Its common within the music industry for artists to remake certain tracks by popular artists. Many add their own unique flavour to the mix and add that something special to make it stand-out. Its very rare that a cover version is actually better than its original, however there have been some exceptions to this. In this multi-part series we look at some popular songs that are actually covers of old songs. Let us know in the comments if you know any more!
1) Ramesh Rangila – Nain Preeto De
In 2004, the bhangra scene was fresh from the garage and hip hop fusion and in full-swing bhangra mode. PBN released his album ‘Settin The Standard’ in January 2004 and it featured his take on the hit track Nain Preeto De. His version of Nain Preeto De featured the vocals of Dippa Dosanjh. PBN opted for a more simple approach in regards to the music with great tumbi and flute pieces coupled with a hard-hitting dhol and dholki. The original Nain Preeto De had such a simplistic composition and music. The song was originally sung by Ramesh Rangila with lyrics by Sajan Raikoti, a few artists have covered this particular track.
PBN tries to keep elements of this in his version, in terms of the simplistic approach to music, not over-adding unnecessary pieces or samples etc. What makes this version truly stand out has to be Dippa Dosanjh’s vocals. The confidence in his voice along with his unique style has enabled him to make this one of his own. All in all, this is a great cover version, keeping many of the elements from the original whilst giving it that additional ‘wow’ factor with the trademark PBN sound. Again people will have their own opinion on whether the cover is better than the original. It is hard to judge, both have they unique elements.
2) Kuldeep Manak – Majajane Beh Ja
Kuldeep Manak’s songs have been covered many times by various different artists both new and established, male and female. There have been well documented covers of popular tracks, however one track that might not have been recognised instantly is a track called Majajane Beh Ja. You might be familiar with the version on B21’s album – By Public Demand, retitled Din Raat. The B21 version adopted a more garage approach featuring a clever sample of Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go.
The original version was a more bhangra track with instruments such as the tumbi, dhol and dholki. The track Majajane Beh Ja was taken from Kuldeep Manak’s album called – Zamana Disco Da. Check out a sample below:
As you can see its quite different to the B21 version. The B21 version had samples and opted for a more garage vibe, which at the time was quite popular especially in Punjabi music. Both versions are unique in their own right, with each having a distinct sound. Garage was just starting off in the Bhangra music industry and B21 were one of the first to usher in that new sound. Jassi’s vocals sounded fresh and the beat was really funky and innovative at that time. Check out the mix you are probably most familiar with below as well:
3) Didar Sandhu ft Snehlata – Jorhi Jadon Chubare
Didar Sandhu and Snehlata had a number of great tracks; one of note was Jorhi Jadon Chubare. What made this duet track stand out was how fresh the melody and composition was. Didar Sandhu sounded flawless on the track and really complemented the elegant vocals of Snehlata. Didar Sandhu is one of my favourite singers. I loved his melodies and the creativity within each. If you haven’t heard the original then check out the track below:
Dj Sanj returned to the bhangra scene after a while away in 2010. However in 2013 he launched a new talent show titled ‘I’ll Make You Famous’ that focused on bringing up homegrown talented singers in the UK. The winner Mani Kaur featured alongside Jay Status in the remake of Jorhi Jadon Chubare. Mani’s fresh and elegant vocals alongside DJ Sanj’s funky beats makes this a real stand out. I liked the way Jay Status sings his part as well; it adds to the song and gives it that old-school vibe. This is actually a really great mix; packed with a lot of cool elements including all those vocal shout-outs. It’s more up-beat and something that you can see dancing to at a party or wedding etc. Check out their version below:
4) Chamkila – Ki Jor Garibaan Da
Bally Jagpal released his second solo album in 1998 called ‘Dark and Dangerous’. The album contained many hit tracks including ‘Bass Ve’ ‘Aaja Sohniye’, ‘Gunman’ and a cover of ‘Ki Jor Garibaan Da’ titled ‘Viah Karvarke Ve’ ft Shazia Mansoor and Amar Arshi. Remaking any Chamkila track is a tough task in itself, however doing it of this particular track was adventurous to say the least. The smooth, calm musical pieces along with the simplistic production is what makes this song unique. Shazia Mansoor and Amar Arshi, give what i believe is one of their greatest vocal performances ever. With such articulation and dedication in their voice, it truly stands out and is highlighted in the track. There have been a few covers of this song, but this stands out as one of the best. Whilst it is hard to produce a song better than its original, we believe this version comes highly close. Newer generation fans might not have heard of Chamkila or known this was infact a cover, so check out the original by Chamkila and Amarjot below:
The original took a fairly straightforward approach in terms of production; there was no Dhol or any hard hitting beats. It was just a very soft beat in terms of the percussion and a string of little musical pieces. There has not yet been another vocalist that can match Amar Singh Chamkila’s vocal ability, style or intensity both through tracks and live performances. He was a very unique artist, who at the time brought something fresh to the scene. His work is still being played today either via the original tracks or through tributes by artists through cover songs. It just shows the impact this incredible singer has had on the music industry
5) Noor Jahan – Goriyan Karangi Tere Naal
Noor Jahan was a fantastic singer who had such a powerful and mesmerising vocals. You might remember Panjabi MC’s take on the classic track alongside the highly talented Hema Sharma. I will go out and say that Panjabi MC’s version is on par if not better than the original; a feat that is rarely achieved. But then again it is Panjabi MC we are talking about. Panjabi MC’s version is a more clean and polished version; simple percussion and that fantastic flute made his remake that much better. Hema Sharma is a exceptional singer but not very used in the Punjabi scene much; for which i cannot understand why.
Panjabi MC’s version utilises elements from the original yet changes it enough to make it his own. Both versions to me sound amazing; though i’m sure fans today will be more aware of the Panjabi MC version. Check it out below featuring the great vocals of Hema Sharma:
That wraps it up for part 1 – Did you know any of these original songs? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us @bhangra_Central or send us a message on Instagram – BhangraCentral.
Also be sure to check out part 2 releasing soon