Tune du Jour: “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Cyndi Lauper vs. Playing for Change vs. Paul Weller with Lena Fiagbe
CoverMeImpressed.com     CoverMeImpressed.com     CoverMeImpressed.com
So Where Are the Strong, And Who Are the Trusted, And Where is the Broccoli, Sweet Broccoli!

So Where Are the Strong,
And Who Are the Trusted,
And Where is the Broccoli, Sweet Broccoli!




The Original


Marvin Gaye:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Cyndi Lauper vs. Playing for Change vs. Paul Weller with Lena Fiagbe
Cyndi Lauper:

Playing for Change:

Louis Mhlanga; James Gadson & Leo Batera; Clarence Bekker; Paulo Heman; Titi Tsira; Sean “POW” Diedrick; Bobby Broom & Matt Thompson; Vasti Jackson; Jim Palmer; Jorge Luiz Germano; Novi Sad String Trio; Cecile Girard; Sara Bareilles; and D Chandrajit.

Paul Weller with Lena Fiagbe:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Boy oh boy…I really debated with this one. I like Cyndi Lauper and I really like what she stands for, but this version is just too cliché ’80’s. Paul Weller proved his soul chops with The Style Council, and he certainly nails this one. Very soulful version, excellent vocal performance… very very well done. But… after much debate, I gave it to Playing for Change. Their versatility and diversity of sound was amazing. They managed to meld jazz, R&B, African, classical, and just about every other genre pretty seamlessly, and are clearly having a great time doing it. And seeing flashes of Washington Square Park was a delightful bonus, as I was just there yesterday, enjoying my day off by sitting on a bench reading and watching the world go by.

  2. Cuspid says:

    I actually sometimes kinda Cyndi Lauper. But talk about a mismatch! Whomever suggested she cover this song is out of their mind. The other two versions were excellent. I could vote for either one. I’m going to go with Paul Weller only because as much as I love his work with the Jam and his most recent solo albums, I was quite surprised how good his cover with Lena Fiagbe turned out. Just how good can a white-boy Brit play black USA soul? Well, a lot better than I would have thought. Mind you, I still prefer Weller slashing away at a Rickenbacker than strumming jazz chords on a Fender. But I gotta giver credit where it is due, and I think it’s due here.

  3. RDubbs says:

    I don’t have strong feeling for Cyndi Lauper one way or the other. I thought she did a reasonably good job on her cover. It certainly looked like she was into it. But the next two covers were just phenomenal. As Arnie mentioned, Playing for Change’s seamless melding of genres was incredible. The first time I saw their video of “What’s Going On” I thought there was no way anyone else’s version would come close to matching it. And then along comes Paulie. As Doug aptly pointed out, who would have thought that Weller could knock out such a terrific version of a soul standard? But his take is nothing short of amazing.

    This is one of those frustrating times when choosing one over another is truly absurd. Today Weller captured my imagination. Yet if the vote were yesterday I’m pretty sure it would have been Playing for Change.

    BTW I’ve now thoroughly enjoyed viewing four or five covers by Playing for Change on YouTube. And to my delight there are many more to sample. Check out their take on “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”. It’s truly beautiful. They also perform about a nine-minute, live, kick-ass rendition of “What’s Up” that’s simply amazing. That song never sounded so good!

    When I’ve got a little more time I am going to look into exactly how and why this outfit operates. Their musical compositions are first-rate. I’m guessing their cause is as well.

    And lastly, when I die I want to come back as Arnie. God bless him!

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