User Input

User Input: Improving on the Original

Well, unless you have been on WoW for the last 2 weeks straight, you probably know by now that the complete Star Wars saga has been released on the Blu Ray. In typical George Lucas fashion, he couldn’t leave well enough alone, and there are some “tweaks”. For instance, Darth Vader’s voice is now performed by Gilbert Gottfried. OK, I made that up, but to Star Wars puritans — such as myself and Mrs. engineerd™ — he might as well have used the voice of George Zucco and Iago as the voice of Darth Vader.

OK, so that’s an example of an unimprovement. It is entirely too easy to point out remakes and re-releases that are far inferior to the original. However, what, in your opinions, are improvements over the original? This could be in TV, theater or song. For example, I believe that Shinedown’s rendition of “Simple Man” is better than the original Lynard Skynard version. Of course, fans of southern rock will be hunting me down with pitchforks and 8-tracks, but that’s my opinion.

So, my fellow Toasterites, what say you? What remake or re-release did you enjoy over the original and why? Oh, and this is a matter of opinion. Others may disagree. Let’s keep this civil and respectful.

[Image Credit: G4TV]

  • sport_wagon

    George Lucas has ruined Star Wars. He and it are dead to me.

    However! The disks supposedly contain some AWESOME never-seen-before footage from the original trilogy. And yes, 1080p is incredible.

    But it's all moot to me. I don't own a bluray player and I'm not buying one anytime soon.

    • PowerTryp

      I agree, as long as DVDs are still being released I feel no need to start filling my collection with blueray disks aswell.

  • SSurfer321

    Speaking of great cover songs:
    [youtube Lx58hXh4pVA youtube]

  • tonyola

    The 1954 version of "A Star is Born" with Judy Garland is better than the 1937 original (but the 1976 remake is worse).
    The 1956 version of "The Ten Commandments" is better than previous versions.

  • Number_Six

    Bauhaus' cover of T.Rex's 'Telegram Sam'
    2012 Boss Mustang
    Merlin-powered P-51
    A Fistful of Dollars (a remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo)

  • TurboBrick

    The add-on stuff feels like it's been added on, I think that's the core of the problem. Some scenes were dropped from the final cut originally because they deserved to be left out. Changing dialogue after the fact just makes it worse. I liked the fact that the original movie was cheesy. Sure you can make a SciFi film with some WW2 movie props, plumbing fittings and a can of black Krylon. For me, the whole Star Wars franchise jumped the shark when Phantom Menace came out. It went from a classic into a shameless money grabbing machine.

    Look at the remastered Star Trek TV-series, that's how you do it! While they re-did all of the special effects, they kept the style of the original series.

    Also, I prefer Del Shannon's version of "Runaway" that he did for the theme of "Crime Story" over the original.

  • P161911

    I prefer johnny Cash's version of Rusty Cage to Soundgarden's, but that's probably because I don't like grunge rock.[youtube EtbuUlSGXzc youtube]

    Same goes for Hurt
    [youtube SmVAWKfJ4Go youtube]
    I don't like NIN.

    Also I preferred Fist Full of Dollars and Last Man Standing to Yojimbo.

    • Holy carp! I can't believe I never realized that was Johnny's song!

      (seems so @#$%& obvious when pointed out)

      • pj134

        I might be reading this wrong, but Johnny covered NIN and Soundgarden, not the other way around.

        (see: American Recordings Part I-VI)

        • You're correct.

          • pj134

            Well, I knew what I was saying is correct, I was saying I might be reading what ZomBee said wrong.

            As in, that he meant that he never knew that the cover was Johnny and my correction was if he was saying it was originally Johnny's…

            God that's a confusing sentence.

          • Oh. Ok.

            Well then I only feel slightly less stupid.

            My parents were huge Cash fans back in the 70's, and I've heard nearly everything he's done a zillion times. I've also heard the Rusty Cage cover but did not realize it was the same Soundgarden song. In this case I was doubly stunned when I thought they did him.

            Turns out I should have only been singly stunned for him doing them.

            The sum of which makes me triply stupid at the moment.

          • pj134

            The fact that you can understand what is being said in Rusty Cage is quite the turn around from the original though…

            I had been listening to that song since I was a wee lad playing Road Rash and never new the lyrics until I heard the Johnny Cash version a couple years ago.

