Top 10 Best Music Covers

It's one thing to reproduce the sound of another band, but taking a song and making it your own requires sheer talent.

Music covers exist in many forms; some sound identical to the originals, some make you cringe, others will bring the song into a new genre and then, there are covers that are so great, it becomes hard to admit that they have surpassed their predecessors. We’ve narrowed down our favorite renditions of original songs and you may be surprised when you find out that some of these are even covers.

10

The Troggs – Wild Thing (Original by Chip Taylor)

Wild Thing isn’t exactly the most complex song out there, but the new guitar rift The Troggs introduced made the song infamous. Their cover is a lot faster than the original and much shorter as a result. The cover charted at #1 in 1966 by Billboard and ranked #247 in Rolling Stones Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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9

Chris Cornell – Billy Jean (Original by Michael Jackson)

Whether the cover is better than the original is debatable, its Michael Freaking Jackson that Cornell is competing against here. Still there’s no denying that remake has taken the 1980s classic, Billy Jean, and transformed it into something completely different and unique. Cornell’s version is a much slower, more emotional song. David Cook sung Cornell’s rendition during American Idol last season and introduced the song to an entirely new audience.

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8

Nazareth – Love Hurts (Original by The Everly Brothers)

Love Hurts is one of those songs that is associated with a band so much, that people begin to forget that it’s even a cover. There have been many versions of Love Hurts (Cher, Corey Heart, Journey come to mind) but none came close to the Nazareth one which is still the best known and most successful release.

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7

Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower (Original by Bob Dylan)

Bob Dylan originally wrote All Along the Watchtower back in 1967. A year later, Jimi Hendrix introduced a guitar rift to the song which brought it to a whole new level. Both versions are great but the amazing guitar solo gives the Jimi Hendrix Experience the edge here.

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6

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World (Original By David Bowie)

During their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, Nirvana covered several classic songs and each one of them was considered to be better than the original. It was completely unexpected from the Seattle grunge rock band. Covers included The Vaseline’s Jesus Don’t Want me for a Sunbeam, Lead Belly’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night and of course, David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World. It was hard choosing a favorite but we went with the one that became the most famous and was included in their self-titled greatest hits album in 2002.

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5

Soft Cell – Tainted Love (Original by Gloria Jones)

Marilyn Manson did an excellent job covering Tainted Love for Not Another Teen Movie and as much as we love his version, the prize for best cover goes to Soft Cell. It’s simple really; very few people even know that Soft Cell’s is a cover to begin with. That’s right, the 80s song is actually based on the musical piece that Gloria Jones did way back in 1964.

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MARILYN MANSON

4

Gary Jules – Mad World (Original by Tears For Fears)

Two decades after the Tears For Fears song was released, Gary Jules created this masterpiece interpretation of Mad World for the movie Donnie Darko. The song became an instant hit and charted at #1 in the UK versus the #3 the original had attained. The simple piano tune and stronger more emotion-filled vocals made the song more powerful and successful than the original.

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3

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (Original by Dolly Parton)

Clearly this must be a mistake right? The song was created for the movie The Bodyguard no? We were just as shocked as the rest of the world when we found out that Dolly Parton owns the bragging right for the original I Will Always Love You. We don’t really need to say much more, sorry Dolly but no one can match Whitney's voice.

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2

Joe Cocker – With a Little Help from my Friends (Original by The Beatles)

Covering The Beatles is one thing, but actually outperforming them is an astonishing feat. Joe Cocker took a simple campy song from the Fab Four and turned it into an extraordinary classic. Most people don’t even know that With a Little Help from my Friends is even a cover. If you were a kid in the 80s, you should recognize the song from its re-featured in The Wonder Years’ opening credits.

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1

Johnny Cash – Hurt (Original By Nine Inch Nails)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Many confuse the song Hurt thinking it was originally created by Johnny Cash and later covered by Nine Inch Nails, however that’s not the case. Trent Reznor wrote and released the song first; Johnny Cash simply took the song and made it his own. Cash’s interpretation was filled with emotion and was one of his last big hits before he passed away. It is often played during his tribute videos.

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Tagged in this article

Top 10 Covers The Troggs Chris Cornell Jimi Hendrix Nazareth Nirvana Gary Jules Soft Cell Marilyn Manson Whitney Houston Joe Cocker Johnny Cash NiN Nine Inch Nails Top Lists

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