It’s not uncommon for a “cover version” (translation: cheap rip-off) of a popular release to be made available by cash-hungry fakers, but usually when an artist or record label sees a so-called ‘tribute’ of their song scaling the iTunes charts, they rush-release the real version a few days early. For example, last week Flo Rida’s ‘Whistle’ was rushed forward in release schedules because a tacky version by an ‘artist’ listed as Can You Feel My had reached the Top 20 on iTunes. But this week it has officially crossed the line into Properly Bonkers.
A ‘tribute’ version of Maroon 5’s ‘Payphone’, not officially released for another two days has climbed all the way up to No. 5 on iTunes, and will probably be in the Top 10 when this week’s Official Charts are announced on Sunday. The proper Maroon 5 version has, strangely, NOT been released early in an effort to stop the greedy people at Precision Tunes from pocketing more cash off the actual band’s hard work, and will still be released on Sunday as planned. But the fact that the fake cover has even got as high as No. 5 on the online store begs the questions – why are they legal? Why are they eligible to chart? And, most bizarrely, who on Earth is downloading them?