Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Original vs. Cover: Femme Fatale - The Velvet Underground vs. Big Star

Just in case you didn't know - a cover song is a remake. Every once in a while, I come across a song that is just brilliant, and then later realize that it's in fact a cover. Well, we're going to be having a face off here everyday for the next couple of weeks - The Original vs. The Cover. I'll be featuring songs that aren't as obvious as say... William Hung's version of I Believe I Can Fly. :) It's my hope that you'll discover some really cool, new songs - and maybe some that you never even knew were covers.

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The Original
Femme FataleThe Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale (1967)

From one of the greatest albums of all time, Femme Fatale is one of the three songs that featured Nico on lead vocals. Written about Edie Sedgwick, Femme Fatale was released at the tail end of 1966, as a b-side to the Sunday Morning single. This song is amazing.

Femme Fatale (Stereo) - The Velvet Underground & Nico

The Cover
Femme Fatale (Album Version)Big Star - Femme Fatale (1978)

Although Big Star's third album was recorded in 1974, shortly after the release of Radio City, it wasn't actually released until 1978. Third - also called Sister/Lovers - contains a beautiful cover of Femme Fatale. If you'd like to check out the demo version that Alex Chilton recorded, click here - it's just vocals and 12-string guitar. Both versions are more than worthy of your attention. :)

Femme Fatale - Keep an Eye On the Sky

Big Star Box Set
Keep An Eye On The Sky


  1. The Velvet Underground is my favorite band. Big Star is my 3rd favorite (U2 is my 2nd). Honestly though, I think I like the Big Star version better. It just seems more polished than the VU version. Alex does a much better job singing than Nico did. It just seems to show more emotion than the VU version (although I love the VU version).

  2. Adam, your top 3 favorite bands are also 3 of my favorites. I love Nico so much, so it's difficult (for me) to top the sadness and emotion that she sings with. Of all the cover versions, Big Star's is the absolute best. I was so happy when they released the Big Star box set... the demo version of Femme Fatale is just AMAZING. Thanks for stopping by. :) Bret