Welcome to Song of the Day, where I talk about music I am thinking of, that’s important to me, and that I feel you’ll enjoy. When possible, I’ll try to include stuff from the original source material, though in some cases you’ll have to do without – nothing I post on here should break copyright laws, unless the source I pull from is not, in fact, the legal source.
Today’s video is a song that, when it originally came out, I hated – I had only heard it on radio, never seeing it until my teenage years, and even then the song was, at best, “meh.” For those unaware: a “meh” song’s playability really depends on the radio – if radio stations play it constantly for a significant amount of time, “Meh” songs can become “Hated” songs, as will happen with most music. This is one of those cases, however, that age plays a huge part: The original song came out when I was 8-9 years old at the time it came out in 1986, and just a couple of years shy of beginning to really start setting myself apart musically, so it came out at a time when my opinions for some songs weren’t that strong.
Fast-forward a few years, to hearing this version on the radio – and while this version sounded awesome to me, it also sounded very familiar. Like the Linkin Park track yesterday, I picked up the album, did some investigating – and came back to the original song. The interesting thing about this, however, was that it made me aware of all of those things I didn’t get when I was 8-9 years old or a teenager – of the deeper meanings behind the lyrics, and how the song gels together.
As you’ll begin to find in future installments, this won’t be the first time or the last time the cover version of a song makes me re-examine the older material, either for a song that was similar to this or songs I’ve never heard. It’s something I’ve noticed that bands who are good at covering other musician’s work will do: Make the listener interested in the original version, as well as make it unique enough to call their own. I will leave it up to you to decide which one is better; for me, given the relevance of the songs around the time of release (Genesis’s version came out around the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal; Disturbed’s came out in the Post-9/11 take over Iraq Bush years) and style’s (Genesis’s Muppetry versus Disturbed’s Pink-Floyd-esque war/fight “Wall” animation,) it’s a draw, with winners only being decided by a given era of music being played. (Sorry, but Disturbed’s version just doesn’t hold up when playing 80’s Music, and Genesis’s style doesn’t fit as well with the rest of the Nu-Metal crowd.)