bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Song Sung Blue

Is anyone that reads this blog old enough to recognize that song?  Just wondering.

My thoughts today are about songs.  I was in my car listening to KSHE rockin’ out to “Live and Let Die” and it was an instrumental part of the song, then I realized…THIS WASN’T THE PAUL MCCARTNEY VERSION!  It was Guns and Roses.  Admittedly, not my favorite band.  But, I was sitting there thinking, “Does anyone ever think that the remake is better?” 

Now, the first one that comes to mind is Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”  First written and sung by Dolly Parton.  But, was it a hit?  Or was it just some track on an album or a “B side” as we used to call them?  Had anyone really heard it before Whitney made it huge?

I was telling my husband that I felt I should send Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr a note of apology.  Because when I was in Jr. High, the Bee Gees version of Sgt. Pepper’s was big and so was the movie, I guess.  I didn’t see it.  But, I remember my choir teacher had us listen to the Beatles version because we were going to do a medley of Sgt. Pepper’s songs.  The class practically revolted!  “This isn’t as good as the Bee Gees!”  “Why can’t we listen to the Bee Gees version?”  I’m so ashamed because I was right along with them.  Now, I look back and say, “Oh dear.  What was I thinking?”

So, are remakes ever worth it?  Or is it a case of whichever version you hear first, you like better?  My good friend and I go round and round about which movie is better:  “Philadelphia Story” or “High Society”.  She saw “High Society” first, so she likes it better.  I saw “Philadelphia Story” first, so I  like it better.  She’ll say, “C’mon!  Grace Kelly and the music!!!!”  And, I’ll say, “C’mon, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant!!!!”  We’ve agreed to disagree.  She’ll never convince me and vice versa.

Another example is “Sabrina.”  As a huge (and I mean HUGE) Harrison Ford fan, I wanted to LOVE the remake.  I really liked it.  Really, really did.  But, seriously, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn?  Can you top that?  No way.  Saw it first, loved it.

I’m not going to go on about how Hollywood and the music business has run out of creative ideas of their own and so they remake the classics or turn TV shows into movies.  That’s another issue altogether. 

But, I’m curious.  Do you have any examples of remakes that were better than the original?  Now, it’s not fair if the original was not a hit.  Because if you go to, you will find a surprisingly large number of remakes that you had no idea were originally done in the 30s or 40s. 

Let me know.  Right now, I have to send a letter to Paul and Ringo.

Comments on: "Song Sung Blue" (9)

  1. A friend emailed me that she thought “Parent Trap” was another good example. Lindsey Lohan was darling, and Dennis Quaid was hot, but they just couldn’t beat Hayley Mills and Maureen O’Hara!

  2. Song Sung Blue?
    Everybody knows one!

    I’m totally going to have that stuck in my head the rest of the night. And I don’t even like Neil Diamond.

  3. Did you hit a hot topic with this one! My husband gave me the Eagles CD/DVD set(FABULOUS!!!)a couple of years ago for Christmas, and my kids really liked it-but were wondering how I knew so many words to ‘their’ (remakes) songs! They actually liked the Eagles better, yay!
    But listen to this-my friend told me she got her husband tickets for the Foreigner concert this summer, they’re being sponsored by A.A.R.P!!! WHAT THE HECK!
    Enjoy the sunshine!
    PS-I like Neil Diamond.

  4. You knew I’d have a comment on this… Jimi Hendrix has done some great covers (incl. All Along the Watchtower – though I like Dylan’s too.) Rod Stewart’s done some great covers, too. How about John Lennon’s Stand By Me? Movies are tougher, because most movies that are redone are based on good movies – so what’s the point? Although Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive comes to mind.

  5. OOOOhhhhh. The Fugitive. An excellent movie. But, it was based on a TV Show, so technically, it isn’t a remake. IMHO. But a good point, just the same.

    Now, KC, I’m so proud of your girls “getting” the Eagles. My kids like the Beatles too.

    Of course, I have to admit that they are always surprised when they hear a Weird Al version of a song and find out there is actually a real song and his is just a parody. 😉 They’ll usually sing the Weird Al version.

  6. OK– I had to get Parrish’s input on this one. He said “I Fought the Law” by The Clash is a remake. Also, “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth is a remake. I think it was by the Monkeys the first time. He likes Smash Mouth better and seems to think it’s hard to take the Monkeys seriously. That’s it from this side of the street.

  7. Yeah, the Monkees and Neil Diamond, strangely enough, did “I’m a Believer.” I have to agree that I like the Smash Mouth version best. Good one. “I Fought the Law” is indeed a remake. I’m not sure I’m familiar with the Clash’s version, but I’m sure it was quite a change from The Bobby Fuller Four, who made it a hit in 1965. And, according to Wikipedia, Bobby Fuller was found dead in his car before it became a hit. Some people claim it was MURDER! ooooEEEEoooooo!

    But, please tell Parrish that the Bobby Fuller version was #175 on Rolling Stone’s the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Clash’s version–not mentioned.

  8. OK: Movie – “The Thing” remake by John Carpenter is tons better than the original. Song – And I have to abmit liking “Roll Over Beethoven” by ELO better than the Beatles and the original Chuck Berry. Now can I turn my brain off and quit thinking about this?

  9. MarlaLAM said:

    Okay, they can never do a remake of “Casablanca”. NO way, will it ever be the same!!! I always loved Roberta Flack’s song of “Killing Me Softly”. Heard the remake & it wasn’t too bad but not the same!!!!!!!!!!

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