View Full Version : Best cover versions

5th May 2005, 04:57
Well, Howard Hughes asked for it:

There could be a whole new thread on best ever cover version! I'll start, Big Yellow taxi by Counting Crows, far better than the original even....(sorry to all you seventies types)

And, just to have another go at Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins's version of Both Sides Now was waaay better...

Also, if you liked Donovan's Catch The Wind, you should hear the version by The Irish Descendants (a Newfoundland group) - out of this world in comparison. (Try it on BearShare, then buy it!)


5th May 2005, 05:15
Not sure if they actually released them,....but:

Saw a video of The Corrs doing Dreams (originally by Fleetwood Mac) - even had Mick Fleetwood guesting on the drums.......was pretty good, and

saw them live a few years ago, and they did a great version of Sister Sledge's "We Are Family"...

then again, spent the whole concert dreaming of the fiddle player, and how much I'd like to.....;) ;) ;) ;) :O :ok:

(edited for obvious reasons...off for a cold shower.........:E )

Sally Cinnamon
5th May 2005, 06:39
Sinead O Connor - Nothing compares to you

Soft Cell - Tainted love

Nirvana - The man who sold the world


5th May 2005, 07:13
Possitively 4th Street...Simply Red

5th May 2005, 07:27
Big Yellow taxi by Counting Crows
Blergh, that a bloody awful song!

Personally I vote for the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams covered by Marilyn Manson. :E

5th May 2005, 08:46
Joe Cocker - "With a Little Help From My Friends".......... I'm a huge Beatles fan so there :ok:

Most definately also Johnny Cash singing "Hurt" (from the album American IV), originally by NIN. Must be a contender for best video also. So sad :sad:

5th May 2005, 08:57
The Ramones cover's of Let's Dance and California Sun are great and better than the originals

The Vibrators used to a one chord version of Satisfaction. That was really good

The Damned version of Help

Stranglers version of Walk on Bye takes some beating

Has anyone else ever heard the Residents version of Satisfaction? That really takes some listening :}

Orange Arm Waver
5th May 2005, 09:12
Much preferred G 'n' R 's version of "Live and let die" over the original Wings version.

5th May 2005, 09:19
The whole Annie Lennox album "Medusa", especially her version of "A whiter shade of pale".

5th May 2005, 09:39
Dolly Parton's cover version of Stairway To Heaven is a favourite. She plays it absolutely straight, and the part where the banjo solo segues into the gospel choir gives me a shiver every time I hear it.

I am totally behind McAero on the Johnny Cash version of Hurt. If I was Trent Reznor I'd never perform that song again, Cash completely owned it.

5th May 2005, 10:00
I am totally behind McAero on the Johnny Cash version of Hurt. If I was Trent Reznor I'd never perform that song again, Cash completely owned it.

How could I forget that one. I had it on the ipod this morning. Just an amazing vocal and musical performance

5th May 2005, 10:15
The American III and IV albums are just incredible cover albums. Haven't heard the first 2 though. Anyone have an opinion of them?

Go Smoke
5th May 2005, 12:07
Tough one.

I guess "A Heart Needs A Home" by Richard Thompson performed by Shawn Colvin and Louden Wainwright III

5th May 2005, 12:15
The White Stripes' version of 'I Don't Know What to do with Myself' (with a rather good video) or Otis Redding's version of 'Satisfaction.'

5th May 2005, 12:16

don't forget Devo with Satisfaction! Good days - punk was a revelation after having to listen to Alvin Stardust, the Bay City Rollers, Mud, etc!

I used to love the covers Van Halen did in their heyday, roughly one per album - the one that sticks out is their version of Pretty Woman.

Cash was a genius with covers.

Go Smoke
5th May 2005, 12:16
Whilst I'm thinking about it I'd also have to say "Turning of the Tide" performed by Bob Mould.

5th May 2005, 12:18
Yes, The Residents' version of "Satisfaction" is incredible!
But I also like the version by Devo...!

I agree, Johnny Cash really was unbelievably good at making convincing cover versions!

Here's a few more:

* "Subterranean Homesick Blues" performed by Harry Nilsson.

* "River Deep - Mountain High" performed by Harry Nilsson.

And as we had The Damned being mentioned in this thread before:
* "Ballroom Blitz" by The Damned,
* "Happy Talk" by Capt. Sensible....
(I very much love The Damned, but their version of "Eloise" didn't cut it...)

