Cover vs. Original

Baker Street


Foo Fighters lead kicks ass compared to the lame 70's sax solo it is replacing!

- Randy Myles, Ottawa, Canada, 16.02.2006


Foo Fighters
1997

vs.

Gerry Rafferty
1978

CD-Cover: Foo Fighters - My Hero 43.7 % 56.3 % CD-Cover: Gerry Rafferty - City to City
Results of the voting: Cover versus Original
Click on the cover for listening Click on the cover for listening
Foo Fighters 1663 Votes Gerry Rafferty

Comments about Baker Street:

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I truly love the Foo Fighters, everything they do is golden, their interpretation of this classic is just that...classic, but for the most part, I am partial to original versions of any song. Truth is, although I voted Rafferty, I would choose Foo Fighter tickets over Rafferty. My condolences to Rafferty's family, friends and fans, may he rest in peace.
- Rudy Briones, Del Rio, TX, United States, 05.01.2011
For those who don't know...

"Ted" from Huston is a much beloved homosexual. Thus, it is high praise when he lauds the very straight Rafferty as "gay". On behalf of men straight and gay, we thank you beloved homosexual Ted. Your comment reflects your typically incisive wit and graciousness. Screw on, my brother!
- JC, Richfield, United States, 30.09.2010
For those who don't know...

"Ted" from Huston is a much beloved homosexual. Thus, it is high praise when he lauds the very straight Rafferty as "gay". On behalf of men straight and gay, we thank you beloved homosexual Ted. Your comment reflects your typically incisive wit and graciousness. Screw on, my brother!
- JC, Richfield, United States, 30.09.2010
aaaah just reckon your a moron
- Brian, West Bend, United States, 02.06.2010
aaaah just reckon your a moron
- Brian, West Bend, United States, 02.06.2010
Ah just reckon them foo fighters are way better cos they just are. The guitar is cool and rafferty is gay. Ahm pretty sure he likes men cos his song is gay. Go foo fighters, ah like yer music
- Ted, Huston, United States, 12.04.2010
The FF version is pure three chord straight ahead RnR. The Rafferty version is sort of Techno for the time and slick in production. It is ironic that the orginal is sort of modern and the remake so raw.
- Steve, Miami, United States, 26.02.2010
There's a reason that Rafferty's version was considered "Song of the year" in 1978. In fact, the entire album was one of the year's best, better than Dire Straits' debut album. It contained two other big singles, "Home And Dry" and "Right Down The Line".

Some might see Raffery's 1978 album "City To City" as a pastiche of Al Stewart's work (think "Year Of The Cat" from 1976) or Boz Scaggs', but it's a great album that stands on its own thirty years later (e.g. "Stealing Time", "Waiting For The Day", "Whatever's Written in Your Heart").

