Strange Jason once said there was a difference between doing a cover of a song and doing a version of a song. Although I used to think he was splitting hairs, I have since changed my mind.
One musician doing their take on another’s song can both pay tribute to the original and create an new, unique version that’s every bit as good as (if not better) than the original. A cover song is what happens when someone wants to use a certain song, but don’t want to pay the amount requested for licensing rights. Instead, they opt to perform a cover version, often by obtaining a mechanical license, which is much cheaper than actually licensing the original. Many companies took advantage of this by releasing compilation albums of hit songs at low prices, which thrifty (and inattentive) consumers would buy thinking they had found all of their favorite songs in one place for a great price. After many had gotten burned by purchasing such albums, they went out of their way to seek out albums that made it clear the original artist’s version was on it. When companies specializing in cover songs realized that people were catching on, they sneakily began the practice of hiring the musicians who made a particular song famous to perform a cover so that they could market their discs as containing songs “as performed by the original artist.” Presumably this was done to get people to think they were purchasing a record (later CDs) featuring the original song and it worked all too well.
The subject of today’s article, the theme from Ghostbusters, has been covered numerous times.
Naturally, most of said cover songs are garbage. Go to Amazon and hear for yourself. As for as I’m concerned, Andrew Gold has done the only good “cover” of the Ghostbusters theme ever. It’s close enough to the original be to enjoyable and different enough to keep Ray Parker Jr.’s lawyers at bay. Today I’m going to let you listen to what just might be the worst two versions of the Ghostbusters theme ever recorded. First up is a version by Drew’s Famous Entertainment (aka Turn Up The Music Inc. and tons other names), uploaded by packratshow:
Terrible, huh? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, a challenger approaches from the East! This putrid take on the song, as uploaded by Sardius, was created especially for Stepping Selection, a Japan-only Dance Dance Revolution clone for the Playstation 2:
It’s pretty easy to see why that game never made the jump overseas. Which version is the worst? You decide!