I’m normally a big fan of studio-recorded songs, because it’s usually pretty clean, and given enough takes, should be exactly perfect and the way the artists wanted the song to be heard.

Also, I used to edit a whole bunch of videos, and when choosing background music I’d prefer to use studio-versions of songs, because live versions tend to suffer from the following problems:

  • Poor audio quality (usually really lousy bass)
  • Distracting ambient noises
  • That loud girl that sings along during the chorus, and yells out “I LOVE YOU” during verses.

However, I do realize that some songs sound a whole lot better when performed outside of the studio, be it in a concert, or some other impromptu location. There’s a bunch of reasons for that, like maybe the emotion in the voices are stronger, there’s more energy… but usually it’s cos clean guitar strings sometimes sound better than distorted stuff.

Heather Nova

Sometimes, you just sing and play the guitar better when you’re sitting in a garden chair

Here’s a list of 5 songs with non-studio versions that I think sound better than the original studio-recorded versions. Check them out and let me know if you agree with me.

Tegan and Sara – The Con

I LOVE the original version of this song. I played the hell out of it in Rock Band 3, and will continue to do so in an effort to learn how to play the piano again. But there’s just something about this performance that makes it really stand out. Maybe it’s Tegan’s expressions, but she sounds a lot more emotional here… to the point where I’m pretty much about to cry at my work desk.

But like she says, nobody likes me when I cry.

vs the studio version.

Heather Nova – Virus of the Mind

These two versions sound pretty similar, actually… but there’s just something a bit more jovial and laid back about the 2 Meter Sessies version which gives it a more singalongable vibe.

vs the studio version.

Liz Phair – Extraordinary

I like distorted guitars just as much as the next guy; I listened to Nirvana and heavy metal and stuff. But this song sounds just so much better when stripped down. Yes, Liz Phair’s voice kinda breaks during some of the higher notes, but I can deal with that and will always prefer this version over the studio one.

vs the studio version.

Dave Grohl – Everlong

There are many reasons why I prefer an acoustic version of Everlong, and yes, the lack of Dave Grohl aneurysm-inducing screaming has a lot to do with it. But it’s also such a sweet song that sounds great on an acoustic guitar.

vs the studio version (do check this one out if you haven’t seen it – the Michel Gondry-directed music video is AMAZING).

Tegan and Sara – Back in your head

Yes, it’s Tegan and Sara again… but these two girls are just that talented! I mean, they’re playing in a park! A public park, damnit! Who sounds that good out in the park?

And besides, xylophones are awesome.

vs the studio version (which I adore, btw).

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

2 responses »

  1. Addie says:

    Yay for Tegan & Sara

    • drewpan says:

      I just got back from a trip to Sydney, and I walked past the pub that they had performed in, just down the road from my old place… but before I was introduced to their music!

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