The Foo Fighters' version? It's okay, but it doesn't redefine the song (e.g. "Summertime Blues"). Unless you're going to do it better or uniquely, don't do it. The FF version is neither.
- K9, Earth, Other, 29.01.2010
Well as far as the whole sax verses guitar thing goes, both have their ups and downs, but from my personal and professional standpoint a musician and music major, I personally believe that Gerry Rafferty's is much better. I'll start at the beginning on why I believe this. Gerry's version starts off with a beautiful haunting pan flute solo, backed by synthesizers, strings, bit of bass, aux percussion "namely bongo and conga drums", with the drummer providing some support with the bass drum, crash cymbals, and high hat. The result of all this is a bittersweet yet haunting introduction, that ends with a climatic crescendo, that transitions into the refrain "sax solo section". Foos version, there is not pan flute, no strings, no synth, no aux percussion. Dave attempts to cover those support parts on his guitar, by playing them as not much more than power cords, with maybe another note added onto them to try and cover what the strings and synth had, and heavy distortion, which makes those cords hes playing sound VERY dirty and disgusting. The pan flute has been replaced by... You guessed it, guitar, taken down not one but two octaves from the original pan flute octave, to where he's playing in the same range as Dave so their notes just clash in the most disgusting way imaginable. Instead of aux percussion, we have Taylor Banging away back there on the toms, and crash cymbals, leaving one wondering how many drumsticks and heads he went through in the making of this cover. The end result for them is a an introduction with a sound that has the consistency of mud. A horrible clash of heavily distorted guitars, with the only thing keeping them in rhythm is the sound of Taylor breaking his set. Furthermore all this horrible clashing of sound makes the transition into the refrain all the worse. Instead of having that climatic crescendo, the transition to the refrain just comes on randomly out of nowhere, with the guitar doing the beginning notes of the sax solo, backed by a small fill by Taylor. Now we come to the big part everyone likes to compare. Guitar versus the sax. Both have their downfalls. I tend to think the sax part is a little too strong, however, his part is still right on the money. Well pronounced and accented, maybe a little too obnoxious though. The Foo's guitar cover on the other hand is very anemic and distant sounding, for something that should be a lead, and furthermore the accents are all in the wrong places. Also another thing to note with the refrain is Gerry's original version has the lead guitar part doing pick grinding or "swoops" behind the sax solo which really added to the sound. The Foo's version has none of that since the lead guitar is otherwise preoccupied doing the sax solo, and the swooping is replaced with dead silence, and all you can hear in the background is Dave grinding away on those power-cords as the rhythm guitar part in both versions dictates. Now we come to the next section. The verses. The original version by Gerry has him singing with some various and interesting sounding syhth effects coming in on and off, backed by the strings, rhythm guitar, bass, drums and aux percussion. One of my personal favorites of all these sounds, is the one some people describe as falling leaves, or raindrops, that comes in when he sings "used to say that it be so easy". Listening to it always sends a shiver down my spine, its such an interesting effect to the song. The Foo's version on the other hand really doesn't have any of that. but thankfully all the distortion cuts off, and Dave plays the guitar part clean like it should be. However once we get to the section where the raindrop effect comes in in the original, the distortion pops right back on, and were back to hearing that disgusting clash of notes backed by a bass riff that's copied note for note from the original. Personally I like the sound of that bass riff backed by the raindrop effect, strings, and undistorted guitars. Makes it actually sound quite haunting. Now near the end of the song there is a very epic sounding guitar solo in both versions. The Foo Fighters rather than at least trying to jazz up the original, copy the solo note for note. Then after the solo instead of transitioning into the sax solo as the original does, they just transition into pure nothing. Only the sound of the rhythm guitar bass and drums as it fades out. The original transitions, backed to the sax solo, backed by the string ensemble playing out gradually more and more as the song fades out, which sounds quite interesting in my opinion. All in all I believe the original by Gerry Rafferty is what it is. The Foo's version is very diluted and otherwise disgusting sounding. I understand their style is a lot more hard core than Gerry, but that sense I believe they picked the wrong song to cover. Now don't get me wrong I love the Foo Fighters as much as anyone else here. Their cover of band on the run wasn't bad at all and I love their other songs that aren't covers, especially "the pretender, monkey-wrench, and let it die" but their hard core interpretation of this particular song just doesn't abide with the actual theme of the song. This song is supposed to be about loneliness and dis-pare for mistakes made in life. The Foo's make it sound like it should be about aggression and anger, when really they're sing the same lyrics as the original "aside from one word changed in the second verse". I also believe the reason so many people like the foo fighters version better is because of their already gained popularity, I'm 23 and very very few people from my generation have even heard of Gerry Rafferty, and how he was the original writer of this song. But of course everyone know the Foo Fighters. They've only had a shitload of success with all the other work, and are lead by the ex drummer of Nirvana. Honestly who are you gonna think is better? That or some guy you barely even heard of who didn't even sing in your generation? The only reason I heard of the original version is because my dad always used to play it in the car when I was a kid and we were going on long family trips out west. But yea I think that popularity and generation is what it comes down to mostly, and yea I wrote all this cause I'm bored. I'm on break from school, my Girlfriend is out of town, and one of my band members with the band I play in has swine flu, hence I'm stuck with nothing better to do but bitch at all of you hahahaha.
- Brian, West Bend WI, United States, 01.12.2009
I don't think the Foo Fighters were trying to improve on the original version, but rather playing their own interpretation of it. The sax is cool. I like the the song both ways.
- Wes, Greensboro, United States, 28.10.2009
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