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Five Original Songs... Five Covers That Beautifully Reimagine Them

Who doesn't love a good cover? Whether it's a faithful rendition paying homage to an old composition or a genre-bending reinterpretation of a beloved classic, covers can reinvigorate our love for an old tune and remind us just how incredible the evolution of music has been over time. Let's take a walk through memory lane with five original songs and the covers that beautifully re-imagine them.


 


"Let’s Stay Together" - Al Green (Original)

An 11-time Grammy Award winner and member of the prestigous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Al Green needs no introduction. A guitarist and vocalist hailing from Arkansas, Green has over 20 studio albums to his name, and a wide range of songs that span far beyond his most popular hits. While most of Greens' early work was secular, later in his career (after he was ordained as a pastor) he released several albums and singles in the gospel genre. Al Green may have dropped the additional "e" from his last name when he rose to stardom, but in turn he gained an incredibly loyal fanbase that will honor his expansive discography for years to come.



Released in 1972 as the title track of Green's fourth studio album, "Let's Stay Together" is a soul ballad that took the world by storm. The notable horns and soulful harmonies in this song coupled with the sweet message of a couple staying together through thick and thin make this track nearly irresistible. Evidently, many others think so too, as it topped the Billboard charts upon its release and remained on the charts for the following 12 weeks. The song holds up incredibly well over time, too, as it was featured on the 2004 edition of Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs Of All Time among others in Green's discography, landing itself comfortably at number 60 on the list and solidifying its legacy.


"Let's Stay Together" - Maroon 5 (Cover)

Currently comprising of members Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, James Valentine, Matt Flynn, PJ Morton, and Sam Farrar, Maroon 5 is a Los Angeles-based band with accolades including three Grammy Awards and four Billboard chart-toppers. Formed at a performing arts summer camp in New York in 1997, the original band was made up of current members Levine and Carmichael, as well as former members Ryan Dusick and Michael Madden. With seven studio albums and multiple world tours under their belt, Maroon 5 is an internationally supported group. After a brief hiatus following scandals in lead singer Levine's love life, Maroon 5 recently dropped a new single titled "Middle Ground" on August 18th 2023, confirming that this bands creative music remains strong after more than a quarter of a century.



Released as the final track on the deluxe version of the 2012 album Overexposed, Maroon 5's reimagined version of "Let's Stay Together" is absolutely stunning. While both versions are incredibly similar to one another, this rendition swaps the classic 70s soul instrumental for a keyboard and string-popping guitar, giving the song a more simplistic, softer feel and allowing the powerful lyricism to shine through. Levine's vocals throughout the track, notably when he utilizes his famous falsetto, really make this song feel original despite the similarities to its predecessor. The result is a beautiful rendition of a timeless love ballad, and is one of my favorite covers of all time.


 


"Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac (Original)

Fleetwood Mac is a legendary band that simultaneously pioneered and continues to define rock music and its sub-genres. While the band has been comprised of over 15 members that have come and gone since its creation in 1967, the five members that most think of when they think of Fleetwood Mac are Lindsay Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and Christine and John McVie. With over 18 studio albums, nine live albums, and a plethora of singles and compilation albums, it is no wonder that Fleetwood Mac is one of the best selling musical groups of all time. Their song "Dreams" has well surpassed over one billion streams on Spotify, adding it to an exclusive list of under 500 songs to have accomplished this tremendous accolade.



The eighth track off their Grammy award winning 1997 album Rumours, "Landslide" is one of Fleetwood Mac's most popular songs statistically, and is beloved by many. Written about personal experiences by the iconic Stevie Nicks, the song's lyricism is both beautiful and heart wrenching. The chorus, specifically the lines,"well, I've been afraid of changing, 'cause I've built my life around you," ranks among my all-time-favorite lyrics ever written. The tracks blend of a simplistic guitar melody coupled with Stevie's distinctive vocals is a truly a recipe for an emotional musical masterpiece about the struggles of growing old and finding your identity as important people come and go from your life.


