Day 35. Your favorite cover song.

“I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)”
Mike + The Mechanics

There are a lot of cover songs out there. (Um, duh! Could you be more obvious?) And there are a lot of them that I like. (Okay, I guess you could.)

So when thinking of a candidate for today’s post, one of my personal criterion was that I like the cover better than the original. So, as I tend to do, I started going through my iTunes list to help me whittle down the field.

I was originally thinking “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights (from Animal House). It’s a classic, but I think I’m going to keep that one in my pocket for a little while longer.


Then I came to this song. For those that don’t know, “Mike” of Mike + The Mechanics happens to be Mike Rutherford of Genesis. Or for those that know Genesis only by the “Land Of Confusion” video, the guy to the left. And yes, Mike + The Mechanics released more albums than just the one with “All I Need Is A Miracle” and the one with “The Living Years” on it. (Which is called Living Years, but did you even know that? Educate yourselves people!)

So, to be clear, when this album (Beggar on a Beach of Gold) was released in 1995, I had never heard Stevie Wonder’s original version. Thus, the Mike + The Mechanics version was my introduction to the song, and my theory is that the version of any song you that you first hear (and like) is most often the version that becomes your favorite. And that is the case here.

This is another one of those songs (this version, anyway) that you’ve probably never heard before. And that’s because, even though Atlantic Records ostensibly released it in the United States they decided to promote it… well… not at all. As a result I’ve heard “Over My Shoulder” and “Another Cup Of Coffee” (both good songs from the album) on the loudspeaker at the grocery store way more often than I’ve ever heard them on the radio.

And that is why I’ve given you the link to a YouTube video (which is not a video, but the song with various images in a slide show format) here. It is not my video. Please don’t shoot the messenger. But, you’ll at least get to hear the song.

Now, Eddie Murphy says Stevie Wonder is a musical genius, and actually, I agree with him, so don’t start sending me death threats about this. (I’d have to try to separate them from the others that I get, and, honestly, I don’t have time right now for death threat categorization.) But the way Paul Carrack sings this song gives it some punch (especially the part at 2:30, I love that part) that the Stevie Wonder version just doesn’t have. Plus I don’t like the change in style at the end of the original.

Don’t get me wrong, Stevie’s version is good, but I think Mike and crew have one up on him in this case. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

So, out of curiosity, what is your favorite cover? (And/or did you know Mike + The Mechanics’ second album was called Living Years? Be honest!)