And normally, I’d be inclined to forgive him for going astray with it, but The Artist Currently Known As Prince seems to have a problem with cover versions:
“There’s this thing called compulsory licensing law that allows artists through the record companies to take your music at will without your permission. And that doesn’t exist in any other art form, be it books, movies There’s only one version of Law & Order. There’s several versions of ‘Kiss’ and ‘Purple Rain’.”
On what planet is there only one version of Law & Order? Dick Wolf has come up with every variation short of L&O: PDQ.
Fact is, though, you or I or even Dick Wolf could do a version of, say, “1999,” and as long as Prince gets paid, it’s legal. I’m guessing Prince’s objections probably don’t extend to the “getting paid” part of it.
Tommy James, meanwhile, was not available for comment.