B Fraser
5th May 2005, 12:25
John Otway did a cover of "I Will Survive" in the style of a Bob Dylan folk song and turned it into a brilliant p*ss take.

I also have a recording of Bono and Coldplay covering the Marvyn Gaye hit "What's Going On". Surprisingly good.

Fg Off Max Stout
5th May 2005, 12:39
I heard on the wireless late one night a few weeks ago a track with a female vocalist singing in a poppy/folky almost Joni Mitchell style.....Straight Outta Compton by NWA. Nearly wet myself. One of the funniest covers I have ever heard. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the girly but I'd love to get a copy.

'Straight outta Compton, crazy mother****** named Ice Cube
From the gang called N***** With Attitudes'
etc etc

5th May 2005, 12:42
Max, similarities with Ben Folds Five's cover of Bitches aint S**t?

Echo Zulu Yankee
5th May 2005, 12:47
Best cover versions ever are:

GnR's Live and Let Die


Tori Amos' "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - I would suggest everyone gets that, totally different to the original, I have yet to find anyone who doesnt think its amazing.


5th May 2005, 13:22
Yes, The Residents' version of "Satisfaction" is incredible!

I've have that one at home . I am not sure incredible is the word I would use. It certainly is the last word in covering that song though. I recall people saying how 'weird' the Devo version was, but it was so conventional next to the Residents offering.

I heard some band covering 'Down on the Street' by the Stooges a few weeks ago. I have no idea who they were, but Iggy could never have done it better. Anyone have any ideas who it could have been?

5th May 2005, 13:35
Country Pie - The Nice

Streets of London - Anti Nowhere League

both Jimi Hendrix and Spirit's versions of All Along the Watchtower

Eric Burdon - Paint it Black

5th May 2005, 13:40
I think we're losing sight of the "best" cover versions and instead just picking any covers that were slightly different to the original. :(

I suppose someone will soon suggest Westlife for Seasons in the Sun :ugh:

5th May 2005, 14:43
Here's another one, but I'm not sure which is the original and which is the cover:

Middle of the Road had a smallish hit with Soley, Soley, which wasn't really all that bad (compared with Chirpy Chirpy, that is) and Nana Mouskouri sang it in French as Soleil, Soleil - much the more moving version.

Somebody tell me which was the cover?


Edited to add:

My daughter has just suggested Gwen Stefani's 'Rich Girl' - but I'm not sure whether it's strictly a 'cover' of Topol's 'If I Were A Rich Man' or whether it's a parody or an insult...

Wouldn't mind if one could make out the words ... grumble grumble ... new-fangled so-called singers... grumble grumble...

5th May 2005, 14:45
Anything by the, "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes".

5th May 2005, 15:14
Can't say I agree that Counting Crows version of Big Yellow Taxi is better than Joni's; excellent though it is.

I know it will sound heretical, but I really love Lulu's version of The Man Who Sold the World. She's got a great, gutsy voice and Bowie's Sax solo is superb.

5th May 2005, 15:20
I forgot to mention Eva cassidy's take on 'Time After Time' and 'Fields of Gold.' Top stuff.:ok:

5th May 2005, 15:32
phnuff beat me to it with The Stranglers version of Walk on By, which for me does what a cover version should, to add a new dimension to the song. :ok: :ok:
I'm not a huge fan of Kate Bush, but the recent Futureheads "Hounds of Love" was great, as was China Drum's "Wuthering Heights" from a few years back.

5th May 2005, 18:25
Anything performed by Hayseed Dixie:cool:

Fg Off Max Stout
5th May 2005, 20:55
Smilingknifed, thanks for the Ben Folds Five recommendation - very good. I managed to track down the artist I was referring to earlier. Her name is Nina Gordon and best of all the track is on a free download from her site.

So take a listen to the original NWA - Straight Outta Compton and then listen to Nina Gordon (http://www.ninagordon.com/sightsandsounds.html) - Straight Outta Compton.

Direct link to the mp3 here (http://www.ninagordon.com/audio/straightouttacompton.mp3). WARNING - This song has some naughty language in it.

5th May 2005, 21:45
Another vote for the Johnny Cash cover of Hurt.