    • I love NIN, but Johnny's "Hurt" is just so haunting.

    • Here's Johnny's "Hurt". I just listened to it again and I have goose bumps.

      [youtube SmVAWKfJ4Go youtube]

      • P161911

        Thanks, I see I failed at cutting and pasting.

        • Probably not. ID doesn't like embedding two videos into the same comment sometimes. I think it has something to do with the kanuter valve on our steam-powered Nibble-like replica of a real hamster.

      • chrystlubitshi

        Story goes that after hearing Johnny Cash's recording of the song, Trent Reznor said he will not perform the song anymore because it's no longer his. it belongs to Cash… and I don't think anyone can argue that point…..

        odd side note: my great-grandfather (Leonard Fielder) performed the legal marriage ceremony for Ray and Carrie Cash

  • The Professor

    Hmm? Isn't Star Wars some reality show on Fox? I've never bothered to watch it.

  • discontinuuity

    [youtube lf4__-xWq8w youtube]

  • skitter

    All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
    Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You – Led Zeppelin
    I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

    Roughly half of Cake's catalog
    She Sells Sanctuary – The Distants

    Payback (based on The Hunter, like 1967's Point Blank)
    Ocean's 11 (2001 vs. 1960)

    And to get all meta, Payback was remade (and vastly improved, IMHO) from what was later released as the Director's Cut. The theatrical trailers notably show the completely different version from the original release.

    Edit: And how could I forget The Thomas Crown Affair?
    And I should probably throw in Reservoir Dogs and The Departed, though I've never seen the Hong Kong originals.

    • TechieInHell

      I have both the original theatrical release and the director's cut of Payback. Two totally different movies. The theatrical is a fun, quirky, sometimes dark, but engaging flick. The directors cut is an always dark, slow, painful experience that goes nowhere. I'm not sure why the director thought it was a good idea to release the "original" version of the film which didn't include Kris Kristofferson – and from listening to the commentary, he's not sure why he did it either. Big red flag here: if the commentary track makes the movie more interesting than the movie itself, you have a bad movie. MST3K made an industry of this principle.

  • Heresy, I know. But I first heard this while overseas in the Persian Gulf (our ships store sold out of everything except the "Singles" soundtrack, which turned out to be awesome BTW) and it absolutely blew me away. The recording sound quality took it to a new level, which sadly does not show up here. I must have listened to it a thousand times.

    On a related note, I just now found out who the Lovemongers actually were. (facepalm) Now it makes sense.
    [youtube Zwre7UDEG24 youtube]

  • "I believe that Shinedown’s rendition of “Simple Man” is better than the original Lynard Skynard version"

    Here we go again…

    <img src="; width="600">

    • Ow! Stop hitting me with your mullet!

  • tiberiusẅisë

    I've always liked this song. Add a little punk chick.

    [youtube vXCj_t_tBxo&ob=av2e youtube]

    BTW, "For example, I believe that Shinedown’s rendition of “Simple Man” is better than the original Lynard Skynard version. Of course, fans of southern rock will be hunting me down with pitchforks and 8-tracks, but that’s my opinion."

    Clearly you are trolling, but I will bite. While a fine unplugged version of an awesome song whose only fault was that it was recorded on equipment depicted on The Flintstones, Shinedown's version is by no means an improvement of the song. At best you could say it is an adaptation into a musical style you prefer. To anyone who does not have his head up his a$$, the elimination of the awesome guitar solos is criminal end excusable only if it bears the disclaimer that the artist is simply not capable of doing it justice.

    To call it an improvement, being hunted down with pitchforks and 8 tracks is too good for you.

    Any fans of Melanie out there offended by my preference of Dollyrots are free to hunt me down with Birkenstocks and patchouli oil.

    • "I've got a pair of brand new rollerskates…"

      I'm gonna be humming that damn song all day long.


      • The Professor

        Urg, I grew to despise that song, the local station played it so much.

        • tiberiusẅisë

          Someone used the original a commercial here in the NY metro area and it dug into my ear. I forget everything else about the commercial. Although hard rock is generally my thing, I do have a soft spot in my heart for chick music. Having it break out into a more rocking tune helps me feel better about liking it.

    • "At best you could say it is an adaptation into a musical style you prefer."

