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Cover Song of the Month: Van Halen’s Jump…by Aztec Camera and by Paul Anka

From the depths of my iPod, The Cover Song of the Month this month on Blurt is a two for the price of one deal. Yes, two distinct covers of the Van Halen hit, Jump. What more can you ask for? I have no idea.

Our first version is by Aztec Camera. You’ll find it a much mellower acoustic guitar driven version of the better known arrangement. The guitar parts are really well done and the vocals are more subtle than the original. Yes, I know, opera is more subtle than the original vocals, but I think you know where I’m going with that.

Ahh, yes, Jump. What a mellow tune.

Now we move to a distinctly different artist and style. Paul Anka is still alive. Not long ago, he did an CD of cover songs that included his version of Jump – a very big bandy, lounge singer-ish version. It’s silly and at the same time, it swings and I have to say I like it.

This video version of the song has some guys email address plastered on it, but the next best thing was a TV performance that looked lip synced to me. How can you not love a band like this one that just flat out wails?

Sure, he’s no Don Ho, but I’m damn sure right about the band, aren’t I?

So, there you have it. As always, the polls and comments are open! Van Halen’s original version (which the entire Blurt staff loves as much as it’s covers) is below the poll if you need it for reference.

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21 Comments on “Cover Song of the Month: Van Halen’s Jump…by Aztec Camera and by Paul Anka”

  1. Betty says:

    Wow, Oma. Once again your cover song post made my jaw drop with disbelief….then I listened. Dare I say, both versions are good! I might even like them better than VH’s original.

  2. izaakmak says:

    Solly Cholly, you just DON’T mess with Van Halen! 🙄

  3. linlah says:

    Just reading the name Pail Anka made my ears bleed but again you have managed to find very interesting versions of the featured song.

  4. wordofabe says:

    At first glance, your post gave me shivers, chills, and dry heaves. Then I clicked on the little play thingy and the Azteca group and felt sad. I grabbed a tissue, wiped my booger nose, and clicked and listened to the Paul Anka version and…I felt my spirits lift! That song actually works pretty well as a swing song! Hat’s off, all around.

    But no one can beat Mr. Dave.

  5. Pie says:

    I like a bit of Aztec Camera and Roddy Frame’s solo stuff is sublime, but I’m not sure about this one.

    I knew about the Paul Anka swing versions of songs, which came out a couple of years ago, I think. It was the Nirvana cover I heard first of all and I went “whaaaaa?” But fair play to the man. I think he made a decent fist of it, although if you’re a hard core Nirvana fan like your commentators above, you’d be inclined to disagree.

  6. It’s amazing how the same song can sound so different. Thanks for posting. It’s definitely an ear-opener. “Jump” by Van Halen is one of my favorites. I’m not sure I would have recognized the song done by the other two if you hadn’t warned us… I like swing, and I like Aztec Camera, just rather hear Jump done Van Halen-style. As for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Weird done by Paul Anka. Last night, I watched a documentary about Kurt Cobain. Kurt wrote the song after a miserable break-up with a woman (drummer in a band) who broke his heart. One of her friends wrote on his wall as an insult “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He obsessed over that sentence and then turned it into a great song, so Anka’s version seems kind of glib. Glad you posted it, though!

    • omawarisan says:

      Your point about not recognizing Jump without a warning is very true. I heard it at a basketball game…they played the chorus at a jump ball. It flew right past me, about a minute later it hit me what I’d heard.

      I never knew that about Smells Like Teen Spirit, thats interesting.

  7. planetross says:

    The covers didn’t do anything for me, but the original wasn’t an all time favorite of mine either.
    I like Toad the Wet Sprockets version of “I Want to Rock n’ Roll All Night” by KISS though.
    Tori Amos does a version on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that takes about … the whole song to figure out that it is a Nirvana song. It’s not bad, just different.

  8. ArtMusic says:

    I like Van Halen. Jump is not my fav song however.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Re: the Aztec Camera version. Nobody commenting here got it.
    It turns the original track inside out. Jump. You might as well. Everything is hopeless.
    The dreary tone.
    Jump. You might as well Jump off a bridge….

  10. So much can happen in a year and a half. I sported an evil grin when I clicked on the Anka link and was greeted with “the video does not exist.” This strikes me as somehow Communist-era Russian. “Ees no such wideo!”


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