Here are 7 of the most brilliant cover versions of songs we’ve ever heard. We feel that these covers are either better or just as good as the original versions. Let’s see if you agree…
1. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World
Originally by David Bowie, The Man Who Sold the World was performed by Nirvana during their MTV Unplugged appearance in 1993. The impeccable live cover of the song was a instant hit among fans and continues to be identified as a classic Nirvana song. Bowie was apparently annoyed by the amount of people who told him how great it was that he had covered a song by Nirvana…
2. Jeff Buckely – Hallelujah
Hallelujah was originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen, and while his version has its merits, Buckley’s rendition is simply mind blowing. Laden with emotion, Buckley’s cover is intimate and heart wrenchingly beautiful. His voice rises and cascades over the melody, reducing people everywhere to tears!
3. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
All the best cover versions reinvent or reinterpret the song in question, adding something new and unique. Composed by Swedish electro-pop act, The Knife, Heartbeats started out as something altogether different from what Gonzalez made of it. He took a summer-vibe, electro-pop banger and turned it into a introspective, soul searching song. And people went crazy for it!
4. The Clash – I Fought the Law
Who would have thought that the suited and booted boys of the Bobby Fuller Four would be the original performers of I Fought the Law back in 1966? It just doesn’t feel right. The Clash brought the edginess that this song needed to make sense and they did it with style.
5. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
Bob Dylan’s songwriting abilities are beyond question, but when it comes to rocking out Hendrix has him beat. Hendrix’s loud, electrified version of All Along the Watchtower was so impressive even Dylan had to admit, “it overwhelmed me!”.
6. Johnny Cash – Hurt
Johnny Cash is often associated with the darker side of life. The brooding, troubled musician became a controversial figure within the country/rock and roll scene, particularly when his fame led to the development of a heavy drug addiction. Thus Johnny Cash covering a song by the dark, industrial rock act, Nine Inch Nails, makes perfect sense. Johnny Cash, known as The Man in Black, owned this cover to the point where one could believe Trent Reznor wrote it specifically for him.
7. Wall of Voodoo – Ring of Fire
Ending with a bizarre but brilliant little trumpet solo, this weird post-punk version of Johnny Cash’s classic song, Ring of Fire, is an inspired version of a country hit. Featuring moody synthesisers and staccato guitar, Wall of Voodoo’s rendition brings new life to the song.
Do you know a cover version that outdoes the original? Let us know in the comments section below!