A cover song, in case some of you don’t know, is a song that was already recorded by one artist and another re-records it, usually changing it up a bit, sometimes just honoring it the way it was originally. I find cover songs wonderful. I like to hear a different take on something that was good to begin with. Below I’ve listed some of my favorites and why I like them so much.
Links take you to the song, someday I’ll learn how to embed.
Cake – Strangers In The Night
This is my favorite song, ever. I love ole blue eye’s (Frank Sinatra) version, I like this one, and I heard a female sing it once (don’t know who) and I liked that too. I’m not even sure why this is my favorite song anymore, but it always has been, always will be. I enjoy this cover of it because it’s kind of a mellow, droll take on the original. The song is a bit creepy (lyrically), so this is a great take on it.
Cake – I Will Survive
While we are on the subject of Cake, which is an awesome band by the way, they also covered this disco song originally by Gloria Gaynor. While they are they same song, the are in no way comparable to one another. Gloria’s peppy disco anthem about getting over a lost love is different that Cake’s creepier “oh no, I’m being stalked by a crazy ex” version. I enjoy both, but I have to give it to Cake here. Plus, they added a “fuck” in there which makes it completely for adults only.
Sheryl Crow – One Less Bell To Answer
I just freaking love Sheryl Crow in the first place, and while scrambling the interwebs to find every syllable she’s ever sang, I came across this song. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was (though written for someone else) a hit for The 5th Dimension. A lot of people have covered this song; Barbara Streisand, Shirley Bassey, Dionne Warwick, Vanessa Williams, etc. I like Sheryl Crow’s version best I think, because I like her best…and it was performed live at a concert honoring Mr. Bacharach and he played the piano on her version.
Natalie Merchant – One Fine Day
I have always loved the girl groups from the Sixties. This song, originally by The Chiffons, was a favorite. It was peppy, upbeat, and gave the message “hey you may not like me now, but you will”. Natalie’s version has the same lyrics but makes it seem more like pining over a love that is out of reach. It’s jazzy instead of peppy, and very easy listening.
Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
I know what you are thinking, but sometimes he’s okay. This is one of them. Originally by The Eurythmics, the song was an Eighties favorite. The music was catchy with that synthesized bass line, and Annie Lennox is always great. But this super, super creepy version of the song is amazing. The biggest draw for me was the creepy factor. He remade the song during a very sad, dark time in my life, and this complemented my mood perfectly. I love this cover. He’s also done a couple other covers worth mentioning, without their own paragraph; Tainted Love, This Is Halloween
Scissor Sisters – Comfortably Numb
I’m not sure what I can say about this version. I like it. If you ever felt like dancing while being sad, this is for you. Pink Floyd was amazing, this version is completely different. I love them both.
Johnny Cash – Hurt
This was an extremely personal track off of Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral, but the man in black nailed it. He made it his own, and, in some ways, made it better. It’s like a man looking back at regrets in his life, deep, meaningful, and heartfelt.
Sonic Youth – Superstar
Ok this is a great cover. The Carpenter’s version, while more upbeat, was already the ultimate stalker anthem. Then Sonic Youth came along and made it sound even creepier than it already was. I flipping love it. (Honorable mention here, this album I Wish I Were A Carpenter was a tribute album to the Carpenters. Sheryl Crow does “Solitaire”, Cracker’s version of “Rainy Days And Mondays” is amazing, and Grant Lee Buffalo’s take on “We’ve Only Just Begun” are all favorites.)
Run DMC – Walk This Way
Not everything I like is creepy. Run DMC took a great hit from Aerosmith, invited them over to play, and had some fun with it.
The Postal Service – Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
This is a great cover. It’s a great song about losing a love and breaking up. Phil Collins was definitely having a genius moment when he wrote and recorded this. The cover is a bit darker, but it’s about a sad time, it deserves it. Mariah Carey also covered this song, I find her version just “okay”, though a lot of people love it.
Ok, that’s ten. I have so many more that I would like to share, but this is a good start. I’d love to hear feedback on whether you liked them or not, maybe you know some that I haven’t mentioned.