Thursday, June 01, 2023

The Goo Goo Dolls and O.A.R join forces to create a passionate, unique cover ot Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’

American rock band The Goo Goo Dolls have developed a huge name for themselves in the music industry, having sold fifteen million records globally and multiple Grammy award nominations. The band has been together since 1986, and merely continues to excite and engage listeners with each new record.

Additionally, O.A.R is also a  highly-acclaimed  American rock band that was formed in 1996 and achieves an almost folk sound within their music. With the pair both using this alternative rock form, their cover of Tom Petty’s track ‘I Won’t Back Down’ is phenomenal. 

It begins with a grounding and intense undertone, using the musicality of the guitars to achieve this. Listeners feel a sense of sturdiness within the music, demonstrating the deeply personal nature of the lyrics to Petty. He wrote it in response to facing turmoil and anguish as he battled with the courts over a case of arson, to which he lost his house.

The lyrics “I will stand my ground/ And I won’t back down” showcase such, meaning that the passion behind each instrument in the song cannot be lost- an aim that The Goo Goo Dolls and O.A.R reach with great success. Originally, the track opened in a similar way, except the guitar had a slightly higher pitch to it and had a greater musical presence underneath the rest of the instruments and the lyrics. However, this cover works really well and allows listeners a more rounded version of the song. The chorus in this cover is perhaps more powerful, and the fusion between the two bands is orchestrated with ease, originality and grandeur. 

The guitar riff during the song is certainly poignant, allowing listers to bathe in the musical talents of each band individually. The bands have captured the essence of the original, maintaining the strong and passionate undercurrent of the song but placing their own rock-type twist on it. The ‘country’ sound of Petty’s voice is lost, but replaced by the compelling vocals on the cover. 

This combination is certainly one that listeners would be eager to hear again, and the song shall be one to be played time and again. 

Abby Price 


Image: 'I Won't Back Down' Official Single Cover


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