This is merely my opinion please remember, but here are some of the best cover versions.
Jimi Hendrix- All Along the Watchtower
Originally by: Bob Dylan
Now, it is worth mentioning that I probably only hate the original of this so much because I literally cannot stand Bob Dylan, or listen to a single note of music he has ever made. My biggest issue with Bob Dylan is his voice. The first time I heard him sing, I wondered if he was doing that for a bet. What is wrong with him? Sound comes out your mouth dear, not your nose. Anyway, kudos to you Mr Hendrix, it is a superb cover, you really made it your own and it’s a pleasure to listen to. It was recently sampled by I’mveryangryactually pre-pubescent quote unquote rapper Devlin with the lyrics to the chorus sung by the talentless succubus whose only notable quality is having ginger hair Ed Sheeran but I don’t really want to talk about that.
The White Stripes- I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
Originally by: Tommy Hunt
In complete contrast to the above paragraph, Tommy Hunt’s version of this song is perfectly lovely but if I am being honest I just think The White Stripes did it better. I also hate The White Stripes. I know! Can you believe it? I don’t get the hype. Jack White’s voice sounds like a bag of nails in a tumble dryer and I’m not really understanding the whole Meg just sits there and hits one drum with one stick thing they’ve got going on. However, despite all of that, this is a wonderful interpretation of a wonderful song and I certainly know a few school friends of mine had no objection to a very flexible Kate Moss showing her talent on a stripper’s pole. It is also worth mentioning that Dusty Springfield’s version of this song is brilliant.
Jose Gonzalez- Heartbeats
Originally by: The Knife
My lovely friend at work chirpily assured me I would much prefer the original version of this song, which I merrily looked up on you tube before almost bursting into tears. The lyrics to this song are so beautiful and so moving, yet it is sung in a way that sounds like someone threw a firework into a bag of cats. Jose Gonzalez gentle, beautiful, soft version is like a dream within a dream, perfectly done. I am sorry The Knife, you write some mean lyrics but next time I fancy doing something as fun as listening to you singing this song I’ll cheese grate my nose off.
Tyler Ward- Paradise
Originally by: Coldplay
Coldplay is one of those bands we all love to hate and rather like U2, their music isn’t actually always complete drivel- but rather like Bono lead singer Chris Martin seems to have taken on this bizarre I can heal the world stance and is possibly also a vegan to the extent that he won’t eat anything that casts a shadow. I often see him on telly begging for money and really Chris, if you want to save the world how about you round up the change down the back of your sofa and give it away rather than bugging those of us who earn less than £20k a year? Thank you.
However, I genuinely don’t like Coldplay and whilst I admit “Yellow” is quite sweet and “Shiver” has a nice riff I don’t like Chris’ weird caterwauling and thank goodness Tyler Ward covered Paradise. His cover is beautiful, haunting and stripped down, and you don’t have to have a Coldplay song on your MP3 player. I value that. Tyler Ward has covered a huge amount of songs and done them all really rather well but this one remains my favourite.
The Clash- I Fought The Law
Originally by: Bobby Fuller Four
This is a weird one because both versions are actually excellent but I rather think The Clash pips this one to the post. Bobby Fuller Four are an excellent band however, so keep The Clash version of “I Fought The Law” and download Bobby Fuller Four’s “Let Her Dance” and that way we all get a chance.
Jeff Buckley- Hallelujah
Originally by: Leonard Cohen
Again, both versions are really amazing but I don’t think anyone could sing this song the way Jeff Buckley did, and goodness knows enough people have tried. It’s actually a very horrible song if you listen to the lyrics- about the fact that when you’re deep enough in love with someone the power they have to hurt you is immense.
Jeff Buckley’s version is so stark and raw and his high fragile voice is a stark contrast to Leonard Cohen’s deep growl. Both notable covers but really, I love Jeff Buckley’s version deeply and it’s the only one I ever listen to.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band- Blinded By The Light
Originally by: Bruce Springsteen
I’m sorry; this isn’t shaping up to be a very nice post. I don’t like Bruce Springsteen really, I don’t like his weird voice that sounds like he eats gravel for breakfast, I don’t like his strange shouting in the middle of songs and I don’t understand why he is hailed as some sort of legend to the extend that someone I know has lyrics of his tattooed on their arm. Why?
Except that he did do “Dancing In The Dark” and that is a brilliant song.
I much prefer the Manfred Mann version of this song; I think it’s really lovely to listen to.
Johnny Cash- Hurt
Originally by: Nine Inch Nails
I am sorry because I’ve written about this song before so I won’t go on for too long. Cash poured every ounce of regret, sorrow and sadness he had ever felt into this song and it shows. It’s perfect, moving, beautifully done and amazingly touching. Thank you Johnny.
If you have time, pop onto YouTube and look up Biffy Clyro’s cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Love Sex Magic”. It’s fantastic. As is Lily Allen’s cover of The Kooks “Naive” and Katy B’s cover of Maverick Sabres “Let Me Go.” All of these were done as part of the Radio One Live Lounge and they’re simply amazing.
Did you know Celine Dion covered AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”? Let’s not talk about that.