I hate remakes. H-A-T-E them. It really irks me when I love a good old song,then someone comes along and tries to do it better. Very few people can get away with remaking a classic.
When I was a teenager, I refused to like that red-headed mall singer who shall remain nameless. For those of you who think this had something to do with the fact she dated my biggest teen-aged crush, you’re WRONG. It is because she first dug her nails into Tommy James and the Shondells, then she dared to defile a Beatles song by not only remaking it, but changing the words as well. ‘Nuff said.
It’s not that remakes aren’t good, it’s just that they seem pointless. Part of the reason I feel this way is because I grew up with parents who taught me a deep appreciation for the “oldies.” And when songs are classics like that, you just don’t mess with them. (Annie Lennox, I’m talkin’ to you. You should have left “Whiter Shade of Pale” alone.)
I said all of that to say this: Only once in my life have I gone ga-ga over a remake. I was sixteen. And to this day, that remake is one of my all time, no doubt about it, listen until my ears fall off, favorite songs. Don’t get me wrong. The Chi-lites did it right, but (and this is quite possibly the only time you will ever here me say this), Paul Young did “Oh, Girl” so much better. The man was made to sing that song. Hear his pain and that slight gravel in his voice. I could listen to it ten times in a row, then go back for more. I think, quite possibly, the Chi-lites traveled forward in time to 1990, snagged that song, then went back to 1972 and did a sort of “premake,” if you will. That, folks, is how much Paul Young rocked that song.
Okay, so there might be one more remake I can stand. Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” was almost an anthem when I was in high school. Rascal Flatts? Good job making me like yours almost as much. Then again, that’s a song it would be really, really hard to mess up in the first place.
So, how about the rest of you? Care to leave a comment about your favorite remake? Join me, won’t you? I think I’m off to grab a hairbrush and sing in the kitchen.
(A P.S.–Just learned my dear friend Kay has a different opinion if you want to check it out.)