by: Charley (@ruperto2106)
We all have our favorite songs. However, what happens when that song is done by another artist or band? Do they do the original song and artist/band justice? Or do they just make a mockery of it? Some covers are truly unique and better than the original. Some sound exactly the same. I have given it some thought about my favorite cover songs and here it is!
1) There’s something to be said about doing a cover which fools everyone to almost believing it was an original tune if they didn’t know any better. That’s exactly what happened in 2002 when Johnny Cash covered the 1994 Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt”. The video and the song were so masterfully done, that Trent Reznor himself was quoted saying that “The song isn’t mine anymore”. Johnny Cash’s version was even named one of the 30 best music videos of all time by Time Magazine.
Check out both versions below:
Johnny Cash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur8j4xWe_44
2) Nothing beats a good Michael Jackson tune. We all have our favorites. Well I have two Michael Jackson Songs that make the list, but at the top of that list is “Smooth Criminal”, the 7th single (Yes 7th) off of Bad (Released in 1987). It was redone in 2001 by the alternative rock band Alien Ant Farm. It served as the perfect homage to a legendary singer.
You can compare both versions below.
Michael Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVzh555-rWI
Alien Ant Farm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDl9ZMfj6aE
3) “Billie Jean”. The second single from the 1982 album Thriller. You immediately hear the intro and you start moving. However, how many people know that classic tune was covered as a beautifully sung ballad by none other than the lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell? In his 2007 solo album, Carry On, Cornell sings soulfully and the hunting melody makes this track his own.
Check out both versions here.
Michael Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi_XLOBDo_Y
Chris Cornell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xW25VB1Mpw
4) “Whiskey in the Jar” is a famous Irish song, performed by a plethora of artist. Irish band Thin Lizzy released the song as a single back in 1972. 26 years later Metallica release a heavier version of this song. It stands out as one of my favorite tracks out Garage Inc.
Both versions are below for your listening pleasure.
Thin Lizzy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M2jSzLBzK4
5) A recent favorite cover I have been listening to a lot is “Silver”. Originally done by Nirvana as a non-single release back in 1990. I have heard two covers of this song. One by Rise Against but my favorite version comes from New Jersey band, The Gaslight Anthem. Both versions are below.
The Gaslight Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwCLGWJl6bs&feature=kp
6) Released in 1967, written and recorded by Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower” has been covered by many great artists and bands such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, U2, The Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton and most notably Dave Matthews Band, who has made this song a staple on since the bands inception having performed the song live over 600 times.
Bob Dylan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYJN79ePvhI
Dave Matthews Band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yam6mrCCvD4
7) In 1983, the duo of Annie Lennox and David Steward (Better known as the Eurythmics) released the new wave track “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”. It was arguably the biggest hit the group had, launching them into mainstream success. In 1995, Marilyn Manson released a cover as a single off his album Smells Like Children. Manson’s vocals along with the drawn out melody gave this song a whole new life of its own, and gained Manson a huge fan base. Making the song his own, Manson even added some extra lyrics to his version. “I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what’s inside you”.
Both versions are below.
Marilyn Manson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7cPgonpbwo
8) British pop band, Duran Duran, released “Come Undone” in 1993 as the second single to their album The Wedding Album. The song helped Duran Duran entry into the Adult Contemporary genre. It was covered by Canadian rock band, My Darkest Days, on their debut self-titled album. Their version was a bit heavier and had a rockers edge to it. You can check out the songs below.
Duran Duran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICnlyNUt_0o
My Darkest Days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWKVbqDi1g0
9) Not excluding the rap genre from this list. “Boyz-n-The Hood” marked the solo debut of Easy-E and was released in 1987. The song was reimagined and covered by a Post-Grunge Band, Dynamite Hack, in 2000 as the first single of their album Superfast. You should check out the video below that was done by Dynamite Hack.
Dynamite Hack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeL9gagV_VA
10) Released in 1991 as a response to his critics who thought his career was on the down slide, “Mama Said Knock You Out” was released by LL Cool J. In 2013 a heavy metal version of the song was released by Five Finger Death Punch and features rapper Tech N9ne. Both Versions have become instant hits. Check out the different versions below!
LL Cool J: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vimZj8HW0Kg
Five Finger Death Punch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8BXMSBBATk
11) I guess this can be classified as a cover song, so I am going to include it on this list. There’s not much to say about this version besides, it’s Jimi Hendrix doing his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock 1969.
There are so many awesome cover songs out there, but there were just a few of my favorites. What are some of your favorite cover songs?