Music Knows No Language: 7 Great Foreign Covers

May 14, 2018 Music
hotel california by gipsy kings foreign music cover

Music is something that is truly universal. Irrespective of the language, if the beats and the rhythms resonate with you, you’re sure to enjoy it. Nonetheless, there have been many cases when a song has been translated, either to better appeal to the new audiences, or simply for artistic reasons.

Let’s take a look at 7 great foreign language covers of popular English songs:

Life on Mars by Seu Jorge


The Brazilian singer, Seu Jorge created the cover version of the original song by David Bowie in 2004. It was released in the album The Life Aquatic. Most of the Bowie’s songs have been recreated by Jorge in this album. His approach to recreate the feel of the music is completely different. If you ever listened to the original song, you must listen to this one to feel the moans improvised from Bowie’s cries. The concept of using orchestra in the music has been replaced by the use of a nylon string acoustic guitar. The cover version really plucked the strings of not only the listeners but also Bowie’s heart.

Tutto Nero by Caterina Caselli


Well, it’s the Italian cover of the song Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones. Tutto Nero was released in 2006 under the label Sugar Music. Jagger’s bark was retouched by Caselli’s harmonic minor coo. The very different feel of the music and Italian lyrics make it a number worth listening to. Most cover versions of the English songs mirror the original version, but in this case, it feels almost like a different song.

Hotel California by Gipsy Kings


Well, this one needs no introduction. Hotel California by the Eagles is an all-time favorite. Gipsy Kings retouched the song in Spanish. This Spanish cover of the song is a completely different in terms of the pace of the music. The music is very fast and surpasses the original version by 60 beats per second. Ardent music lovers, and fans of the song, can understand the difference in the feel and effect of the music. Listening to this cover version after the original makes us ponder upon, and even marvel, the Spanish recipe of making music. Definitely worth a listen!

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Baby Love by Annie Philippe


Listening to The Supremes’ French version of Baby Love is something that’s out of this world. This French pop star needs no introduction. If you want to listen to one of the best ever French cover versions of this English song, this is definitely the one. We get to hear how French culture beautifies the music with the use of some special musical instruments, recreating the magic out of perfectly woven music and lyrics. Even if you don’t understand the French lyrics, you’re sure to enjoy this new take on the song.

How You Remind Me by Alkistis Protopsalti


This Nickelback number has been recomposed in Greek. This cover was praised by the composers of the original one as well – high praise indeed! It was released in the year 2009. Being a Greece song, it’s not very popular in the States. Yet those who love to listen to foreign covers are great fans of it. You should listen to it as the effect of new instruments gives a very different rhythm and feel to the music.

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Hallelujah by Mei Finegold

There are over 4 million covers of this song – which stands testament to its massive fan following. Of these many songs, the one by Finegold moved the stage. The reason being that the lyrics were translated to Hebrew. Listening to an English song in Hebrew is fascinating in itself. You must listen to it to see how the music and lyrics can be created in such an amazing way.

Changes by Seu Jorge


With Seu Jorge our list began, and it seems that which Seu Jorge our list will end! He is, after all, smitten by Bowie’s works and recreates most his work in Portuguese. There are a lot of changes made by Jorge in the music. The pounding piano in the rhythm and the galactic saxophone were improvised in ways that even Bowie didn’t think of. This number is a must listen, especially for hardcore Bowie fans!