Song covers have become more prevalent among today’s Southern Gospel artists. If you’re not familiar with the term song cover, it simply means an artist re-recording a song made popular by another artist. I enjoy when artists go back and pick up songs from the past, and make it their own among today’s Southern Gospel fan base. One of the best groups at doing this lately is the Hoppers. Nearly every album recorded over the last ten years has had at least one cover song.
In what will become a regular series of this blog, I am going to offer song covers, smack down. You will get sample clips of each version, so you can get a feel for both the original and updated versions. You decide which version you prefer.
Now back to the Hoppers. In a song that they can now rightfully claim as their own, “Shoutin’ Time” is not an original Hoppers tune. This song was recorded by several artists in the late 1970′s, most notably the Inspirations. Love it or hate it, “Shoutin’ Time” has been a huge success for the Hoppers. Another cover they have made their own more recently is “I’ve Come Too Far”. Another 1970′s tune, originally recorded by the LeFevres and later the Rex Nelon Singers. This song has become Connie Hopper’s signature song.
I am not going to offer either of those songs today in the smack down, but instead the groups current single, “O It Thrills Me”. Unforgettable, the album which contains the song, could be considered an entire album of covers since it contains all previously recorded songs. “O It Thrills Me” is a song that hasn’t been recorded too often, which is nice. Outside of the original Speer Family version, there are not too many versions of this song floating around. Written by Dad Speer, the original cut was recorded by the Speer Family in the late 1950′s.
Remember when listening to the Speer’s clip, the time frame in which it was recorded. Proper singing technique was a Speers trademark and it shows listening to the first verse and chorus. The Hoppers updated version comes in on the second verse of the song. Their tempo is a bit faster than the original and the Hoppers do what they do best by kicking it into high gear when they reach the second chorus. In this first song cover smack down I would give a slight edge of victory to the modern updated Hoppers version. Let me know what you think.