The legend of Cher was long established before 1998. By that point in time, the husky singer already had four number one hits in the US (one with Sonny Bono and three as a solo artist), a number of television shows, a string of successful films, and even an Acadamy Award for her performance in Moonstruck. With a pop culture resumé that could rival anyone in show business, Cher could have coasted her way through the last decade of the 20th century.
Instead, she put out the dance-pop single ‘Believe’ and scored yet another number one hit. Riding the waves of both European electronica and a relatively new effect called auto-tune, ‘Believe’ solidified Cher’s place as a legendary singer, a gay icon, and a pop chart champion all at once. There was no reason to doubt Cher before ‘Believe’, but you really had to count her out at your own peril after its release.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of cover versions of ‘Believe’ floating around the world of music. Everyone from current Queen singer Adam Lambert to jokey pop punkers Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have recorded their takes on the track, and today we’re getting a new version courtesy of American indie rocker Lucy Dacus.
When discussing the cover in a press release, Dacus explained that ‘Believe’ was the original inspiration behind one of her own songs, ‘Partner in Crime’ from her latest LP Home Video. “I feel like some of my favourite lyrics that I’ve written are in ‘Partner In Crime’ and maybe they aren’t as noticeable because the effect takes you out of it a little bit,” Dacus explains, referring to the auto-tune present in the song. “So, I just wanted to strip it bare and showcase the song for what it is without any tricky production moves.”
“’Partner In Crime’ was partially inspired by ‘Believe’, so I thought it’d be nice to pair them together. I love Cher’s voice and how low it gets. The timbre of her voice is so unique, you can recognize it anywhere,” Dacus gushes. “Even with the autotune, you can tell that it’s Cher and nobody else. But, on our cover, taking away the autotune, I feel like you can tell that the structure of the song is very special and I did feel myself accidentally wanting to become Cher when I was doing vocal takes. It could never happen, but I love a low-voiced pop legend.”
Check out Dacus’ cover of ‘Believe’, recorded as part of the Spotify singles series, down below.