"landslide" - Tiny Habits (Cover)

Hailing from the infamous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Maya Rae, Cinya Khan and Judah Mayowa are a trio making up the group Tiny Habits. They are most famous for their goosebump-inducing harmonies that demonstrate not only their vocal ability but also their understanding of music theory. The trio rose to popularity on TikTok, where they routinely post covers of popular songs with their own harmonic twist that have amassed them over 320,000 followers on the platform, with over four million likes in total. Most recently, the group announced they would be taking their talent international and opening for folk sensation Noah Kahan on his November 2023 United Kingdom and European Union tour.



The fifth track off of Tiny Habits' first EP tiny things is their rendition of "Landslide". The group went viral on TikTok for their acapella cover of the track, accumulating over 865,000 likes and inspiring the trio to include their version of the song on their EP. The song's transition from TikTok to studio recording most notably added a gorgeous guitar melody to the previously acapella-only cover, which makes the version more reminiscent of the original composition. Each group member is given their own chance to shine and show their independent vocal ability throughout the bridge and verses, while still including their breathtaking, seamless harmonies throughout the entire piece. Fleetwood Mac's original rendition of "Landslide" doesn't feature any sort of harmonies, so the bold decision for a harmonic-based group to take on composing a unique score for this song makes this version just that much more remarkable.


 


"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - The Police (Original)

Sting, Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, and Henry Padovani comprised the iconic English rock band The Police, captivating audiences for over 40 years. With five studio albums, six Grammys, and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame indoctrination under their belt, the band's accolades are extremely impressive and reflective of their musical ability. In fact, despite being based in England, The Police landed the number one spot on the year-end US Billboard Hot 100 Singles of 1983 for their iconic track "Every Breath You Take", beating out timeless classics like "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler and "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. Despite not being active recently, The Police's dedicated fanbase still keeps their memory well alive, solidifying them as a kingpin in musical history.



A standout in their discography, "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is the second and most popular track off of The Police's fourth studio album, Ghost in the Machine. The blend of distinctive piano, drums, and bass are a perfect example of how these classic instruments really can create magic together when wielded by a talented group. This song is embodies the essence of upbeat, with lyrics and melodies that make it nearly impossible to stand still while listening. The timeless vocals provided by superstar and lead singer Sting complement the entire track beautifully and tie a bow on a classic that will provide enjoyment for generations to come.


"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" - Jacob Collier (Cover)

An artist hailed by many as one of the industry's greatest assets, Jacob Collier is a singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and all around musical mastermind. Collier's deep understanding of musical theory truly elevates him as a creator, with his signature style of unique harmonies and true jazz bringing any track he touches to a new level. At only 29 years old, Collier has had a hand in some of the most popular tracks of the recent decade, such as "Good Days" by SZA, and has wracked up an impressive 11 Grammy nominations and five wins across a wide variety of categories from Song Arrangement to Album of the Year, proving his versatility as an artist.



Collier continues to prove his musical versatility through his rendition of The Police's famous track "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic". Featuring the Metropole Orkest, Collier's interpretation of the song features a robust orchestral instrumental that makes the song, true to its name, feel magical. This is by no means Collier's first produced cover track, but it is my personal favorite of his. With a wildly different instrumental from its predecessor, this arrangement is a perfect demonstration of Collier's impressive ability to completely transform compositions by creating something fresh and new. Factoring in his subtle tweaks of the original vocal arrangement with his unique vocal timbre and riffs, Collier's transfiguration of this beloved classic is captivating and a joy to listen to.


 


"Thank You" - Dido (Original)

Dido is a singer songwriter from London with a wide discography of six studio albums, two EPs, and a handful of singles and collaboration projects. Preluding her solo success, Dido attended the Guildhall School of Music in London starting at the age of six and went on to tour as a piano player and violinist for a classical music ensemble all around the United Kingdom. In the mid-90s, she moved on to become a background singer for her brother Rowland's three-person band Faithless. Finally and luckily for us, Dido stepped into the solo spotlight in 1999 with her album No Angel and has been a musical sensation ever since.



