Cover versions that are better than the originals

I like several songs from this album of covers of the Carpenters, but to me Sonic Youth’s Superstar is the quintessential “the cover is better” song:

Other good picks from this album:
For All We Know, Bettie Seervert
Top of the World, Shonen Knife
Hurting Each Other, Johnette Napolitano

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While I do enjoy the bizarre wonkiness of the original (which isn’t 100% due to Peter Kriss. Probably only 78%) you’d never think someone could take the same song and end up with this

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One of my fav Rolling Stones covers of all time:

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I was yesterday years old when I found out this was a cover…

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Speaking of Nirvana-

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Interesting!! :purple_heart:

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Yes, this is a cover. The original is obscure.

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Not necessarily better, but stranger. (And you knew I’d post The Residents sooner or later.)

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Speed up Stevie Wonder, take out the lyrics, and add a bunch of Vulfpeck.

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And sometimes, the perfect band gets the perfect song to cover.

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Came in here to mention Soft Cell’s Tainted Love but @SandyFrank went there already.

Prince has his following and I think most would say he can do no wrong, but his Nothing Compares 2 U pales in comparison to what Sinéad O’Connor brought to it:

A weird one here – I maintain that Type O Negative was an okay band but excelled as a cover band. Their version of Cinnamon Girl is pretty cool but their Seals & Crofts cover of Summer Breeze is where it’s at (also, the toy piano in the original annoys me):

Cry Little Sister is… fine? Engh. I like its cover, by The Anix, better:

This is where I’ll cut myself off. The Goth and Industrial scenes put out a mountain of stellar covers that would run this reply thread right off the theoretical page.

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Turkuaz delivers a far superior version of Sly Stone’s M’lady, even with the whole band jammed into a van.

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Amen to that!

One more from the strange cover pile, it’s Snakefinger covering Kraftwerk’s The Model.

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Another Cibo Matto cover.

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Well… it is better than the original…

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Someone not me should do a corresponding terrible cover songs thread.

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Superstar is actually a cover of a cover, but no you don’t get double points. Sorry.*

-*- points given are completely capricious and arbitrary and also not appealable

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Remember when George Harrison did that great cover of He’s So Fine but changed all the lyrics?

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Definitely my favorite Beatles cover.

Gotta include Aretha Franklin’s version of Respect, which turns a song about a dude complaining about his woman into a feminist anthem.

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I also like the Blancmange cover of ABBA’s The Day Before You Came.

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