Brazilian singer Seu Jorge specializes in cover songs that retain his personal style while celebrating the essence of the original.
Brazilian singer Seu Jorge specializes in cover songs that retain his personal style while celebrating the essence of the original. Benoit Peverelli
A Mexican glam-rock band wipes the tears off a sad pop tune and gives it a more aggressive edge. A Colombian singer turns a macho ballad into a feminist anthem. A melancholy Brazilian remake of a rock 'n' roll classic. Some crazy kids tackle a Rolling Stones song. There's more, but you'll have to listen to this week's show, which is all about remakes in the world of Latin Alternative music.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but let's be honest: There are awful remakes in every language and genre. We'll leave it to you to tell us which remakes you wish had never existed — let us know your thoughts in the comments section below — but in the meantime, we're unearthing and sharing our favorite jewels on today's show.
As we listened to our favorites, we asked ourselves: What makes a good remake? By the end of the show, we came to a few conclusions:
1. One recipe for a good cover song is taking something totally unexpected and the opposite of your style, and making it your own.
2. If you're going to make fun of another artist's song, you should be able to make fun of yourself — otherwise, you might come off as a pretentious jerk.
3. Ask for permission, or you could get sued you for all you're worth.
4. Don't try to impersonate other musicians; pay tribute to them while holding on to your cultural and personal identity.
Below, you'll find some of our favorite remakes — plus the original versions — in their entirety. And, as always, we want to hear from you: What are your favorite remakes of all time? What about the worst ones?