is the sincerest form of flattery. In the early days of recorded
music it wasn't uncommon to find recordings of the same song by
several different artists: blues standards, the Great American
Songbook, reworked folk jams, multiple musicians working from the same
repertoire, each putting their own distinctive spin on a well-known
classic. It's not a trend that is only found in music but it is one
that is easily observed through one specific kind of song. The cover.
songs have been around as long as organised music, you can make a
claim that early compositions by names such as Beethoven or Bach were
all turned into covers by anyone who wanted to hear the music, as the
ability to record audio wasn't readily available or indeed invented
in their time. Since early classical music needed to be performed to
actually hear it, it was up to the individual to seek a performance
or play the piece themselves, this would obviously change the nature
of the piece as humans by design are individuals, and would put their
own spin on the material. No word on who did the first rock Gregorian
chant though, probably Christopher Lee.
as music becomes easier to find and the number of genres and artists
increase in the public consciousness, the type of cover song you find
can extend from the simple imitation to the downright weird.