If you’ve ever been in a cover band, you know how much fun it can be to play songs by your favorite bands. Heck, that might have been how you learned to play your instrument in the first place. If you’re making a CD that has one or more cover songs on it there are a couple things you need to remember:
1. Make sure you clear the rights to those cover songs BEFORE you make and/or distribute any copies of the CD. Actually, most CD manufacturers will require you to provide proof that you have obtained the proper mechanical license(s). The easiest way to do this is through Limelight. Do it! Don’t get caught with your pants down.
2. If you’re going to record a cover, don’t just copy someone else’s version verbatim. Make the song your own…make a new arrangement…do something different. This is especially important if you want to place your music in film/TV. Music supervisors and directors really like using new interpretations of popular songs. So, remember, don’t be a copy cat when you make your CD. If people want to hear Led Zeppelin’s version of anything… they’ll buy Zeppelin…not you.
Good luck and have fun making music!