Part 7: Original Songs and their Interpretations: ‘Girl’ (Joe Jackson) + ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ (Devo)

It’s midsummer, and time to wind-up with my 7th installment of presentations of songs/videos comparing original versions with cover interpretations.

For my final feature, I am delving into sacred musical territory by showcasing cover versions of Beatles and Stones tunes. Normally, I would not consider comparing covers for either of these bands (although, there have been many good interpretations from artists of diverse backgrounds and styles), but the purpose of this effort is to explore how even the songs by such giants can be modified, or reinterpreted, to reflect contemporary culture.

I will not bother to provide links to the originals, as they are too well known.

The first cover is by renowned composer, musician, and singer, Joe Jackson. His version of “Girl’ (Beatles’ Rubber Soul Album, 1965) is a truly unique work of art on its own; a great artist covering the work of another great artist. Magic!

The live cover version of The Rolling Stones’ classic, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ (also 1965), is by pioneering band, Devo. Although regarded by some as a cartoonish parody (see 1980’s ‘Whip it’), Devo is actually a band steeped in serious socio-political introspection. “Devo” is short for De-Evolution, a concept started at Kent State university in the late 60’s (where future band members attended), and was spearheaded into a musical group after being influenced by the tragic campus shootings in 1970.

“De-Evolution” is an idea that humankind is devolving into a primitive state, as technology — and its impact on modern society — becomes more predominant and all encompassing. Sounds all too familiar.

Please click on videos below:

‘Girl’: Joe Jackson, Live Cover.  Original: Beatles, Rubber Soul Album, 1965)


‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’: Devo, Live Cover 1978. Original: Rolling Stones, 1965