Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three versions of "Poison"

Your cruel device

Your blood like ice

One look could kill

My pain, your thrill

Personally, I know three versions of the song "Poison", one by Alice Cooper (as far as I know that's the original), one by Groove Coverage and one, rather new, by the former Nightwish lead singer Tarja.

When I heard the first version, the one by Alice Cooper, I was still too young to understand the lyrics - I was in fifth or sixth grade and had just started learning English. Fast-sung lyrics in a rock song were far above my abilities to understand that foreign language. Today it's a bit different, though.

The song fascinated me - or maybe it was Alice Cooper who fascinated me at that time. And, even though I'm not really a fan of hard beats, when the cover by Groove Coverage came out a few years ago, I bought the single to get the song at least - even if it wasn't by the original artist. I still like the song, a lot.

Comparing the three versions I know, I have to admit that every one of them has good points and bad points. Some days the hard techno-like beats of the Groove Coverage version give me headaches - and the version by Tarja, as good as it is, has lost a lot of its original rock sound. On the other hand, the text fits far better - at least from my point of view, others might see it differently - with a female singer (and both cover versions are sung by female singers). Or maybe it's just because I've rarely heard the Alice-Cooper-version.

Nevertheless, today the song still fascinates me. I like the lyrics, I like the sound, I like everything about it. And a good cover version of a good song is always better than a new song that's not worth the bits and bytes necessary to store it.

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