Original vs. Cover: "In Between Days"
the cure - "in between days" 1985
ben folds - "in between days" 2005
Few other songs make me want to do the Molly Ringwald dance from The Breakfast Club more than those from The Cure. It's sad that I was born the year this song was released, if only because I would have ratted my hair and worn dark black eyeliner in homage to Robert Smith if I had been born even 10 years earlier.
Alas, I have instead had the chance to grow with the music of Ben Folds, whose songs fill the gaps of my teen years and early 20s.
Where I look back at songs by The Cure with a false nostalgia - not like I ever lived through their height of popularity to be nostalic for their music - I have immediate memories tacked onto the music of Ben Folds.
So when Ben covered The Cure's "In Between Days" 20 years after the song was originally released, I was met with a musical conundrum: who did it better? Obviously The Cure are on their own new wave planet of awesomeness, but the booming piano and somehow even faster tempo of Ben's cover gives it a fresh take.
And besides, I much prefer The Cure's "Just Like Heaven", my favorite new wave song and probably in my top five songs of all time, whose introduction sounds much like "In Between Days" to me:
Is it possible to name a winner in the battle of Original vs. Cover? In most cases, the original beats out the cover, hands down. But Ben Folds has just enough whimsy and wonder in his songs that "In Between Days" could easily be one of his original offerings. So let's just call it a draw this time.
Well done, Ben.