      Hence, why I prefer it. Also, while I like Lynard Skynard, some of their songs just don't really appeal to me. Furthermore, Shinedown's interpretation — isn't that what any remake is unless the artist is outright trying to mimic the original? — just speaks to me more. Part of it is that is my wife and I's "song", and part of it is Brent Smith's vocals really draw that song out to me.

      I wasn't necessarily trolling, I just know from past experience how defensive and/or protective of "their music" southern rock fans tend to be. In the end, music, like any other art form, is very subjective.

      • Duly noted. We shall let you live.

        • tiberiusẅisë

          So we're going to let him live after spelling it Lynard Skynard?

          After using the term "is better?"

          I guess they just don't make angry mobs like they used to.

          • No man, he used the "wife" clause. We gotta wait till she goes out for pizza. THEN we mob.

            (Also, I can't spell wurth a damnin, so…)

            Hey, looky there, Simple Man just came on the @#$% radio. It must be some kind of sign I tell you.

  • Roberto y Gabriella's cover of Orion is at least as good and possibly better than the original from Metallica.

    [youtube 3MP1cO948Ek&feature=related youtube]

    • For some reason (hack related?), I cannot edit my post: I mis-spelled Gabriela's name (extra l).

  • <img src="">
    I always liked the Live Rust version of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" better than the original. I said that to my sister once and she just about bit my head off.

    • tiberiusẅisë

      I agree and also say Live Rust's Like a Hurricane is my favorite.

  • MrHowser

    [youtube 8BiJF_oQhb8 youtube]

    I heard this version of this song at the only BNL concert I've been to. Needless to say, it made this bluegrass lover an even larger fan of the band.

  • pj134

    The Stevie Ray Vaughn version of Little Wing is about the only song that will make me tear up so I'd say that… believe me, its not a pretty sight. Pearl Jam's version of Crown of Thornes versus the original Mother Love Bone (honestly, Andrew Wood had a terrible voice). Sublime's Doin' Time to Gerschwinn's Summertime. System of a Down's Snowblind and Metro to the originals… Maybe Dillinger Escape Plan's cover of Wish over NIN but that's a tough one.

  • pj134

    Also, I mean no disrespect, but I never realized that people listen to Shinedown and it isn't just something that is played on the radio constantly.

  • Charles_Barrett

    Soft Cell's cover of Tainted Love is by far my favorite (the video I don't care for; it's the music I'm referring to).
    [youtube oEh5pWjcWCg youtube]

    • I prefer Pussycat Doll's version, but that has very little to do with the vocals.

    • For some god awful reason I actually love this song.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    I love it when worlds collide. Quite a big deal at the time.

    [youtube 4B_UYYPb-Gk&ob=av2e youtube]

    • We were driving somewhere last weekend and the non-Run DMC version came on the radio. Mrs. engineerd™ said she preferred the Run DMC mix. I have to agree.

      No, really. I have to agree or she'll beat me again!

    • pj134

      I can't listen to Aerosmith. It really brings out the puppy stabber in me.

  • highmileage_v1

    The Headstones, Tweeter and the Monkey Man.

    [youtube BukWT54Cv4U youtube]

  • Mr_Biggles

    I loved Headstones music. Still put it on every now and again.

    And somehow I was well into the second season of Flashpoint before I became aware that Ed Lane was THAT Hugh Dillon. Talk about a re-make.

  • Mr_Biggles

    Music being the common theme, and meaning no disrespect to Joe Strummer who is easily in my top five favourite songwriters, take a listen to Josh Rouse.
    [youtube 79PffDsRp88 youtube]

  • name_too_long

    I'm going to say Bill Bailey's sonisphere 2011 cover of Enter Sandman is better than Metallica's.[youtube VfU51-y-KR8&feature youtube]

    Why? Because Bill Bailey.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    To me, Van halen was the master of the cover.

    [youtube 7Jnri6WmaL0 youtube]

    • skitter

      Very good. Still, the Kinks' version has grown on me to the point where I call them "equally good but distinct".

  • tiberiusẅisë

    Are we gong to do a thread with the worst?

    [youtube UvoJQlhzHyU youtube]

    Thank goodness Shatner never embarrassed himself like that.

  • MrHowser

    [youtube aeL9gagV_VA youtube]

    You want to talk blasphemy…