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Just what exactly is the point of covering a song when the result is almost precisely identical with the original version?

Tonight while I was making a late night run for cigarettes I turned on my radio.

I'm generally annoyed by the fact that from about February till halfway through September my preferred radio station plays AFL football, making it necessary for me to tune another station in by pressing the "seek" button of my car radio multiple times.

I usually press it 11 times, bumping through channels playing "ethnic" radio - I think it's in Greek - country, hard rock and other stuff I don't really like, until I get to Gold 104 - the oldies station in these parts.

Call me a fogey if it makes you happy - I like 60s and 70s music quite a lot more than football.

Tonight though, I felt lazy. I pressed the "seek" button several times less than 11 and ended up on 101.1 TTFM where they were playing the Australian Top 40.

The countdown was up to 24, and the DJ announced "Up Town Girl" by Westlife. Oh yes, I thought. Let's see what they've done to this great song. It won't be much good, 'cos no one is as good as Billy Joel.

It was the same bloody song.

The same phrasing, the same timing, the same backing track. The same everything.

Perhaps there was one extra repetition of the chorus, but I don't think so.

So my question is this: Why make a cover if that cover is substantially the same as the original? What artistic satisfaction is there is a plain copy of someone else's art?

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