Cover vs. Original

Sweet Jane


Both versions of this song have their merits, and they're so totally different in tone that it's tough to compare them. I am curious to see how the cover and original stack up in public opinion.

- Jane, Berkeley, CA, United States, 04.02.2006


Cowboy Junkies
1988

vs.

The Velvet Underground
1970

CD-Cover: Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session 54 % 46 % CD-Cover: The Velvet Underground - Loaded
Results of the voting: Cover versus Original
Click on the cover for listening Click on the cover for listening
Cowboy Junkies 755 Votes The Velvet Underground

Comments about Sweet Jane:

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Both songs are very interesting although my vote has to go to the original Lou Reed. I do however think that the Junkies did an incredible cover. But like someone else mentioned a cover is still just a cover
- George, Easthampton, United States, 14.03.2011
The quintesssential example of a cover bringing something new and unexpected to a song...
- David, Williamsburg, United States, 19.09.2010
A great question, but I won't choose. Apples and oranges. Taking this from Wikipedia:

Lou Reed himself described (the Cowboy Junkie's version) as "the best and most authentic version I have ever heard".
- Karen, Boston, United States, 09.09.2010
Ok - it's like comparing whipped cream to raw meat. Which do you prefer? You may like both for different reasons however you can only sink your teeth in to one. Velvet Underground gets my vote.
- Judi B, Washington State, United States, 23.10.2009
Lou Reed is the MAN
- James Dean, Austn, United States, 22.08.2009
Hi ,gone for Cowboy Junkies,hard one ,think its Margo Ts voice that does it for me.Haunting.Ive allways thought some songs should never be covered...but...I think the C Js have added a little something.To a great original song ...
- Jay B.Williams, Liverpool , England, 29.05.2009
I love the Lou Reed version, but I voted for the Cowboy Junkies because I really love theirs.

I'd like to point out that Lou Reed recorded an even earlier version of this song on the album "1969: Velvet Underground Live" That Lou Reed/ VU version is the real original and that one was the starting point for the Cowboy Junkies' cover. That's the one they listened to. And if you listen to it (you can buy it on Amazon for $0.89), you will hear that it is very similar to what the Cowboy Junkies play.

None of that changes the validity of your interesting question and poll here. But Someone needed to point that out. Apparently Lou Reed substantially reworked the song between the 1969 album and the 1970 album. To this day, I'm not sure which one I prefer. And it matters now because my band is working up a Sweet Jane cover version of our own.
- Surfer Bob, Ventura, CA, United States, 11.01.2009
As good as this cover is, it's still just a cover. The aura of the Velvets just makes all of their music stand out and no one can make this song truly become their own, even though the Junkies come close. Of course I have been listening to The Underground longer, and this is their song, plai nand simple. Every time I hear The Junkies version, I just want to play the original. No slight to the Junkies, I think they are excellent, but they're being compared to a band that is just flat-out better, and even though this is not even close to being VU's best song, it is still a VU song.
- Garrett, Whatever, United States, 27.09.2008
There is passion in both songs. Different attitudes create different songs. They both are incredible versions and really different songs. The Junkie's version is even better in the context of their incredible album, The Trinity Sessions (perhaps an explanation of the 'haunting' quality). And The Underground's version is even better in the context of when it was written. I'd like to heat Reed sing it now, though. In the end, looking (not really) objectively, it comes down to me really digging Margot Timmons' vocals. I think I have all of both bands albums (and Lou Reed's solos stuff), but I listen to the Junkies more. There you have it. Junkies have it by a very slim margin. There is no denying Lou Reed's incredible mind, though.
- Maurice Herzog, Nueva York, United States, 20.09.2008
This is the most difficult vote on this web site. You HAVE to go with the Velvet Underground (what a great song and a great band) but how can you deny how great this cover is? Even Lou Reed talked about how great this cover is
- Shrinertim, Omaha, United States, 09.03.2008
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