In previous generations, some artists made very successful careers out of presenting revivals or reworkings of once popular tunes, even out of doing contemporary cover versions of current hits. Musicians now play what they call "cover versions" (e.g. the reworking, updating or interpretation) of songs as a tribute to the original performer or group. Using familiar material (e.g. evergreen hits, standard tunes or classic recordings) is an important method in learning various styles of music. Most albums, or long playing records, up until the mid-1960s usually contained a large number of evergreens or standards to present a fuller range of the artist's abilities and style. Artists might also perform interpretations ("covers") of a favorite artist's hit tunes for the simple pleasure of playing a familiar song or collection of tunes. A cover band plays such "cover versions" exclusively.
In the contemporary world, there are broadly three types of entertainers who depend upon cover versions for their principal repertoire.