Her most iconic track, "Thank You" was both written and recorded by Dido herself. Released as the sixth track off of her debut album No Angel, "Thank You" was an immediate success. With a unique hand-drum intro and distinctive guitar and piano melodies, instrumental exploration heightens the complexity of the track. Her vocal ability also shines in this composition, with seamless transitions between head and chest voices. The song has an "every woman" feel, notably in the refrain, which is filled with powerful harmonies and a sentimental show of gratitude with the lyrics, "I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life".


"Thank You" - Solomon (Cover)

A relatively new artist, Solomon rose to fame on TikTok for his buttery vocals and aesthetically pleasing videos that accompany his singing, earning him over 1.2 million followers and over 17 million likes on the platform. His first original song, "Way Back When", is one of my person favorites. While his published discography is limited and his songs are notably shorter than most other artists, no song feels as though it lacks anything and each one leaves me highly anticipating his next release. I have truly fallen in love with the artistry of Solomon and cannot wait to see what more he has up his sleeve as a musician.



Solomon's rendition of "Thank You" is nothing short of a masterpiece. The sonic mixing of Solomon's deep, clear vocals and the simple guitar instrumental are perfectly balanced and make for a wonderful listening experience. The harmonies, namely in the chorus, are not only beautiful but seem to echo the main vocal line, which adds depth to the track. Despite its abbreviated duration of two minutes and 18 seconds, which trims more than a minute from the original composition, the song still feels full and nicely nestles itself among the rest of the succinct gems within Solomon's repertoire.


 


"Put Your Records On" - Corinne Bailey Rae (Original)

An English singer-songwriter, Corinne Bailey Rae has recorded R&B and soul music for audiences to enjoy for over 20 years. While her solo debut was in 2006, in 1996, at just 15 years old, Corinne formed an indie band named Helen that played various shows around her hometown of Leeds, England before disbanding in 2003. Despite the unfortunate end of her band, Corinne knew she wanted to continue to make music in whatever way she could. Her first solo project, a self-titled album featuring 18 original songs, hit number one on the UK charts upon its release and continued on to sell over four million copies worldwide. She has since released two more studio albums, a plethora of singles, and is still actively touring today. Her most recent work, a two-track single titled "Peach Velvet Sky", released on August 15th.



The 2006 showstopper "Put Your Records On" is a classic and the most popular song in Corinne Bailey Rae's repertoire. The second single and third track off of the album Corinne Bailey Rae, "Put Your Records On" is a Grammy-nominated single beloved by millions. As an upbeat pop song, "Put Your Records On" stands out amongst Corinne's R&B and soul-dominated discography. The instrumental features the unique inclusions of a bell tree and a cowbell, setting it apart from traditional pop tracks. Additionally, the song itself complements Corinne's vocal ability beautifully, showcasing her vocal clarity, harmonies, and unique feminine tone. With an infectious chorus and lovely message, it's no wonder this song has gained such massive popularity.


"Put Your Records On" - Ritt Momney (Cover)

Jack William Rutler, better known by the stage name Ritt Momney, is a singer-songwriter that specializes in indie and pop music. The stage name comes from a play on the political figure Mitt Romney, a senator and former presidential candidate who represents Rutler's home state of Utah. Rutler has been releasing music since 2017, currently boasting two studio albums, one EP, and six singles in his discography. A lot of his recent celebrity has come from his cover of "Put Your Records On", which went viral on TikTok, with over one point three million videos using the sound.



Similarly to the original track, Ritt Momney's version of "Put Your Records On" is his most famous project to date. As aforementioned, the track's popularity on social media has largely contributed to its high stream count, wracking up an impressive 555 million streams on Spotify to date. Ritt Momney completely transformed this track instrumentally, initially stripping it down in the first verse to a simple electric keyboard, while the song has a slight beat drop at the beginning of the chorus that incorporates synths and other electronic instrumentations that contrast the renditions original counterpart. Rutler's altered pace and timing throughout the song combined with his fearless use of intense vocal filtering, specifically towards the end of the track, are arguably my favorite things about his rendition.


 


Listen to the full Spotify playlist for this article here. What do you want to see covered on Enharmonic Magazine next? Let us know.

 

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