Hey, guess what? The Decemberists did a remake of R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”:
And oh yeah, Iron & Wine just came out with a remake of Paul Simon’s “She Moves On”:
Just kidding. But damn, you’ve got to admit the similarities (after a careful listen). Anyway, the new Decemberists and Iron & Wine albums are both great.
Edit: I realize that complaining that a song has been done before, that there are only so many popular chord progressions, etc., is one of the oldest tropes in the book. Fair enough. I guess what’s interesting to me is that the original songs are so well known. I mean, there’s no question that Colin Meloy has heard “The One I Love” before. Did he just not care? Is it an homage?
Edit 2: I guess so: “Decemberists Pay Tribute to R.E.M.”. But the funny thing here is that they’re talking about a different song on the album — they think this one is a take on Neil Young! But the fact that Peter Buck actually plays on the album explains a lot.
Coincidentally, I heard the new Lady Gaga song for the first time tonight on the radio.
It’s very obviously a take on Madonna’s “Express Yourself”.
And clearly Lady Gaga knew that. I somehow imagine that I would be ashamed to put out something so derivative. But hey, Lady Gaga, The Decemberists… I guess, to paraphrase a meme, good songs sound good. I’ll be the first to admit that they’re all pleasurable to hear.
I’ll leave you with another of my favorite “remakes”, original first: