- original music and arrangements -

Multiple Versions of a Few Great Songs

Intrinsically great songs offer an opportunity for a variety of interpretations. Great singers and/or great arrangers can create something new and fresh, bringing renewed interest and appreciation for the song. Here are multiple versions of three fantastic timeless songs.

Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

Joni vs. Adam

Damn! It isn’t too often that a cover version can match up to the original but in this case — with all due respect to Joni — I like the Counting Crows version better! It's a phenomenally great arrangement and Adam Duritz is a great singer...


Paul McCartney - Got to Get You Into My Life

Beatles vs. Earth, Wind & Fire

What a killer tune - the "Wall of Sound" horn arrangement for the Beatles version is equally matched by the hip brass riffs of EW&F. Paul McCartney explained in his 1998 book Many Years From Now that it was not about a particular person, but his desire to smoke pot! I suppose I should have compared it to “Along Comes Mary” by the Association :-)


Cahn/Styne - Time After Time

Time After Time was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1947 and introduced by Frank Sinatra in the film It Happened in Brooklyn.

Chet vs. Tony

I melted when I first heard Chet Baker do this song. His tender lyrical voice had such intimate poignancy it is hard not be mesmerized. Tony Bennett does a nice version as well and I just discovered Shirley Bassey version. Of course Chet’s live version is an amazing gem that stands in a class all by itself.