Have you ever wondered why you hear different versions of popular songs? Sometimes up-and-coming bands take an old, popular song, and make their own “cover.”

Take Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra” (Abracadabra) – covered by a few lesser known artists, as well as the rock group Sugar Ray, it has become a huge hit in the U.S. 

Sometimes when I am searching for music, I happen upon the cover before I find the original of a song. This presents the quandary of whether the original is best, and whether its covers can even begin to trump the former. For example, I found Sugar Ray’s “Abracadabra” (14:59) after I shazammed “Someday,” which is an original of Sugar Ray’s. This led me to explore their albums and happen upon “Abracadabra.” It didn’t sound the same as when I had heard it in the past, so I did some research and ended up buying both the cover and the original. 

The original (1982) is about a minute and a half longer, with a smoother, spookier feel to it. The cover (1999) I selected has a rockier feel (literally), with edgier vocals that give more of a punk feel than Steve Miller Band’s pop rock vibes. 

Is the cover better than the original? As both groups would say, “Nobody knows!” That’s for you to figure out – listen to them both and make a decision!

Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra

Sugar Ray – Abracadabra


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