It got me thinking about 'remakes' and 'rewrites'. Some classics are so well done that frankly, it's a shame to alter them, while some only benefit from a modernization. I think it's true across art forms, actually, and I think it is worth thinking about.
I think MOST of the current listeners were too young to remember how campy Wham really was—they don't know what most 'aged' metal listeners thought of them (though the DJs seem to). So Seether has pulled off a very clever coup and made it their own. I heard another similarly revised cover yesterday to Annie Lennox's Sweet Dreams...
I think the key is to make it different enough from the original that there is some art to it... doing it just like the original is a nice lounge act, but to record, there needs to be some creativity.
Ditto...I think here though, movies done well the first time really shouldn't be messed with, but maybe that's me. Then again, there are some remakes I like—I'm not a Tom Cruise fan, but I LIKE War of the Worlds. It seems to me usually I like remakes if I'm not familiar with the original, or when the original had several failings.
I also like some reinterpretations—some stories are timeless, and using the main PLOT while changing many of the details can make for a great movie.
So What About Books?
Back when I only wrote in the closet, and didn't talk to anybody about it, I had never even THOUGHT about reinterpreting an existing story. The first book I read that used the technique was Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. It is a retelling a the Cinderella tale (mostly) from the view of Iris, one of the stepsisters, and is a great book. I've seen several since, and know Wicked is a similarly rewritten Wizard of Oz. My friend Tara, for her NaNoWriMo novel has written a DELIGHTFUL version of Cinderella called Cardiffella, and I really think she can make a go of it. The fresh spin and modernization are perfect, and the references to the fairy tale are tongue in cheek and humorous.
So I'm going on record saying... for ALL of them... if it is a fresh interpretation, it can be a great route for a new version. That's my story and I'm sticking with it...