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Cover versions and arrangement
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TOPIC: Cover versions and arrangement

Cover versions and arrangement 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
Hi JK,

Being a man who has recorded a number of covers, how did you get past the hassle of clearing each new arrangement or is it necessary if you do anything other than a straight cover with all the same instruments arrangement. What constitutes to a new arrangement anyway ?
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Martin K

Re:Cover versions and arrangement 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
I have the same problem at the moment KZ, and I am not sure either, all I have been doing is checking who, if anyone owns the copyrights.
This is my first excursion into a cover version project, one of the best tracks which I listened to last night, actually has the voice of Elvis on it, and I know there is no way I will get clearance on that, which is a shame.
I e-mailed a guy in the states, who has a website, in which you can search for current publishing rights of songs, which is very useful, I will try and dig it out for you, as the advice is free.
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Anybody can do a straight cover of a song (no matter how different - like my Hooked On A Feeling)... 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
if a version of the song has already been released.
Permission from the publisher is then automatic.
However you cannot change any words or melodic notes, nor claim any part of the writer credit or publishing share.
For that, and to adapt it radically, you must negotiate with the publisher.
We, for example, have turned down dozens of requests to adapt Johnny Reggae because we've not liked the treatments.
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so that's why Johnny Reggae never got covered. 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
Can you change even just one word? Mavis is hardly an up to date name.It would be easy to just adapt a couple of words as follows,say change Mavis to a more modern name like..... oh off the top of my head, Cherie.

Tasty is a bit out of date so let's change that word too.

wot's e like Cherie?"
ee's a real dodgy geezer!
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Martin K

Re:so that's why Johnny Reggae never got covered. 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
Thats interesting actually, someone recorded one of mine, and added a third verse, which I had not written, (and I cringed at the lyric), my publisher informed me at the time of this addition, and told me that it did not matter, as I was still credited as the sole composer.
Therefore I imagine, in the contract, which I did not read properly, being only 24 at the time,I must have waved that right to not have my song changed.
I do recall being gutted at the time, although I pretended I was not, to keep the deal going on my songs.
For anyone following our work on the Elvis thing by the way, we now have the full 15 tracks.
Not bad, I think, for a project completely concieved on the internet.
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it's when they add a 3rd and 4th verse, then take yours out and change the credits...That's when you have to worry! 14 Years, 4 Months ago  
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