Cover versions
A cover version is a new release of an existing piece of music which has been made by another artist than the original one.
The antonym of the cover version is the original version, see question 2.13 in our FAQ.
 Types of cover versions
There are different types of cover versions:
     1. Music and lyrics completely reproduced
This is the most frequent type of cover version. These covers differ only a little from the originals.
An example is Gigi D'Agostino's version of the song "The Riddle" by Nik Kershaw.
     2. Music reproduced, lyrics changed
The melody is the same as on the original version, but the lyrics have been changed.
An example is "Nur Sieger steh'n im Licht" by Marianne Rosenberg, the German version of "The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA.
     3. Cover versions of classical pieces
A modern song has been made which is based on a classical melody.
William Orbit's version of Maurice Ravel's "Pavane pour une infante défunte" is in example for this.
Songs that have the same title but not the same melody are no cover versions.
The songs Michael Jackson, "You Are Not Alone" and Modern Talking, "You Are Not Alone" are an example.
  Musical quotations
 1. Musical quotations in general
There are songs which reproduce only a part of another piece of music. This is called a musical quotation. Musical quotations are no cover versions.
For example Robbie Williams' "Supreme" contains a quotation of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".
Sometimes classical music is used as source.
Examples: Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band, "A Fifth Of Beethoven" (5th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven); Sweetbox, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" ("Air" by Johann Sebastian Bach); Nas feat. Puff Daddy, "Hate Me Now" ("Carmina burana" by Carl Orff).
Special cases of musical quoations are samples (see below 2.) and plagiarism (3.).
 2. Samples
If parts of a song have been used in the original sound of the original recording, this is called a sample.
"Make It Clap" by Busta Rhymes contains for example a sample by "Could It Be Magic" by Barry Manilow.
 3. Plagiarism
If a musical quotation has not been admitted by the copyright owner, especially if the user does not indicate that it is a quotation, this is called plagiarism, the theft of intellectual property.
Sometimes this provokes lawsuits. For example Al Bano filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson, because Jackson's song "Will You Be There" has similarities to "I cigni di Balaka" by Al Bano. At first Al Bano won, but finally the action has been dismissed.
  Designation in the database
Quotations, cases of plagiarism and samples are marked in the last column of our database with the letter "Z" (for the German word "Zitat" which means "quotation") while cover versions are marked with "C" and are written in bold font.
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