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
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
One of my fav Rolling Stones covers of all time:
I was yesterday years old when I found out this was a cover…
Yes, this is a cover. The original is obscure.
Not necessarily better, but stranger. (And you knew I’d post The Residents sooner or later.)
Speed up Stevie Wonder, take out the lyrics, and add a bunch of Vulfpeck.
And sometimes, the perfect band gets the perfect song to cover.
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.
Turkuaz delivers a far superior version of Sly Stone’s M’lady, even with the whole band jammed into a van.
Amen to that!
One more from the strange cover pile, it’s Snakefinger covering Kraftwerk’s The Model.
Another Cibo Matto cover.
Well… it is better than the original…
Someone not me should do a corresponding terrible cover songs thread.
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
Remember when George Harrison did that great cover of He’s So Fine but changed all the lyrics?
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.
I also like the Blancmange cover of ABBA’s The Day Before You Came.