Jimi Hendriks/All Along The Watchtower.
The Silkie/You've Got To Hide Your ove Away.
Liam Clancy/The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

5th May 2005, 21:56
Lenny Cohen wrote a fine song called "Dance me to the end of love" You can find it on his album "Various Positions" along with that other brilliant track "Halleluja". Madelaine Peyroux completely changes the spirit of the former song on her album "Careless Love" , but it works brilliantly.

5th May 2005, 22:09
Kate Bush's version of "Rocket Man" - wasn't it voted one of the top covers in the Sunday Times?

Also the Mick Hucknell cover of the "T-Bone Shuffle"

6th May 2005, 03:08
Anyone mentioned Wet Wet Wet's 'Love is All Around'?

Or Elanor Rigby by the Zoot?

Or the Spazzies take on My Boyfriend's Back :E

But wtf has mangled Radio Ga Ga? :confused:

6th May 2005, 03:19
Johnny Cash's version of 'The Last Time Ever I Saw Your Face' is either incredibly moving, or it generates thoughts like 'I wonder if he recorded that while he was actually dying?'

Sorry... :uhoh:

6th May 2005, 04:12
Tori Amos' "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Oh god yes! She may be screwed in the head, but Ms Amos does have an amazing voice.

Grren Day's cover of "I fought the law and the law won" is probably the best cover I have heard.

Like This - Do That
6th May 2005, 05:32
Pigboat and Rushton hit the nail on the head. Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" is the definitive version.

Then again, I think Dylan is a grossly over rated goose :p

I'm quite partial towards the Fendermen's manic one hit wonder version of "Mule Skinner Blues".


6th May 2005, 05:40
Down here in Oz Land we have this bloke called Andrew Denton who used to have a morning drive time radio show. On the show he had "Musical Challenges" where he would get artists to record songs that would normally be completely different to something that they would sing. My absolute favs (and in keeping with the thread are great cover versions) are,

Rolf Harris - Stairway to heaven (Led Zepplin)
Russian Military Choir - Down Under (Men at Work)
Neil Finn - Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
Shawn Mullins - Wake me up before you go go (Wham)
Shawn Mullins - 1999 (Prince)

These are the best, the rest are still good but they fall in the piss take catagory.

6th May 2005, 05:42
Status Quo's cover of the last Status Quo cover of the last Status Quo cover of the last Status Quo cover of the last Status Quo cover of the last Status Quo cover of the last.......

I like a bit of rock, but after Pictures of Matchstick Men they went Down the Dustpipe and nothing's improved since.


edited in order to add '

6th May 2005, 06:13
It´s a sin (Pet Shop Boys) by Gamma Ray
House of the rising Sun (Animals) by EverEve
Walking in the Air (I think Kenny Loggins, but might already be a cover) by Nightwish
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) by FAR Corporation
Billy Jean (Michael Jackson) by the Bates
First we take Manhattan (Leonard Cohen) by R.E.M.

and for the fans of German ´Schlager´, the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest winning song "Ein Bischen Frieden" (Nicole) as faked Ramstein-Remix by JBO :E

and of course a lady from the german national gliding team sings a really nice version of Bod Dylan´s "Leaving on a Jetplane" that beats the orginal ;)
(only available played life on some gliding fields)

6th May 2005, 09:36
Where do I begin on this one.......

Reel Big Fish covering Aha's legendary Take On Me

The Lostprophets covering Duran Durans A View To A Kill

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes - Take your pick on this one.... they have 5 albums dedicated to punk rock covers

The Wonder Stuff covering Jailhouse Rock (Check the end of the Size Of A Cow 12" for this one)

Therapy? covering Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)

MxPx covering the Scooby Doo theme tune

Allister doing a stonking punk rock version of the Fraggles theme tune

Attaboy Skip covering the truly superb Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr

Neds Atomic Dustbin covering Saturday Night

Pennywise covering California Dreaming

and my favourite one

Bowling For Soup covering I Ran (So Far Away) by the Flock Of Seagulls

Check 'em out grown ups!! ;)

6th May 2005, 09:40
Halo - beat you to it on the Gimme gimmes, but to add another to you list:

Reel Big Fish - Hungry Like the Wolf

Has to be the definitive version. :ok:

6th May 2005, 09:58
Since we're now covering any tom,dick n harry's cover song let's not forget Travis's wonderful acoustic version of Hit Me Baby One More Time.

