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Give them your info and give it a day. An agent then contacts you and gives you a new discounted rate! Insurance, but simple. Early in the 20th century it became common for phonograph record labels record companies to have singers or musicians "cover" a commercially successful "hit" tune by recording a version for their own label in hopes of cashing in on the tune's success.
Because little promotion or advertising was done in the early days of record production, other than at the local music hall or music store, the average buyer purchasing a new record usually asked for the tune, not the artist. Record distribution was highly localized, so a locally popular artist could quickly record a version of a hit song from another area and reach an audience before the version by the artist s who first introduced the tune in a particular format—the "original", "introductory" or "popularizing" artist—was widely available, and highly competitive record companies were quick to take advantage of these facts.
This began to change in the late s, when the growing record-buying public began including a younger age group. During the Swing era , when a bobby soxer went looking for a recorded tune, say " In the Mood ", typically she wanted the version popularized by her favorite artist s , e. This trend was marked closely by the charting of record sales by the different artists, not just hit tunes, on the music industry's Hit Parades.
However, for sound commercial reasons, record companies still continued to record different versions of tunes that sold well. Most audiences until the mids still heard their favorite artists playing live music on stage or via the radio. And since radio shows were for the most part aimed at local audiences, it was still rare for an artist in one area to reach a mass audience. Also radio stations tended to cater to broad audience markets, so an artist in one vein might not get broadcast on other stations geared to a set audience. So popular versions of jazz, country and western or rhythm and blues tunes, and vice versa, were frequent.
Europe's Radio Luxembourg , like many commercial stations, also sold "air time"; so record companies and others bought air time to promote their own artists or products, thus increasing the number of recorded versions of any tune then available. Add to this the fact that many radio stations were limited in their permitted " needle time " the amount of recorded music they were allowed to play , or were regulated on the amount of local talent they had to promote in live broadcasts, as with most national stations like the BBC in the UK.
In the US, unlike most countries, broadcasters pay royalties to authors and publishers. Artists are not paid royalties, so there is an incentive to record numerous versions of a song, particularly in different genres.
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This tradition was expanded when rhythm and blues songs began appearing on pop music charts. Artists targeting the white-majority family audience were more acceptable to programmers at most radio and TV stations. Singer-songwriter Don McLean called the cover version a "racist tool".
They had, for the most part, shared entertainment with their parents in ways their children had become reluctant to do. Tunes by introducing or "original" niche market artists that became successful on the mass audience Hit Parade charts are called crossovers as they "crossed over" from the targeted country, jazz or rhythm audience.
Also, many songs originally recorded by male artists were rerecorded by female artists, and vice versa. Such a cover version is also sometimes called a cross cover version , male cover , or female cover. Incidentally, until the mids male vocalists often sang the female lyrics to popular songs, though this faded rapidly after it was deemed decadent in Nazi Germany. Some songs such as "If Only for One Night" were originally recorded by female artists but covered by mostly male artists. Reworking non-English language tunes and lyrics for the Anglo-Saxon markets was once a popular part of the music business.
Cover versions of many popular songs have been recorded, sometimes with a radically different style, sometimes virtually indistinguishable from the original. Coulton's cover was then covered, without attribution, in by the show Glee , and was so similar that Coulton, among others, alleged plagiarism of his arrangement.
A song may be covered into another language. The English version, which was not a direct translation of Falco's original but retained much of its spirit, reached the Top 5 on the US charts.
Many of singer Laura Branigan 's s hits were English-language covers of songs already successful in Europe, for the American record market. Numerable English-language covers exist of " 99 Luftballons " by German singer Nena notably one by punk band Goldfinger , one having been recorded by Nena herself following the success of her original German version.
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During the heyday of Cantopop in Hong Kong in the late s to early s, many hits were covers of English and Japanese titles that have gained international fame but with localized lyrics sometimes multiple sets of lyrics sung to the same tune , and critics often chide the music industry of shorting the tune-composing process. Although modern cover versions are often produced for artistic reasons, some aspects of the disingenuous spirit of early cover versions remain.
In the album-buying heyday of the s, albums of sound-alike covers were created, commonly released to fill bargain bins in the music section of supermarkets and even specialized music stores , where uninformed customers might easily confuse them with original recordings. The packaging of such discs was often intentionally confusing, combining the name of the original artist in large letters with a tiny disclaimer like as originally sung by or as made popular by.
More recently, albums such as the Kidz Bop series of compact discs , featuring versions of contemporary songs sung by children, have sold successfully. In the American musical comedy-drama television series Glee debuted, featuring several musical performances per episode.
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The series featured solely cover songs performed by the series' titular glee club until near the end of its second season with the episode " Original Song ". The series still primarily uses cover songs of both chart hits and show tunes, occasionally as mashups or distinct variations. The show's musical performances have been a commercial success, with over twenty-one million copies of Glee cast single releases purchased digitally, and over nine million albums purchased worldwide.
Cover versions as the term is now used are often contemporary versions of familiar songs. The famous Gene Kelly version was a revision that brought it up to date for a s Hollywood musical, and was used in the film Singin' in the Rain. In , it was covered by French singer Sheila accompanied by the B. Devotion group, as a disco song, once more updating it to suit the musical taste of the era. During the disco era there was a trend of taking well known songs and recording them in the disco style.
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More recently "Singin' In the Rain" has been covered and remixed by British act Mint Royale for a television commercial for Volkswagen. Another example of this, from a different angle, is the tune " Blueberry Hill ", many mistakenly believe the Fats Domino release to be the original recording and artist. In fact, it was originally introduced on film by Gene Autry and popularized on the record Hit Parade of by Glenn Miller. The Fats Domino rock and roll version is the only one that might currently get widespread airplay on most media.
Similarly, " Unchained Melody " was originally performed by Todd Duncan , featured in the film Unchained based on the non-fiction story Prisoners are People by Kenyon J. Scudder ; Al Hibbler having the biggest number of worldwide record sales for the vocal version with Jimmy Young's cover version rival outdoing this in the UK,  Les Baxter's Orchestra gaining the big instrumentalist sales, reaching the US Hit Parade number one spot in May ,  but The Righteous Brothers ' later version top five on the US Hit Parade of September  stalling at number 14 in the UK in August is by far the wider known version, and especially so following its appearance in the film Ghost.
Director Baz Luhrmann has contemporized and stylized older songs for use in his films. The covers are carefully designed to fit into the structure of each film and suit the taste of the intended audience. Other artists release new versions of their own previous songs, like German singer Nena who recorded an entire album with great success, with new versions of older hits. Cover songs can be used to display creativity of a performers work through the talent of another artist's previous production.
Not to be confused with a Remix, which is defined as altering or distorting the original sound electronically; Cover Versions give a performer the ability to adapt music to their own style, typically allowing them to change the genre of a song and recreating it to their own taste.
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For example, in , Fall Out Boy covered Michael Jackson 's hit song " Beat It ", changing the genre from pop rock to a more punk rock feel. This is more common with today's covers, taking older popular music and revamping it to compare with modern popular music. Aretha Franklin 's cover of Otis Redding 's " Respect " was voted the greatest cover song of all-time, according to Forbes.
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