Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original

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AvengerRam

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Sometimes, a cover is an artistic reimagining of the original song. In other cases, it is a mere cash grab re-release of a familiar favorite.

Here are three that I feel are even better than the original:

1. Wild Horses - The Sundays (originally by The Rolling Stones)
Great, classic tune by the Stones, but this remake is sublime. Harriet Wheeler's vocals (she is really one of the great singers of the late-80s/early-90s) are angelic, and the rearrangement of the song enhances its emotional impact. Bonus points for the use of this cover as an anthem of Buffy and Angel's tragic, doomed love story on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yeah, I went there... deduct a man card from my stack if you must, but you know I'm right!).

2. Land of Confusion - Disturbed (originally by Genesis)
When Genesis recorded this song, it was a light, political pop song, with a quirky video featuring the Spitting Image puppets. Disturbed turned it into a hard rocking, kick-ass, blitzkrieg, with a video featuring animation by Todd McFarlane (best known for Spawn). Some may cite Disturbed's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's The Sounds of Silence on this list (I'd still vote for the original), but this one is a clear improvement.

3. Bang a Gong - The Power Station (originally by T.Rex)
I love the understated original, but this remake is such an icon of 1980s excess and joy. Robert Palmer's vocals, the Taylor (Duran Duran) brothers wailing on the guitar and bass, and Tony Thompson obliterating the drums. I defy you to listen to this version and not "air guitar" or "air drum" while doing so.

Agree, or blasphemy?

Any you'd nominate?
 

FaulkSF

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Memento

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Also, Pop Goes Punk absolutely deserves a mention here. I loved Ice Nine Kills cover of Someone Like You by Adele.


Same goes for both of We Came As Romans covers of Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble and The Wanted's Glad You Came.
 

AvengerRam

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Hearing it live was phenomenal and much better than the studio track.
That reminds me of a concert cover moment from a few years back...

I saw The Shins in St. Petersburg, Florida...the first show they ever performed in the Sunshine State. During their encore, they mixed in a cover of Tom Petty’s American Girl. Petty, who grew up a few hours away in Gainesville, is big here in Florida, so the crowd enthusiastically sang along. Petty died a few months later, making that moment, in retrospect, very poignant.

Two weeks after Petty’s death, the same tune was played during a break in action in the Rams game at Jacksonville. I was there, singing along with thousands of Jags fans (and a handful of Rams fans) and sharing a moment of catharsis and appreciation.
 
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Dodgersrf

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Sometimes, a cover is an artistic reimagining of the original song. In other cases, it is a mere cash grab re-release of a familiar favorite.

Here are three that I feel are even better than the original:

1. Wild Horses - The Sundays (originally by The Rolling Stones)
Great, classic tune by the Stones, but this remake is sublime. Harriet Wheeler's vocals (she is really one of the great singers of the late-80s/early-90s) are angelic, and the rearrangement of the song enhances its emotional impact. Bonus points for the use of this cover as an anthem of Buffy and Angel's tragic, doomed love story on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yeah, I went there... deduct a man card from my stack if you must, but you know I'm right!).

2. Land of Confusion - Disturbed (originally by Genesis)
When Genesis recorded this song, it was a light, political pop song, with a quirky video featuring the Spitting Image puppets. Disturbed turned it into a hard rocking, kick-ass, blitzkrieg, with a video featuring animation by Todd McFarlane (best known for Spawn). Some may cite Disturbed's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's The Sounds of Silence on this list (I'd still vote for the original), but this one is a clear improvement.

3. Bang a Gong - The Power Station (originally by T.Rex)
I love the understated original, but this remake is such an icon of 1980s excess and joy. Robert Palmer's vocals, the Taylor (Duran Duran) brothers wailing on the guitar and bass, and Tony Thompson obliterating the drums. I defy you to listen to this version and not "air guitar" or "air drum" while doing so.

Agree, or blasphemy?

Any you'd nominate?
I agree with all those 100%.
Sundays wrote alot of great music.
David Gavurin and Harriett Wheeler were perfect together.
Their Wild Horses Cover is perfection.

Disturbed can do what ever they want and I'll like it.

Power Station was a great band. Robert Palmer and Andy Taylor had that "It" factor.
Bang a Gong was Right on. I much preferred it over T Rex original.
 

XXXIVwin

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Kickin'it REALLY old school....

When I was a young teenage kid in the '80s, I'd occasionally hang out in the living room with my Dad, as he'd slowly get drunk on his ass, and we'd listen to records from his jazz collection.

One of our 'games' was to rank in order our favorite versions of "September Song"-- a freaking GORGEOUS tune about clinging to love as we get old and fade away....

There have been more than a dozen renditions, but my Dad had five in his LP collection:

Sammy Davis Jr from 1955-- man, Sammy went over the top.
Frank Sinatra from 1965--my Dad's favorite. Frank... what a voice.
Ella Fitzgerald from 1960-- Ella's always one of my favorites.
Walter Huston from 1938-- A sweet old coot singin' his heart out.
Willie Nelson from 1978-- my favorite. That stoner hippie just kills me.

Sigh...nothing brings back memories of my Dad like old jazz tunes....
 

HX76

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I’ve always preferred The Lemonheads version of Mrs Robinson to Simon and Garfunkel’s. Also Sinead O’Connor’s version of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U is better, in my opinion, as well.
 

CGI_Ram

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And they apparently coopted with Myles Kennedy for one of them. Here it is:

I like the version of this when Myles Kennedy (Alterbridge) joins Disturbed on stage and does the "Garfunkle to his Simon". Great version.


The reason you both picked it is because that was an awesome choice too. Love that one.