Old music getting new looks from teens

What do The Beatles, the Flaming Lips and the Dixie Chicks have in common?

Hint: They all have been cover bands.

The Beatles played “Twist and Shout,” originally by the band Top Notes. The Flaming Lips covered Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” The Dixie Chicks did their own rendering of “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac.

In this age of Lady Gaga, B.o.B and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you might be surprised to find that music hasn’t changed that much over the years.

The reason? Music remakes.

Songs such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s “Free Fallin’ ” have fallen on younger ears by way of John Mayer.

Korn introduced a new generation to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s “We Are the World,” originally recorded to help Africans affected by famine in 1985, made a comeback this year to raise money for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

With the classic songs popping up in new ways, it isn’t surprising that parents and their kids may now like the same songs.

Oh wait, you’re still surprised?

Listen up.

After Fox began airing the hit musical show “Glee” last year, the world of remade music really started flourishing.

As the members of “Glee’s” fictional high school show choir gather every week to express themselves with classic tunes, younger generations of music fans prepare for the songs to be released on iTunes.

Hits include “Beth,” “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believin’ “

Sound familiar, Mom and Dad?

It’s Kiss, Neil Diamond and Journey made more appealing to some teenagers. And for those who already know those oldies but goodies, “Glee” has prompted plenty of originals vs. remakes comparisons.

“I think ‘Glee’ is good. They have the same songs, it’s just a little different,” said local teen McKenzie Kimball.

“I think I like the classic versions better, but ‘Glee’ doesn’t screw it up,” said Caleigh Isaacks, another young local music enthusiast.

“I really like oldies music, so I guess I do have some songs in common with my dad,” Kimball admitted.

Kimball and Isaacks aren’t alone in finding the originals to be just that, original.

“Sometimes (a remake) is over-repetitive. A lot of the time, actually,” said local teen Thomas Dresser. “Some of the remakes are really, really good, but just after awhile they get annoying.”

“I just like the originals way better. They actually tried,” said Sean Matanovich, adding that he and his parents listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Marvin Gaye.

It’s useless to try to redo a classic just like the original, said Trevor Adams of the James/Adams Duo, a local cover band.

The original “has its place. People know it. But there’s nothing interesting in that. Stay away from the hits,” Adams said.

“When you do a remake, you want to try to do something unique and put your own stamp on it,” he said.

Because for better or worse, musicians seem to find classic songs alluring.

“I think it comes down to honoring the artist who you’re covering or wanting to just put out your own version of a song you’re crazy about,” said Rock Cesario, owner of Triple Play Records. “Music’s not recorded in a vacuum and everyone copies somebody.”

And just because the song isn’t original doesn’t mean the style can’t be, he said.

“Some people make songs their own by covering other people’s songs. For example, a lot of people think Jimi Hendrix wrote ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ but it was Bob Dylan. Jimi made that song his,” Cesario said.

The bottom line is the song needs to be worth listening to, he said.

“As long as I don’t have to hear them in an elevator, I don’t mind the covers too much,” Cesario said.

# # #

Watch Glee’s Journey medley:


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