Cover versions that are better than the originals

The topic is pretty straightforward – share some recordings of songs in which you feel the cover version is better than the original recorded version.

I’ll begin with this beautiful classic. The original version is not bad, mind you, but I bet even today, Paul Simon wishes he had written this song.

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I’ll go with Garth Brooks covering Billy Joel’s “Shameless.” Billy’s version is good, but Garth gives it a vibrancy I love. Garth is a much better singer than I think people realize, and this one shows off his voice very well.

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I would argue that Soft Cell’s cover of Tainted Love is the most iconic, to the degree that people think it’s the band’s own song.

Band lead Marc Almond covered a ton of old torch songs, and I maintain that his cover of The House Is Haunted is also one of the best renditions.

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For me, this might be the best cover ever.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love the original, but salsa-fying an XTC tune? Yes please.

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I’m guessing there may be a lot of Beatles songs suggested for this topic.

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Mendes did a lot of Beatles covers.

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And I’ll disagree with every last one of them :wink: even from that Joe Cocker guy

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This is debatable, I guess, since the original is on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but I like it a lot.

More debate, because who dares?! An Aussie funk band, that’s who.

And I’ll let Taj Mahal cover anything.

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Go listen to that Al Green cover. Inserting that much soul into one of the Beatles’ least interesting songs makes it a better song in my opinion. And I find very few Beatles covers to be superior.

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I did, and nope. (least interesting? Bah!)

I do like the cover of that tune in Across the Universe, where it was turned into a pretty and tender ballad.

But it all comes down to personal taste, I’m not a soul guy, I’m a folk and rock guy.

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One of the least interesting. I mean compare it to the musical depth of any song on Sgt. Pepper. Compare it to Can’t Buy Me Love one year later for that matter. It’s a good song because I don’t think the Beatles ever did a bad song, but it’s not one of their best.

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This is always the first one that springs to mind. Perfect blend of concept and execution.

For my money the drum pattern is one of the greatest compositional feats in the history of percussion (seriously, who thinks of something like that?) and actually performing it? Forget it!

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Another good Devo cover, this time of Hendrix.

Not sure if it’s better than the original because I also really like the original. Maybe on equal footing?

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I always found U2’s music to be just kind of annoying, but this cover is awesome.

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