^ Without question, this is the greatest cover version of anything ever. Shatner really gets Pulp.
There are certain bands and musicians that I have discovered in my life that I value so highly, I will relentlessly devour any piece of music that has some tenuous link to them. For instance, I am probably one of the very few people in Britain who has nearly every single Andrew W.K. release, include such rarities such as his pre-I Get Wet EP, Party Til You Puke. On vinyl.
Suffice to say, I am a disgusting nerd and fan-boy of the utmost degree. And yes, I agree, I should probably be ashamed of myself. But I'm not the worst of the fan-boys. Oh no (though I'm probably up there, next to those who constantly bother their idols on Twitter with desperate pleas for a retweet). There are some fans who consider their band's music so sacred, that for another band to cover it would be sacrilege. This is a mindset I don't think I can ever understand for several reasons.
1) Covers can breathe new life in to a song that you might have played to death and rekindle your love for it if it had become somewhat stale.
2) There's nothing more fascinating than seeing how another group of individuals interpreted a song you hold dear. What nuances they picked up on and what they think are the main focuses of the song are exceptionally subjective and covers can give you a unique insight in to something you may have missed before.
3) They're (usually) a labour of love. You're hardly going to cover a song you dislike. Hell, most covers recorded by a band will be of someone they love. Like you, they're a fan of the band being covered. They even like that band's music so much that they're willing to take the time to learn how to play it and attempt to recreate it. All you can be arsed to do is sit there and listen to it, caustically passing judgement on those who engage with it in a different way.
4) This is probably the most important one. I'm not going to pretend all covers are good, because they certainly aren't. There are a wealth of terrible covers out there. Far too many to count. But you know what? They don't affect the original song. You can hear a terrible cover and then you can forget all about it and go back to the definitive version. No reason to get high and mighty and claim your band of choice has been done a dishonour - their music still remains 100% in tact. Get over it.
If you shut yourself off to cover versions of your favourite bands, you'll never discover the other musicians who also share your audial affections. And for all you know, you could be preventing yourself from discovering another group that you will come to love.
N.B. There isn't enough "insulting the reader" in this article, so just pretend every paragraph ended with "You elitist plonker."