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Why I'm a Cover Girl.
Listening to R2's 'Sounds of the 60s" this morning, I realised to my shame that I had no memory of ever before hearing the original Beach Boys' version of "Break Away." Why? Because in the mid 80s I discovered the beautiful (British) jazz-tinged Harvey and the Wallbangers acapella version and had played it hundreds of times. The cover was magnificent, because it heightened the greatest beauty of all Brian Wilson originals -- the sweet harmonies. Like the Zombies, featured below, they were classically trained to value interpretation. I've been musing on why I love cover versions for The Spectator and why they deserve more respect. Did anyone slag off Shakespeare for "covering" Hamlet or "sampling" Holinshed? Do make sure you scroll all the way down to view/hear all the clips, especially Strawberry Switchblade. Feel free to add your own suggestions... I've probably seen between six and 12 versions of every great Shakespeare play. Cover versions are what highbrow theatre and live