FEATURE: 8 Covers Better Than Their Originals

Monday, August 24, 2015

There have been more than enough bad covers released, and there are plenty more to come. The following are some of the greats, the ones better than their originals. 

Cover: 'Hurt', Johnny Cash
Original: Nine Inch Nails
Stunning and one of Cash’s final hits. When Nine Inch Nails were approached about Johnny Cash covering the track, they were “flattered”. Writer, Trent Reznor said of Cash’s rendition that it was “different, but every bit as pure”

Cover: 'Tainted Love', Soft Cell
Original: Gloria Jones
Iconic and synonymous with 80s soundtracks, often thought to be the original version. The song was actually written and recorded by Gloria Jones in the 60s, however Soft Cell rerecorded it and it with a drastically different arrangement, their version then went to influence Rihanna’s S.O.S in 2006.

Cover: 'Valerie', Amy Winehouse & Mark Ronson
Original: The Zutons
Another iconic cover, and little known to be one. While the Zutons original is incredible, Amy Winehouse & Mark Ronson turned the track on its head and did something unique. Adding a heavier beat and jazzing up the melody to match Amy’s style.

Cover: 'Killing Me Softly', The Fugees
Orginal: Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack, released this song in 1973 and since been covered by many artists. Best of all, by hip-hop group The Fugees in 1996 with incredible, powerful vocals from Lauryn Hill.

Cover: 'Spider Man Theme Tune', The Ramones
Original: members of the Billy Van Singers and Laurie Bower Singers
In all fairness, they could sing something out of the Harvard Business Review and it would sound great. This track is no exception, they put their punk spin on the childhood classic.  

Cover: 'All Along The Watch Tower', Jimi Hendrix
Original: Bob Dylan
It took Hendrix a couple of tries to get, but eventually even Dylan started playing All Along The Watch Tower like Jimi - "Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it's a tribute to him in some kind of way."

Cover: 'I Love Rock & Roll', Joan Jett 
Original: Arrows
Grunge-ing it up and adding a bit of sass made this version an instant hit. The demo version was originally rejected by over 20 recording labels when she was trying to make her way as a solo artist but has since been been listed in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.  

Cover: 'Blinded By The Light', Manfred Mann
Original: Bruce Springsteen
Recorded and rerecorded in the early 70s, Manfred Mann’s killer cover this song deserves a nod. Their cover is the only time a Springsteen track made number 1. In a Rolling Stone interview Mann said that he was much better at interpreting other artists’ songs than writing his own. 

Written by Sophie Green Moore