Mention Songs Without Words and most people immediately think of Mendelssohn. If, like me, you have Classic FM on in the car, you will now know it as the title of a horrible new CD from the Classic stable. It consists of ‘favourite songs’ played in a classical way. Well, chaps, when I want a ‘classical’ version of Life on Mars, I’ll ask for it. These performances are extremely bland and boring and what is even the point?
It’s been done the other way of course: classic to pop. Nut Rocker by B Bumble and the Stingers is a plodding version which sounds as if it were played by Mrs Mills. Beck’s Bolero is another matter altogether and makes my point about cover versions, which is that they should add something to the music. Bryan Ferry is the master of this, as shown by his performances of Jealous Guy or A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.
Any favourite covers, folks?