Friday, June 10, 2016

Original Versus Cover - Shameless (1989)

I like the song Shameless and I like the way Garth Brooks sings. Shut up. Actually, I am not ashamed of the songs I like, nor am I ashamed to admit that I find certain singers talented. When it comes to the song Shameless, it is a song that will forever be associated with two artists in my mind because of how close together both releases were. Billy Joel released the original version of Shameless in 1989, and the Garth Brooks put out his version in 1991. It is a great song that will forever be associated with two iconic artists, but which version is better?

Garth Brooks does not make it easy to find his music on YouTube (I don't know why artists choose to fight with YouTube), but I managed to find a live version of Garth doing Shameless. To be honest, Garth puts just as much enthusiasm and energy into his recordings as he does his live performance, which is probably why his live performances are such events. Here is the best I could find of Garth singing Shameless, and it is a good representation of how he sings this song.

Since both of these guys are backed up by world class bands, the difference is going to be in how they sing the song. I just like the way Garth sings Shameless, and he has never failed to deliver no matter how many different times I have seen him do it. Whether he is feeling it or not, he makes it sound like he is and he does this song justice.

To be fair, I have also used a live version of Billy Joel singing shameless, even though my opinions are based on both recorded versions. When Joel sings this song live or in the studio, he just never seems to commit to it like Garth does. I have seen Billy Joel really commit to singing a song, so I know he is capable of it. But the live and studio versions of this song, he delivers a good performance, but it seems to lack heart.

Great song sung very well by the man who wrote it, but it still falls short of what Garth Brooks does with it. I understand that both of these guys are a way of life to their fans, so I hope people don't think I am trying to offend anyone. To me, Garth Brooks presents the best version of this song. But to be fair, here is one of the more famous versions of this song ever with Garth and Billy singing it together.

Verdict: Garth. But really, who cares? Just enjoy the song.

George N Root III loves music and can enjoy all types. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at