Too Early To Cover Yourself?

musicThe latest single from Arcade Fire is "No Cars Go" from their Neon Bible album. It's a great single, and I'll probably throw it on SLS18, but any fan of Arcade Fire has heard this song before. Arcade Fire has covered themselves.

Before Funeral, Arcade Fire had a self titled EP that contained "No Cars Go". The two versions aren't that different. Arcade Fire has essentially covered themselves, and they're doing it on their second full album. I'm wondering if it's too early for a band to cover their own work.

Of course, I don't think they call it a cover when it's your own work. They'll tell you they re-recorded the song. I'm not judging Arcade Fire, a band I totally dig, but was it necessary to re-record a song at this early stage of their career? And it's not like this EP is obscure and difficult to get. After Funeral, it was remastered and rereleased and it quickly found it's way into my collection.

I expect this from a band like Aerosmith who felt “Sweet Emotion” needed another crack at the charts, but Arcade Fire are not Aerosmith. That's what we love about them.

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Queens of the stone age have pulled that same crap a lot lately

August 1, 2007 @ 5:45 AM


If it's your own song, are you really covering yourself? Was Eric Clapton's Unplugged album a cover album?

August 1, 2007 @ 2:18 PM

Toronto Mike

Studio vs. Live is different. I think you're covering yourself when you release another studio version.

August 1, 2007 @ 2:39 PM


I disagree. I think that a cover is when you play another artist's song. Rerecording your own is just recycling, perhaps even improving. Lord knows, I'd love to rerecord some of my band's earlier stuff.

August 2, 2007 @ 10:10 AM

Toronto Mike

Ok, but this is Arcade Fire's 2nd full length album - isn't it too early to rerecord a song from such a small catalogue?

August 2, 2007 @ 10:12 AM


It depends on whether they felt that song deserved more attention than it got. In a smaller example, look at BNL...Gordon had many songs from their first few self-released albums/tapes. Does that make Gordon an album of covers?

August 2, 2007 @ 1:44 PM

Toronto Mike

Very different. That little yellow tape was only released on cassette and couldn't be considered a true album.

Arcade Fire's EP was reissued on CD and can be found everywhere. It really is like their first release now - every fan has it.

August 2, 2007 @ 2:05 PM


The only difference I see between the two is scale. I just don't consider a band rerecording one of their own tunes a cover. So now I'm going to have to refer to the dictionary for my final argument. defines a cover version as:

"a recording of a song by a singer, instrumentalist, or group other than the original performer or composer."

August 3, 2007 @ 11:33 AM

Toronto Mike

Now let's quote Toronto Mike in the original entry above:

"Of course, I don't think they call it a cover when it's your own work. They'll tell you they re-recorded the song."

Obviously it's not a cover, but what's the point unless you're going to change it up significantly and it's been a long time since it was originally recorded?

August 3, 2007 @ 11:35 AM


Ah, but in your response to my first comment you said:

"I think you're covering yourself when you release another studio version."

I was merely rebutting that statement. But I was not agreeing nor was I disagreeing with you regarding whether or not Arcade Fire should have rerecorded their song. I have no opinion either way.

August 3, 2007 @ 12:04 PM

Toronto Mike

Let's stop this cussin' and a feudin'.

It's far funnier to think of it as covering yourself vs. re-recording, ain't it?

August 3, 2007 @ 12:06 PM


It's all semantics. Some antics, I'm telling you!

August 3, 2007 @ 1:58 PM

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