Artists should cover songs to add their own touch

The Rolling Stones shared another song (“Hate to See You Go”) Friday off the band’s forthcoming “Blue and Lonesome”—a studio album of blues covers.

The album’s tracks were cut live in three days at British Grove Studios, down the street from where The Stones began their career frequenting stages at pubs and clubs, according to the press release.

Releasing an album of covers is not unheard of to fans of The Stones, though.

“The Rolling Stones,” the band’s debut release, was an homage to R&B and blues hits that guitarist Keith Richards and frontman Mick Jagger loved, with the exception of the album’s sole original song “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back).”

Given, the songs in “The Rolling Stones” had a “dangerous edge” but cover songs should have an artist’s edge: their distinct brush stroke. What is the point of covering a song to completely recreate another band’s sound? When I hear a cover I like to wonder why an artist is covering that specific song and how the cover differs from the original—more often than not growing my love for both the songs.

This applies across all genres of music (see some of my favorite below)—from Judy Chong’s cover of Porches’ “Mood” to Guns N’ Roses’ cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to complete album-length covers like Ryan Adam’s take on Taylor Swift’s “1989.” A cover is to a singer/band what a remix is to an aspiring producer: A little bit of originality met with a little bit of influence. Or what a family dinner recipe becomes over time as it is subject to personal preference or restricted by access to ingredients.

The Stones are tying their career back to their roots and closing the circle of where it started, even though this may not be the end (At least I like to think until I get to see them live at least once) with a stamp of their own sound. The two songs that they have released from the forthcoming album did not have distorted guitars nor a tempo as fast as The Stones have played the. Although giving credit where credit is due is important, so is originality. Artist’s shouldn’t cover a song just to cover it and call it a day.

Some of my favorite song covers:

“Journey Through the Past”






“Back In the U.S.A.”



“Just the Way You Are”




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