Good Covers by bands

http://www.livemusicguide.com/blog/columns/14-cover-songs-that-are-better-than-the-original.html

I came across this list the other day and thought overall it was a good list. Missed a couple that I like but was curious if other people here had great covers that they enjoy. I have always loved it when a band does a cover of someones song and it is as good, if not better, then the original.

Now for me the definition of ‘cover’ is that you make the song your own. Not an exact replica of the original. For me it is when a cover brings it own emotion to the song that intrigues me.

So when a band or singer takes a song that was successful on its own, then remakes that song into basically a new song, well that is some kind of awesome right there! Sometimes it is the beat or pace of the song, sometimes it is an inflection of voice, or whatever. But the cover can and does stand alone on its own.

I liked this list overall. I think they should have included Chris Cornell’s ‘Billie Jean’ which he slows down to a great blues tempo and throws his heart into the lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2MgwAJrfXo

I also like Tommy Emmanual’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, just simply beautiful with his guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ubVGiyAhkY

Any other songs you can think of that should have been included? Or what is your definition of what makes a good cover song?

Oh, twist my arm. This makes it look like she’s mainly a cover artist, but it’s the opposite, she’s mainly known for her original music (11 albums). These are her covers over the course of several years.

“Space Oddity” (live, David Bowie cover)
“Mercy Street” (album version, Peter Gabriel cover. Here’s the live version)
“Games Without Frontiers” (Bob Holroyd’s Peter Gabriel cover, album version)
“Here Comes The Flood” (live, Peter Gabriel cover)
“Soon” (live, Yes cover)
“The Yes Medley” (studio version, more Yes)
“Lily of the Valley” (live, Queen cover)
“Come Undone” (live, Duran Duran cover)
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” (live audio-only, Crowded House cover)
“Immortality” (live, Bee Gees cover)
“And Dream Of Sheep” (live, Kate Bush cover. Alternate live version, I’m the person who says “Little lights shining”)
“Ashes To Ashes” (studio version, David Bowie cover)
“Into The West” (live, Annie Lennox cover)

I’m biased as alll hell, but I do like all of them a lot, some more than others. I didn’t include one I don’t like at all, her cover of Bowie’s “Station To Station.” I like the song a lot, just not her live cover.

I was a bit surprised to see Cat Power on that list, and even more surprised it wasn’t the cover I’ve been telling all my friends about for the past little while: her cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall.

IMO, the list got less iconic/well known (at least to me) as you went down it.

How about Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwoʻole’s amazing cover of that song? I became aware of it when Mix magazine had it as a “Classic Track”.

What about bands that take songs recorded in one genre and translate it into another? Like Dread Zeppelin .

I love the Magnetic Fields’ song The Book of Love

Peter Gabriel has famously covered it, but I think my favorite version is the Airborne Toxic Event’s (Skip to 1:10 to avoid the sad story about the singer’s grandmother.)

Thanks those are all great. Gaffa that cover by Iz, is great and is on the list I posted. But it is very haunting I agree.

I thought of another one.
This one is by Mustard a homeless guy singing Creep

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXlzci1rKNM

The Coverville podcast.

That’s #3 on the list in the OP. :slight_smile:

Isn’t SRVs cover of Hendrix’s Voodoo Child universally considered the definitive version? That’s the first one that popped into my head when I read the thread title.

The list you linked to is pretty good though. Hard to argue with many of them, though the absence of Voodoo Child is bizarre to me.

ETA: GnR Knocking on Heavens Door is also hard to beat. Surprised that’s not on there either.

Petty Booka - I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend - a pair of young Japanese women doing a Hawaiian-tinged cover of the Ramones I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.

And, on the note of Ramones covers by Japanese women, Shonen Knife’s cover of I Wanna Be Sedated.

I am of the opinion that no song can’t be improved by being sung by a Japanese woman. >_>

On which note…Tommy february6 - Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.

Judy Garland sang a great version of “Over the Rainbow” and died at 47.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole did a better version and died at 38.

Eva Cassidy did an even better version and died at 33.

Connie Talbot, consider this as a warning. Do not get any better at this song. Yes, I loved how great you were on Britain’s Got Talent singing “Over the Rainbow” at the age of 6. If you continue to improve though, by the time you’re 18 you will do the best version of the song ever, and the curse will cause you to keel over dead immediately.

Good cover, won’t say it improves on the original.

You know Happy Rhodes? Cool.

I slightly prefer Earth, Wind and Fire’s version of “Got To Get You Into My Life”. My friend who’s a HUGE Beatles fan sneered at this version, but it wasn’t really one of my favorite Beatles songs to begin with, so for me at least it had a bit of room for improvement.

Other songs that get my vote:

~ Led Zeppelin, “When the Levee Breaks”
~ Jimi Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower”
~ Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Heard It Through The Grapevine” (this one’s a push, I like the Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight versions, too)
~ Smith, “Baby It’s You”
~ They Might Be Giants, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”

Also, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which has been covered by:

Jeff Buckley (This is perhaps the most famous)

Rufus Wainwright

KD Lang

Alexandra Burke

“Fields of Gold”: Eva Cassidy covering Sting.

“Sacrifice”: Sinéad O’Connor covering Elton John.

“Last Kiss” , Pearl Jam covering Wayne Cochran. It is faithful to the original in style but gains something from the emotion in Eddie Vedder’s voice.

He apparently spit the marbles out of his mouth before he sang this one because you can hear the actual words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0B-hJ_gotc

Here’s an obscure one: Stardust, the old 1927 Hoagy Carmichael song, covered by Spanky and Our Gang in 1968.

Ministry’s version of Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay is about as unique a cover as ever was.

Hands down my favorite is Stevie Wonder’s cover of “We Can Work it Out”.'