Sunday, April 8, 2012

Original and cover:Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

You might have heard the original version from Kate Bush, it was a hit in the UK and a minor hit in the US. The song is about someone wanting to switch places with their partner, kind of a take on "deal with the devil". Basically, you want to help this person get through whatever they are going through so you would switch places so it doesn't take a toll on them. The song was originally going to just titled A Deal With God but the record label felt that the song wouldn't do so well in religious countries because the word God was in the title. Here is Kate Bush talking about the song.

 "I was trying to say that, really, a man and a woman, can't understand each other because we are a man and a woman. And if we could actually swap each other's roles, if we could actually be in each other's place for a while, I think we'd both be very surprised! [Laughs] And I think it would lead to a greater understanding. And really the only way I could think it could be done was either... you know, I thought a deal with the devil, you know. And I thought, 'well, no, why not a deal with God!' You know, because in a way it's so much more powerful the whole idea of asking God to make a deal with you."

Here is the original version by Kate Bush:
 In 2001, the goth band Faith and The Muse did their own version of this song. I like this version because the vocals are really good, kind of reminds me of Siouxsie, plus the drums sound great and I love the use of guitar in this song. Nothing really compares to the original though. Here is their version.
In 2003, the rock band Placebo covered Running Up That Hill. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of this one. It is interesting to hear a male vocalist cover this, but it sounds boring. I happen to be a fan of Placebo, but this really shows Brian's flaws as a vocalist. Nevertheless, an interesting cover, and a nice take on the song. It sounds way slower and downbeat than the original. Here is Placebo's version:
2003 saw another band cover Running Up That Hill as well. Symphonic metal band Within Temptation did their take of the song and released it as a single that year. Once again, this version lacks the originality of the original. I'm familiar with the work of Within Temptation and I feel they could have done better. It almost feels like the vocalist is holding back, not really getting into this song. The song has crunching guitar and the lyrics are also slightly different. Once again, it pales compared to the original or even the Faith and The Muse version. Here is the version from Within Temptation.

There have been a ton of other covers of this song and we should just leave it alone. The song loses it's beauty and magic if it's covered soo much. These covers are decent. Faith and The Muse were the only ones I felt who were real fans of the original and who did the song justice. It's rare that a cover can be as good as the original.

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