Radio review: Cover versions of California Dreamin’

Radioeins just played a cover version of the classic California Dreamin’ – in a version by Bobby Womack.

The original version of the song is by The Mamas and the Papas. So far so good. Then the presenter said that this is a frequently covered song – and that there were 56 cover versions.

As an active member of a small band, my blood pressure immediately rose when this number was presented just like that as an absolute number. “There are 56 cover versions”. That’s just not true! And for this judgment I don’t even have to think. Correct would have been: “The German Wikipedia page for California Dreamin’ states that there are currently 56 cover versions of the song documented” or “at least 56 versions” or something like that. So either cite the source – or at least don’t present the number as absolute truth.

Everybody who has played in a band or who has been involved with musicians should know that there are countless cover versions of every known song. Of course, not all cover versions were recorded in the studio – and not all versions recorded in the studio were published. And not all published versions became known. And not all known versions can be found in the German Wikipedia. In the directory, for example, there are currently 74 versions for California Dreamin’ to be found. But there should be many more.

I would wish for a little more care – even with such small details. Care in this case would mean caution. No one can say how many cover versions there are of this or that song. Unfortunately, anyone who claims to know the absolute number does not seem very credible to me.

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