As you have no doubt read of the passing of the legendary Tina Turner, there is much to learn about her life and music. I won’t repeat what others may write about, as I tend to do, the story today is about her music through the songs she has covered and those that have been recorded by other artists.
There are two distinct phases of her career, with Ike Turner and without. To focus on just the cover songs, the first of 27 original songs she recorded as Ike and Tina Turner was “A Fool in Love” written by Ike Turner and released in 1960. It still blows me away when I listen to this song, there are 13 versions making it their third most covered song. The second is “Nutbush City Limits” with 41 versions and then the iconic “River Deep – Mountain High” has 112 versions. Written by the Brill Building phenom writers Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector it was released in May of 1966.
The German language sits at #3 for the most covered song titles and a few of those are Christmas songs. In fact “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht” or as we know it in English, “Silent, Holy Night” is the most covered song of all time with 2970 versions. It was written in German by Joseph Mohr in 1818 and the English translation was written by John Freeman Young in 1859. “O Tannenbaum” is based on a traditional German melody and lyrics were written by Ernst Gebhard Anschutz and first recorded in 1915 and there are 775 versions. However, as I said in the first post I typically exclude Christmas songs when discussing and ranking cover songs.
This still leaves plenty of great and memorable songs of German origin to discuss. Now, we all know of The Beatles connection to Germany (more on that later) but I could not find anything of note with German origin. I ran across several famous songs by German performers such as the cover of “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega which was a worldwide smash hit in 1999 but again, not originally a German song. Bert Kaempfert came up several times as both a performer and a composer, I will explore some of those connections. Boney M was a creation of German producer and singer/songwriter Frank Farian but it seems all of their famous songs were originally written and recorded in English. It appears that the band Scorpion songs followed the same pattern.
There is no debating the creation story for this next song, and it’s one of the most recognizable in music history.
It is May 6, 2023. After five years and over 200 original posts it’s been a journey of listening, learning and sharing. What can I say, I really love talking about music, and in particular Cover Songs. I have been at WordPress for just over a year now and one of the best things about that is finding a welcome community of music enthusiasts. I don’t have any music talk today, just some thoughts and reflections on blogging.
Statistically you could say, as I am now very happy with the move but I had a bit of a set back leaving Google’s Blogger format. After four years, um, their search engine kind of, well almost, erased me. I was assured by the folks at WordPress that my web presence would come back and they have been true to their word. While the pageviews are not back to the old average of about 1,500 per week, on the upside if searching for the “most covered pop songs and artists”, in particular my most covered stats post has my site popping up on the first page. This had never happen with Blogger. I have exceeded all of last years numbers already. So I do know that people are finding me, primarily on Google but other search engines as well every day, in fact this is typically over 90% of my daily traffic.