So many ways to count to zero - a collection of Covers of "Zero" by Smashing Pumpkins

in Music7 months ago

The first time I heard the song "Zero", I remember exactly where I was. It was a version of the Smashing Pumpkins classic covered by Evanescence, and it was a grainy video download of a concert.

My reflection, dirty mirror
There's no connection to myself
I'm your lover, I'm your zero
I'm the face in your dreams of glass

Only, at the time, I didn't know it was a cover. I loved the riff, the solo, the nonchalant aggression in the delivery. It wasn't until I was much older that at some point I discovered it was by The Smashing Pumpkins.

In about a month's time, I'll be going to go see Evanescence, so I remember well this song that had an impact on me in my teenage years, and wonder if they'll perform it live. So instead, I've gone over the last few weeks, of actively seeking out various covers of the Pumpkin's Zero, in order to delve deeper into the song and what feelings and emotions it evokes within me.

So save your prayers
For when we're really gonna need them
Throw out your cares and fly
Wanna go for a ride?

Here's the original video. Look at it - SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO.

The swings from aggression to high pitched notes add tension, and the tempo feels quicker and heavier than the original. As soon as it begins, its over. But I think there's a better version.

Here is another female fronted, rocky cover of the same song.

She's the one for me
She's all I really need, oh yeah
She's the one for me
Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty
Just like me

However, the next verse is the one that, to me, contains all the lyrical impact, packaged into less than 25 words, as though it was a contest entry.

Intoxicated with the madness
I'm in love with my sadness
Bullshit fakers, enchanted kingdoms
The fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth

A song unabashedly about disillusionment, depression, and seeing beyond the facade that is often portrayed by others.

I never let on
That I was on a sinking ship
I never let on that I was down

This one takes a further, much more aggressive tone and delivers rather well on the imagery throughout the video. It's much more metal than the original, and has a very take collection of undertones, depicting a male figure performing either an autopsy or mutilation of a female subject.

You blame yourself
For what you can't ignore
You blame yourself for wanting more
She's the one for me
She's all I really need, oh yeah
She's the one for me
She's my one and only

This one is even heavier. There's no hidden messaging in the video itself; but its shaky-cam views of a street interspersed with the live performance of the band is a little suggestive toward the original meaning of the song, or at the very least, one of the potential perceived meanings.

When we delve into contemporary interviews of Billy Corgan's motivations and meanings for this song, it is about the worthlessness of the individual for being an individual; and how spiralling into apathy is very easy.

Throw in some unrequited love for a cosmic ideal of a feminine beauty as pursuit; pursuit that never really ends - "all I really need", ends up being about something you can never obtain.

I like "sad" music. Is this sad music?

What are your favourite covers of "Zero"? Is there one that I've missed?

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Sometimes the number of covers can be indicative of the quality of the original song.


Can you think of a song whose original performance was terrible and whose cover was absolutely brilliant?

Not off the the thought that I've had since I read your comment two hours ago.

How are you doing? Does the third day was indeed the worst?
Do you getting phantom pain?

One that is quite often on my mind is song 'Hurt’. Original is Nine Inch Nails, but I love Johnny Cash cover. Not to take anything from his brilliance(Johnny I mean), but I think his age made the message so much stronger.

Then you have Gnarls Barkley cover '16 Reckoner' of Radiohead

And since we are here - Radiohead cover of 'Ceremony' of Joy Division
when I've heard this very first time I said 'Oh, my favourite band is doing cover of my favourite band!.

How are you doing? Does the third day was indeed the worst?
Do you getting phantom pain?

I'll write a post. There's too much for a comment. :D

Come to think of covers; there's one song - Running Up that Hill by Kate Bush. I hate the original. I hate the fact that it had a resurgence. But what I DO LOVE is the Within Temptation cover of it:

I think it is about at least 4-7 times superior:

Ah, Sharon is fantastic:) Not really fun of original either. Even Placebo cover was better than original, which is nearly sad :D

I leave you be then! Have a lovely, painless weekend!

Another song where I heard te cover before the original. :D Placebo's cover is alright, too. Can't complain with two good covers.

I like sad music too. I'd rather say I like tension and drama in music, I like when it is dark, when it is touching your nerve. Radiohead, Tom Waits, Godspeed you! black emperor, Nick Cave are among my faves - you barely cant find a joyful song there, can you?.. hehe.
As for the 'Zero' covers - from your post selection I'd prefer one by Kill Scenes, as it looks to me more artistic and well arranged, less 'thick'. But generally speaking, such music is not my cup of tea, I feeling attracted by vibes of another kind (less meaty and guitar-induced heavy indie-alternative style).

It's a creepy sort of snythpop version of the song, in a way. I like it sung by a female voice. It makes it interesting.

Nick Cave is great "Where the Wild Roses Grow" with Kylie is a brilliant song. Edgar Allan Poe would be proud.

What do you think of Garbage? I loved their pop-music energy with incredibly dark, confrontational lyrics.

Garbage, heh. I definitely up to her vocals and manner of singing, pleasurable pop-rock arrangements... but maybe her distinctive recognizable outlook slightly prevails the music itself :P

I will definitely feature Nick Cave in my ttt showcases. He has damn lot more that said 'wild roses' that everybody knows. '15 ft of pure white snow', 'Foi na cruz', 'Do you love me', 'Wheeping song' are among my very faves.

Never really listened to Cave beyond the popular one I loved... I'll go check some out now and have my evening enlightened. : )

Dont forget !BEER.... or something more er... spiritual uplifting 😁

I had my wisdom teeth ripped out on Monday this week, all I know right now is misery. Nick Cave can't hurt me anymore.

Oh. I feel your sorrow................... Two weeks ago I also have got a massive hole exactly in my front teeth.
Now I postpone my visit to the clinic cowardly, but I cant escape it forever :/

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As time progressed things started to get better, All songs are very good The lyrics of the songs are very good. I have listened to all the songs and liked it very much.