6th May 2005, 10:16
Scissor Sisters. you know which one. loved the original (esp live) and cover really grows on you.

6th May 2005, 11:52
Halo - is the Therapy? track available on CD, or was it just a live version?
I saw them do "Another girl another planet" live a few years ago - fantastic band. :ok: :ok: :ok:

6th May 2005, 12:01
I've always liked Metallica's cover of 'Turn the Page' by Bob Seger.

Better than the original IMHO.

They did a pretty good cover of Whiskey in the Jar too I thought.

6th May 2005, 12:16
Scissor Sisters

I sincerely hope you're not referring to the Pink Floyd classic Comfortably Numb. :hmm:

6th May 2005, 12:40
I sincerely hope you're not referring to the Pink Floyd classic Comfortably Numb

Got it in one!

6th May 2005, 13:00
Too pissed to read all the pages, has 'Black Betty' by Spiderbait been mentioned?

:cool: 'Do yourselves a favour' :cool:

6th May 2005, 13:31
Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower is a good 'un.
Also Bryan Ferry's Jealous Guy. A fine bit of whistling at the end.

6th May 2005, 16:57
Adam Sandler (yup, Adam Sandler) does an awesome cover of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London", you almost can't tell the difference!

Jerry, your link to Gwen Stefani lyrics as requested!


Romeo Delta
6th May 2005, 20:11
A few:

Nickelback - Saturday Night (by Elton John)
Nonpoint - In the Air Tonight (by Phil Collins)
Everclear - Brown Eyed Girl (by Van Morrison)

And who couldn't love ZZ Top's version of Viva Las Vegas?

6th May 2005, 21:23
Ummm, thanks anyway, flygirl, but I think maybe I'll stick to Topol's version.

"Chicks dat blew ya mind, ding, it's the second round
(Original track and ting, mmm)
You know you can't buy these things (no)
See Stefani and her L.A.M.B., I rock the Fetish
People, you know who I am"

Good grief.

6th May 2005, 23:00
As soon as I started reading this subject my mind immediately sprung to Hayseed Dixie. Drat, someone beat me to them...

Air Geko

7th May 2005, 13:54
Camper Van Beethoven's "Pictures of Matchstick Men"...
The Troggs "Wild Thing"
Chris Farlowe covering anything ... but "Handbags & Gladrags, Out Of Time, Paint It Black, Satisfaction" stand out

7th May 2005, 19:04
I agree with you entirely about Hungry Like The Wolf.... Fantastic cover version...

I did also miss out Duran Durans Rio being covered by Goldfinger which is pretty damn fine!!

Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) was one of the tracks on the Gimme Back My Brain CDS, which in turn was the first single of the Shameless album. It rocks!! Actually, everything Therapy? have ever done has rocked. Seen them more times than I care to mention, including last year at some tiny 100 capacity club in Kentish Town. What was particularly cool was flying out to Florida the following day for a Rollercoaster holiday with a mate from work and listening to the entire Therapy? back catalogue on the flight over.

Anybody who likes something with a bit of volume and an edge should check out the High Anxiety album or the Troublegum album. You can't get a better slab of rock/punk/metal crossover!! ;)

7th May 2005, 19:18
While we´re at it, one of the WORST cover versions (of the last, say, five years) is Limp Bizkit´s version of Behind Blue Eyes.

How one can so horribly cover such a beautiful song is a complete mystery to me.

7th May 2005, 19:28

I'm sure there are too many to count from the past decades charts, full of cloned "pop" stars. Nothing popular about them though, that's the irony :mad:

7th May 2005, 20:38
Do threads that we've had here before count as cover versions?

Just curious.

8th May 2005, 13:15
By the way... I think nobody has mentioned these wonderful cover versions by the Leningrad Cowboys yet, especially those with the Alexandrov Ensemble. Something to listen to in the car, in summer, with roof (or at least windows) down, at full blast! ;-)

And, I agree, high on my List of Worst Cover Versions is Limp Bizkit´s version of Behind Blue Eyes. Completely misses the point, with the up-tempo section's missing and all...

8th May 2005, 16:27
Gun's version of "Word Up" by Cameo. A definite improvement!

8th May 2005, 16:47
Korn's version of "Word up" by the above isn't quite as memorable.

