Ever since music became an industry and not just a pass-time, cover songs have almost become a genre of their own. Some covers are even better than their originals. So I believe it is fitting to do top ten of this interesting yet lucrative phenomenon.
10. Jolene by the White Stripes (originally by Dolly Parton)
This cover was released as a live single by the famous band and has since been voted as one of the best live covers by Rolling Stone magazine readers. Even though this isn’t the only cover of the song, it is one of the best.
9. I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You by Ray Charles (original by Don Gibson)
In a time when it was unheard of for an African-American to sing country, this cover reached number one on the Billboard charts in 1962 and stayed there for five weeks. Since then it has become more popular than the original, with CMT giving it 49th place in its 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.
8. Take Me To The River by Talking Heads (original by Al Green)
This single was quite innovative for the time, combining pop, soul and punk music to create something fresh and new. Although I personally enjoy the original more than this version, I cannot deny how creative Talking Heads were in this track.
7. Tainted Love by Soft Cell (original by Gloria Jones)
This is a song we all know and love. How could it not be in my top ten?
6. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (original by Dolly Parton)
Before I researched this blog post, I actually didn’t realise that this iconic song was a cover. An excellent example of a cover becoming more famous and well-known than the original.
5. Crossroads by Cream/Eric Clapton (originally a song called Crossroad Blues by Robert Johnson)
I’ve included the original in one of my top tens before, and Cream’s version is almost as good.
4. Daft Punk Medley by Pentatonix (originals by Daft Punk)
Although this is technically speaking a medley of Daft Punk songs, I think it deserves a spot in my top ten. This a cappella group have amazing arranging and writing skills. Not to mention their vocal prowess is astounding. Definitely worth a listen.
3. Grenade by Within Temptation (original by Bruno Mars)
This Dutch Symphonic rock band turned the original song on its head with their cover. And yet it makes perfect sense.
2. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (original by Leonard Cohen)
Cohen’s Hallelujah is probably the most covered song of all time. I’m not sure whether this is because his version wasn’t all that great or because it’s the sort of song that resonates with a lot of people. Either way, this version is probably the best. Though I’m sure I haven’t heard every single version of the song.
1. When Doves Cry by Guy Sebastian (original by Prince)
There may be some of you who aren’t familiar with the Australian artists early work, but let me tell you this version is better than the original. Hands down. Definitely a must-listen.