I rarely listen to the radio when I’m driving. As soon as I get in the car I whip out my iPhone, connect it up to the stereo’s auxiliary jack, and spend the next ten minutes choosing an album. (If I’m ever late for a meeting with you, this is probably why.)
But sometimes, when I can’t be bothered untangling the audio cable (or I’m running late for a meeting), I’ll switch it on to drown out the traffic noises. (They can’t all be beeping their horns at me, can they?)
Then it’s a question of how long I can put up with the music. And these days it isn’t very long.
No, I’m not one of those people who shake their head and say, “That’s not music. Where’s the melody?” I may not like everything they play, but it’s not enough to make me switch off.
Cover versions and remixes, on the other hand, will make me switch if off quicker than you can say “non-stop hits”.
On the weekend I heard some woman (no idea who) singing Phil Collins’ “Another day in paradise”. The original version is fantastic, so why did she have to record another version? When I hear it on the radio I want Phil singing it, not some woman I’ve never heard of.
(Of course, there are exceptions. The Supremes may have originally recorded “You can’t hurry love”, but as far as I’m concerned Phil Collins owns it.)
Still, at least she didn’t add a drum machine and up the tempo to turn it into a dance track. Sometimes I wonder if anyone even listens to the song lyrics before they trash it. Come on, people. There are some stories you should never dance along to.
Now I’m sure Phil had to say yes before she recorded it, and he probably gets a few extra dollars whenever they play it. But it hardly seems fair, does it? He gets the money, while we have to put up with the song every hour.
I think we should get to have a say. Next time someone does a cover version of a song, we should get to vote on it. If most people like it, then it gets airplay. But if they’ve managed to destroy a perfectly good song, then it should die slowly and painfully (along with the singer, possibly).
And then it really would be another day in paradise.