Mike tagged me with the “Cover Meme,” in which we choose our vote for the best and worst covers of a song. My song choice is Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing. The original is a classic- one of Hendrix’s best, in my opinion. It’s a slow, bluesy number with a very smooth, melodic guitar solo (by Hendrix standards). The only complaint I would make is that the chorus repeats the verse’s melody line:
The worst cover of this that I have heard is by none other than Derek and the Dominoes (aka Eric Clapton and friends). I really can’t figure out why they came up with this arrangement; they took a fairly perfect song and turned it into a plodding train-wreck. The intro alone is enough to make you turn it off:
The best cover of this song is by Sting who, in my opinion, captured the true inner beauty of this song. By reworking the chorus a bit, he avoided Hendrix’s repetitious melody line. And, the guitarist (Hiram Bullock) and sax player (Branford Marsalis) took the basic elements of Hendrix’s guitar solo and made it something amazing. I think this is a rare occasion when the cover is an improvement over the original:
Interesting note: Eric Clapton appears on the CD “Nothing Like the Sun” where “Little Wing” appears. However, he did not play on this track. I wonder why.
So, now my turn to tag… let’s see, how about Ken?