Rabid Dog
10th May 2005, 04:39
Once heard a version of the Gilligan's Island theme song done to the tune of Stairway to Heaven - VERY VERY scary.

10th May 2005, 13:30
Dear all,

Brian Ferry doing Jealous Guy is far better than John Lennon's original.



10th May 2005, 13:53

You must be restracting the urine with that one!!!

10th May 2005, 14:37
these wonderful cover versions by the Leningrad Cowboys yet, especially those with the Alexandrov Ensemble.

I remember seeing their "Sweet Home Alabama" once on T.V. Can't remember what I was watching, but remember the drummer playing a kit shaped like a tractor....

Why has nobody mentioned Rolf Harris' groundbreaking album "Rolf Rules, OK"?

10th May 2005, 14:44

Not at all.

I am quite serious.

Lennon was an alright songwriter but only an average singer.

Ferry took a decent song, improved it and then with his wonderful vocal skill delivered it.



10th May 2005, 16:22
Lennon was an alright songwriter but only an average singer.

puuuuleeeease. Lennon had a magnificent solo career after the Beatles and his singing was tremendous. As for being an "alright" songwriter................:confused: :confused: :confused: ..........Women, Imagine,Real Love, Working class hero.........

11th May 2005, 09:29
How about The Goodies' cover version of 'Wild Thing'?

"Come on, hold me tight.
Not quite that tight!"

11th May 2005, 09:32

As I can tell you are a big fan of Lennons lets chalk this down to a difference of opinion.



11th May 2005, 09:48
The Flying Pickets 'Only You'

Any cover of Leonard Cohen has got to be better than the original (ducks and runs)

Windy Militant
11th May 2005, 09:53
Union Avenues version of 'The Ace of Spades'
Motorhead done in a Johnny Cash Styliee cracking. :ok:

No Doubts version of Dexy's 'Come on Eileen' that's a real hoot when sprung on an unsuspecting wedding reception! :ok:

For really stretching the envelope Joss Stone's cover of 'Fell in love with a girl' by the White stripes. :ok:

Soft Cells version of 'Tainted love' the best. :uhoh: Don't go to Wigan and spout that sort of blasphemy. They'll string you up from the nearest lampost. For those who keep the faith it's Gloria Jones or nothing! Still Soft cells version is light years better than than the Marylin Manson version who proved that you can completly destroy a good song if you try hard enough. :mad:

11th May 2005, 10:50
I agree BHR :ok:

11th May 2005, 12:22
Essex's finest the Hamsters do pretty good Hendrix covers - and I heard all of Jimi's stuff first.

Whilst on the subject, does anyone know a UK band who has covered 'Voodoo Chile'? Heard it on an old episode of 'Taggart' and thought it was stunning.

Also, there was an album of Beatles covers done in 2000 (I think) featuring a rather splendid version of 'Come together' by (I think again) Paul Weller? any ideas??

11th May 2005, 14:23
Weller released an album of covers last year, however the album that I'm sure you're referring to is the soundtrack to the film I Am Sam. Pretty decent effort if I do say so myself :cool:

11th May 2005, 15:21
I'll further endorse the nomination of Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails's Hurt - I think this one is ahead of the pack on votes.

I'd also mention Elvis Costello's acoustic cover of Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes - think this was an 'Unplugged' track.
Continuing the high Kate Bush occurence on this thread, Placebo's cover of Running Up That Hill is suitably moody.
Combining the above two original artistes, Sarah Brightman's cover (complete with Gregorian choir) of Don'tGive Up is a travesty which have had the misfortune to hear twice and is possibly the worst cover ever.
In the movie-star-turned-singer category, Juliette Lewis's cover of PJ Harvey's I Can Hardly Wait from the soundtrack of Strange Days is damn good (I believe she has recently set out on a more determined attempt at a signing career).

And for sheer novelty value, U2's cover of Dancing Queen from a Swedish concert a few years back complete with Benny and Bjorn on stage. Bootleg only (unsurprisingly!).

A few more posts here and Channel 4 will have another Saturday evening's programming taken care of.

Romeo Delta
11th May 2005, 23:41
Just picked up an odd little CD done by Soul Asylum at the Grand Forks High School Prom. It includes some pretty good covers of Sexual Healing, Rhinestone Cowboy, and a few other old R&B hits.