We’ve previously shared with you a similar list of great cover bands that you should check out if you didn’t know them already. Today, it’s the turn to recognize cover songs that are so great they manage to surpass the original they emulate. At least according to our tastes. Even if you’re a hardcore fan of the original artist or version and you won’t agree that the cover is better, you will at least agree that it’s definitely a nice take on it. Here we go.
1. “Love is blindness”, U2 cover by Jack White
You all probably know Jack White as the male voice of The White Stripes, at least for their extremely popular song, “Seven Nation Army”. Jack has played for years in the band alongside his drummer sister (Isn’t it lovely that she’d a drummer? It’s so hard to find girl drummers in rock bands), and then proceeded to also record some solo covers. “Love is blindness” is probably the best one and it was also featured on the most recent Great Gatsby movie adaptation soundtrack. The man has a palpable poetic desperation in his voice and the cover is quite addictive.
2. “Once upon a dream”, Tchaikovsky/Disney cover by Lana del Rey
The original Disney song of the Sleeping Beauty cartoon was already a cover of classic Russian waltz, and Lana del Rey’s re-cover of it, recorded for the new Maleficent Disney movie, is simply breath-taking. It gives the original harmonious song a deep hue of deliciously grave undertones without altering its harmoniousness in any way. It’s addictive and wonderful.
3. “Wrecking ball”, Miley Cyrus cover by Dixie Chicks
It may be a bit hard to look past the vulgarity in the much talked-about video of the original song, in order to notice that the song is actually pretty good. The Dixie Chicks sung a live cover of it in one of their concerts and it sounded surprisingly well and a bit softer than the original. To be fair to Miley who still remains a very talented girl (with a few recent style-related controversies added to that talent), let’s mention that the covering was mutual: she recorded covers of original Dixie Chicks songs as well and they sound lovely.
4. “Jolene”, Dolly Parton cover by Miley Cyrus
And since we’re discussing Miley’s ability to cover a song, let’s bring forward a lovely masterpiece: her cover of Jolene, originally sung by Dolly Parton, who also happens to be her godmother. Miley Cyrus actually performed a lot of great unplugged covers during her Backyard Sessions, check them out. Another lovely cover of this song is actually performed by Jack White, the guy on top of the list. However, Miley’s is closer to the original, while also taking away a bit of the original’s country edge, which makes it simply an improved version.
5. “Hurt”, Nine Inch Nails cover, by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was immensely creative in his younger years, but his final creation period didn’t really add much in terms of his original songs. Compared with the ones composed in his youth, they all sounded a bit… well, bland. But if there’s one thing that completely redeems his final years as a truly fertile period, it has to be this cover of “Hurt”. Not only is it better than the original, but it’s soul-shackingly grave and beautiful.
Of course, the list may include other extremely valuable covers better than the original; the list to choose from is quite long. Regretfully, epic covers like the “Knocking on heaven’s door” (Guns’n Roses after Bob Dylan) didn’t make it into the list this time. What was included here are more like personal favorites which maybe you’ll listen to if you don’t know them already. Mission accomplished.