Original versions of songs are always the best, right?

20 Aug

Today marked the last day of the Iowa State Fair. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the fair at all this year. In fact, this is about the first time in several years that I wasn’t able to go. It’s not as though the fair really interests me. I don’t particularly care for all of the greasy, fried food that everyone else likes.

The horse stables and tractors hold no interest for me.

Neither do the exhibits and butter cow.

The only part of the fair I would actually like to go to is Midway (with all of its rides), but it is also really expensive as far as I’m concerned.

However, this year, there was another aspect to the fair that I was extremely interested in going to: the Rascal Flatts concert at the Grandstand that was scheduled for tonight.

Rascal Flatts, courtesy of

Rascal Flatts is easily one of my favorite bands. They have decent voices, their music is good, and their song lyrics really hit me. I’ve listened to their CDs so often that I know all of their songs by memory.

Fortunately, one of my best friends, who also happens to be named Sarah, loves Rascal Flatts as well. That is how we ended up driving to Bettendorf, IA last year to see a Rascal Flatts concert.

My friend Sarah and me

The concert was wonderful, despite the fact that it was extremely loud, we had awful seats, and we were surrounded by dancing drunks. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to see them perform again at the fair. It just didn’t happen.

At the Rascal Flatts concert

Instead, I get the pleasure of hearing my favorite Rascal Flatts song (“Bless the Broken Road”) performed quite often by one of my favorite singers: Marcus Collins of The Texas Tenors. Even though I absolutely love the Rascal Flatts version of the song, I love the Marcus Collins version ten times more. Is that normal? Typically, the original version is always the best. Not in this case though! Now, whenever I hear another version of “Bless the Broken Road”, my mind automatically changes the voice so it is hearing Marcus singing. Don’t ask me how that works. It just does!

I’m not going to say that Marcus Collins is better than Rascal Flatts, especially when Rascal Flatts is such a well-known and loved group. Instead, I’m going to let YOU decide. Listen to the following videos of Marcus and Rascal Flatts singing “Bless the Broken Road”, and let me know what you think!

My vote is for Marcus. Who do you think sings it better?


Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Music


Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Original versions of songs are always the best, right?

  1. Beth Van Elsen

    August 20, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Personally, I can’t see Rascal Flatts being compared to Marcus’ version. They can’t hold a candle to that beautiful tenor voice. I do have to agree with Sarah that Rascal Flatts is responsible for some very good music but the voices just don’t do it for me. I am so spoiled with The Texas Tenors that any song they do would beat the competition hands down.

    • TTTFanSarah

      August 21, 2012 at 12:21 am

      We really are spoiled, aren’t we?

  2. Pamela Silva

    August 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I agree with you Beth. I like Rascal Flatts, but made to choose Marcus and/or The Texas Tenors win every time. Just wish I had the chance to see them live more often.

  3. Pamela Silva

    August 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Sarah, on you question…” who’s version of God Bless the Broken Road is Better”…I didn’t have to listen (but I did) to the two versions … Marcus gets my vote hands down. His voice is, I don’t know, purer, sweeter. I love his voice, I believe he could sing anything and it would be wonderful.

    • TTTFanSarah

      August 21, 2012 at 12:22 am

      I love your description! Pure and sweet.

  4. Helen Flynt

    August 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Sometimes the original artist and song is better, but in this case with Marcus Collins, that doesn’t apply. Marcus delivers a fantastic performance of “Broken Road” everytime he sings it. The quality of his voice far surpasses the vocals of Rascal Flatts. I thank that “Broken Road” that led me straight to The Texas Tenors everyday!!!

    • TTTFanSarah

      August 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

      I believe that whenever The Texas Tenors are involved, the original artist will never be better (unless the original artist happens to be The Texas Tenors)!

  5. Molly

    August 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    No question….hands down…..Marcus Collins!!!!

  6. Beth Van Elsen

    August 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I just found out that my stupid so-called husband is an idiot as well as a bird brain. I know for a fact he is NOT a Rascal Flatts follower in any way, shape, or form. He enjoys The Texas Tenors very much and has gone to several concerts with us. I have always appreciated the fact that Jim has never complained about any of our travels around the country to see them in concert. In fact, he has always been very supportive. Why did he vote as he did? One answer–because he could!

  7. Russ Burczak (@stagewritemusic)

    September 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I ran across this blog this am… I honestly have no opinion on it..I think they are both really good and this just proves how subjective music really is. Being a Nashville based small Indie label and married to a country artist /song writer this is a subject that we talk about often.

    I think the cool thing is that other musicians have enough “guts” to cover other “better known” artists songs… even when the other artists “owned” the song in the first place! It is difficult as a up and comer or less known artist to “take on” (for a lack of a better way to put it) a smash hit and have others like their version better… but, for those who are just “truly” brave enough to cover or re-cut an iconic song and are capable of delivering a performance or single from it…they deserve to have super fans like y’all telling the whole world about it…

    So great job…now I am going to check out TTT…

    I was talking to a friend on Music Row who is a song plugger for us and we talked about this subject… I told her my wife just re-cut Lee Greenwoods “God Bless The USA” and it was on her cd we were about to release … she said “Russ, that is such an iconic song” and “it will be difficult to get others to like it”… well my answer was “maybe so… but she is the only woman in country music who had enough guts to do it and I believe she kicked the songs ass” lol…

    well guess what?…. We have been getting so many messages and comments about it being awesome…not just from random folks either… Im talking very well known people in the music business here in Nashville…some who are friends of ours and strangers as well…

    so, my point is… minus all the wannabes out there covering songs who honestly have no business doing it…there is always someone out there who can take a iconic song like “Bless The Broken Road” or “God Bless The USA” and deliver it, in some peoples opinion, better than the original artist.

    I am not writing this to “spam” you about my wife… this just totally caught my attention as I too am a blogger on country music… you can find me, russb, and my blog at … and go ck out my wife, Joy Collins version of “God Bless The USA on or just google Joy Collins Nashville…

    let me know what you think! Have a good weekend and keep on spreading the word for those indie artists who can sing their asses off!

    • TTTFanSarah

      September 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I listened to your wife’s version of “God Bless the USA”, and I have to say that it does sound fantastic! There’s not very many versions of that song that I actually enjoy, but I would say that is one of them. If you are interested, The Texas Tenors also sing a version of that song. You can listen to it here:

      I would agree with your thoughts on covering original songs. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I like The Texas Tenors so much. Besides the fact that they can sing a broad range of music, they can take beloved versions of songs and turn them into other, even better, versions. That’s not even to mention the fact that they have their own original songs that are nothing short of outstanding. Did you have the opportunity to check them out? If so, what did you think?

  8. Helen Flynt

    September 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    TTTFanSarah, You are right about The Texas Tenors covering beloved songs and doing it better than the original. I have lost count of the number of people that have told me that they like The Texas Tenors version of “Unchained Melody” better than the original by The Righteous Brothers. Most recently it was in Austin, TX when they sang with the Austin Symphony. A couple at my table said it had always been a favorite of theirs and that they loved Bill Medley singing it. But after hearing Marcus,John and Jc sing it, they commented to me that they thought that The Texas Tenors version was definitely better than the original version!!! Must say I have to agree with them. In Branson, I got tickled at a man sitting next to me. We had talked for a little while before the show started and I ask him to let me know what he thought of TTT. Before the second song was over, he turned to me and said “Wholly Moley”. He couldn’t believe how great The Texas Tenors were.


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