It seems that quite a few people have done covers of “Kiss” but they’re really really hard to find posted online. A lot of artists have their stuff all over YouTube, but apparently Prince is having none of it. So, all I can do is give you the few that I found and include a list of other ones I wanted to include but couldn’t because I’m not buying an album from everybody who’s ever covered this song, then uploading it. Just be warned: whatever’s in this battle may be taken down from YouTube at any moment.
I could only find one YouTube vid with the original recording, but the audio is muted. It’s a copyright thing, so you can enjoy the silence or check out the official video that I managed to find on slack-time, but couldn’t embed in WordPress.
So, Maroon 5. What. The. Freakin’. Hell?!? They took the song in a completely different direction. It’s like a honky tonk, roadhouse version. It’s jarring and off putting. Then when they slow it down (around 2:21) it’s like some bizarre, drunken karaoke bullshit. And the actual singing part only takes up about 4 minutes of the recording. The rest is just big long grandstanding showy flourishes that make you forget what song you started off listening to. Adam, Adam – how could you? Maybe if the flourish was at the tail end of something else I would be okay with it, but after the way they butchered the beginning, I don’t feel the need to give them credit for anything.
Now we have Mr. Sexy Sexy – Tom Jones. Live. This cover is masterfully good. It fits with Tom’s sexy soul swing (and the swing in those hips! Yes, I know the video is almost 25 years old. And I don’t care.) Lively and energetic, I would definitely put this on a par with the original. I’ve also thrown in the official video from the studio version, done with The Art of Noise.
And now we’re back to What. The. Freakin’. Hell?!? From Glee, we have Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow. Ugh. It’s so high-pitched I’m surprised there wasn’t a line of dogs outside my window after playing this. It’s just all-around bad. And crappy. And annoying.
I was able to get a video from Senior Coconut and his Orchestra. It’s kind of sexy, in its own way. It’s interesting and flirty, which is what it’s supposed to be. I’m cool with this.
There were three other versions I was interested in listing but failed to find: one from Richard Thompson, who has a great knack for taking a song and digging beneath the top layer, to the artistry at the heart of it; one by Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, from the soundtrack of the movie Happy Feet; and one from an Australian comedy group called Scared Weird Little Guys. I kid you not. There are some others listed here.