming!

Beyoncé and Jay Z strike again! Check the setlist of this eighth wonder of the world called On the Run Tour II

This a very special announcement for all you Beyoncé and Jay Z fans! The power torque of the pop industry is back on the stage. Last week they announced the dates of their On the Run Tour II. It is the sequel to the tour the couple did four years ago. Did you missed that one? No worries, life is all about second chances. Prepare yourself to sing along with this setlist.

In 2014, rapper Jay Z and diva Beyoncé Knowles surprised the audience with their first joint tour named after the song Part II: On the Run (ORT). Not only did all the concerts sell out within minutes, but extra dates had to be scheduled.

The Guardian called the show: “A two-and-a-half hour joyride.” Rolling Stone undoubtedly dubbed it a Beyoncé show: “Husband and wife might get equal billing here, but make no mistake: This is Beyoncé’s show.” One way or the other, the duo did a very good job four years ago. And now they’re back for more.

On the Run Tour II

With nineteen sold out shows, 979,781 visitors and a total revenue of 109.7 million dollars, the ORT Tour is one of the most profitable concert series of 2014. Of course, there was a need for a sequel. Now, in 2018, the duo strikes again and this time not only America. Beyoncé announced on her website that she and her husband will perform in no less than fifteen cities in Europe.

We hold our breath when we think of how this new tour has to top its predecessor. Be prepared for a big show with all the classics tracks, cool choreography and challenging fashion escapades on stage, as we are used to from the power couple.

Setlist

Past performance is certainly no guarantee for the future, but if Beyoncé and Jay Z stick to the set list of four years ago, then it is a guaranteed trip down memory lane. How could it be otherwise with classics as Hard Knock Life, 99 Problems, Crazy in Love, If I were a Boy and Single Ladies. It almost feels like a cheesy commercial: two for the price of one.

The great thing about the setlist of On the Run Tour 2014 is that the duo doesn’t hesitate to throw some great covers in the show. How about songs like Young Forever, a variant of Forever Young by Alphaville and Ex-Factor – a Lauryn Hill cover. Check out the complete set of the original On the Run Tour below and play along. Happy jamming!

Music industry gender balance screams for more girlpower

How are women faring in the most important rankings in the music biz? The disparity between men and women at the top is more severe than you might have initially thought.

In the music industry women are applauded in several ways; there are awards for the best female music executive (Women In Music), best female conductor (BBC Music Magazine), and even the Grammy Awards highlight women when they can.

That women are awesome is old news, we don’t need an international women’s day to spread awareness for that. What we do need however, is a better balance between men and women in the music industry–you’ll be surprised to find the incredible inequality still present in 2018.

The numbers don’t lie: Pitchfork looked into the gender imbalance in the lineups of the most prominent music festivals. This past summer, 74% of the performances were by all male acts, compared to 12% all female and 14% mixed acts.

How are women faring in the most important rankings in the music biz?

#2 Beyonce – highest-paid artist

The absolute epitome of emancipation in the music industry is without a doubt Queen Bey. She’s a close second to front-runner Sean Combs in Forbes’ list of highest paid artists of 2017. “Beyonce pulling in a whopping $105 million pretax” That it’s lonely at the top will become clear when you go searching for the second lady in the list: Adele is in 9th place with an income of $69 million in 2017. In total, you’ll only find 5 women total in the top 25 of highest-paid musicians.

#15 Rihanna – most streamed artist

In 2017 we listened to more music made by male artists than by female artists. Now, that by itself is not necessarily an issue, since global monster hits such as those by Ed Sheeran or Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are simply very rare as it is. What is telling however, is that there is no female artist present in the top 5. Or top 10.. No, Rihanna–the most streamed female artist in 2017–can be found in 15th place.

#42 Nervo – best DJ

When we take a glance at the renowned Top 100 DJs list, we’ll actually notice that the gender imbalance in pop music doesn’t look that bad compared to EDM. The first female DJ we’ll find.. (scroll down) at.. (scroll some more).. number 42! One year earlier Nervo got nominated as best female DJ act as well–at that time she was still at spot 45.

Numbers like these prove the disparity in the music industry and that it is in dire need of girlpower. But before you dust off your Spice Girl costumes and ride to battle, how can it be that this male-female difference is so large?

Until we can answer that question meaningfully, there will hopefully have risen a whole new army of Beyoncés that will tip the scale toward equality again. For now 45 prominent festivals have signed a pledge to have a fair 50/50 gender balance across their headliners at their festivals by 2022. And also, let’s not forget and underestimate the power of ourselves as listeners, fans, and festival audience; as Mel B would say: “I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want”.