In today’s “The cover is better that the original”, we chose Portishead’s SOS. The original song is by ABBA.
Why it’s better: We all know that the Swedish group is an iconic pop phenomenon with a lot of catchy and emotional pop songs. ABBA has a definite style that you can recognize in any of their songs, the soft vocals and 70s vibe. Portishead’s cover strips down the lyrics and applies their own signature of “alternative rock.” The video for the song came out as a response to Labor Party Member of Parliament Jo Cox’s assassination. She was a young politician that advocated for immigrants in the U.K. among other issues. The political message, Beth Gibbons’ vocals, the band’s arrangement and the powerfully simple video transform a catchy tune into a haunting and beautiful plea for unity.
The video ends with this poignant quote from one of Jo Cox’s speeches.