No, Not the Original… The Better One

Walk Off The Earth, Somebody That I Used To KnowSome songs get covered by a whole lot of people.

Very often, they don’t hold a candle to the original.

Sometimes, the people who praise them aren’t aware there was an original.

Sometimes I wonder if the bands doing the covers ever heard the original of what they’re covering.

And sometimes, because of my sporadic music habits, I hear a cover first and then end up disappointed when I hear the original.

A song you like that’s a cover by another artist

I discover most of my music by people telling me to listen to something. Either directly or by posting it on Facebook. Every once in a while, though, I end up being one of the first people in my considerable circle of friends to pick something out of one of my other feeds and introduce it to bunches more people.

That was the case with this song.

When I first stumbled across it, the video only had a few thousand views. Before I got around to sharing it, that number doubled. Then doubled again. A day after I had shared the video, it had broken six figures and showed no signs of stopping.

It made all the Internet news.

Then it made the all the morning shows.

Within a week, it was everywhere.

As of right now, it’s got over 178 million views.

Not bad for a little band from Canada.

If you missed out on the first wave that launched these guys into international stardom, now you have another chance to check out Walk Off The Earth’s cover of Somebody That I Used To Know.

(And you can check out the original, too, which, apparently is mega-super-popular… just not in any way that I’d heard of it before the cover version. I still prefer the WOTE cover.)

This cover got so popular, in part because of their talent, in part because of the big guitar gimmick, that they made a bunch of other gimmicky videos. They all rock and should be checked out. I generally dig their covers, and found their original stuff was pretty solid, too.

Runners Up

  • Postmodern Jukebox, Bye, Bye, Bye – I remember when the original N’SYNC version was a hot thing. This version is much hotter (as far as I’m concerned). I really dig most of the PMJ stuff I’ve heard. They’re super creative with their re-orchestrations and pull in some great singing talent.
  • Soft Cell, Tainted Love – I know what you’re thinking: This isn’t a cover! Oh! But it is. It was originally a soul song by Gloria Jones back in 2964. (I didn’t know that either until very recently.)
  • Johnny Cash, Personal Jesus – I absolutely love the Depech Mode original. It’s a staple at the goth club I hang at (when I hang out and about). But this cover is at least as good. Because: Johnny Cash.
About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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