Verdict: Map Ref 41°N 93°W
Yes, friends, it’s finally time to reveal the winner of Cover v. Original #3: Wire v. My Bloody Valentine (N/A as mp3). The original art-punks versus the original shoegazers. Two will enter, but only one will leave.
The commentators preferred the original by a 6-1 margin, but that’s only part of the story.
It was not an easy decision for some of the commentators and my heart was equally torn. Wire’s original is possibly the perfect pop song, and when Colin Newman yells “Chorus!” to…uh, announce the chorus, I don’t know how anyone could help from smiling. I have to be honest, though, the song took a slight hit when I learned where the map reference was. I have some personal issues with Des Moines, including weird a very bizarre milkshake experience and a run-in with a pack of angry, hissing geese. However, I have also seen that part of the country by air, and it seemed nice enough then.
On the other hand, the My Bloody Valentine version is one of those rare covers that seems to take the original to a new height. This is the song that made me feel like I was actually 30,000 feet above the ground. Although no one yells “chorus!”, the chorus here is sublime, and I would have no problem with it looping for about 2 hours (repetition is a form of change, you know). This version hypnotizes you so well you don’t even notice that there are less drum fills then on an AC/DC record.
So what will it be then? For me, it’s the cover. Wire’s original may be the perfect pop song, but like Mark E. Smith I dig repetition. I like things that drone. I like ring modulators and feedback. The original is a stone-cold classic but if I was stuck on a desert island, it’s MBV for me.
Cover v. Original: Map Ref. 41°N 93°W
Verdict: My Bloody Valentine
Cover v. Original works like this: A contributor presents covers and originals in a post. Readers debate over which is better in the comments. Final verdict is given about one week later.