Know any good music covers I should hear?
August 20, 2009 8:56 PM   Subscribe

I love the Dope metal cover of You Spin Me Right Round, and the Reel Big Fish ska cover of Take On Me. What other awesome covers are out there I should be looking for?

I was in the shopping mall when I heard a neat slow cover of Jimmy Eat World's A Praise Chorus (and if you have any guesses as to who that cover might be by, that'd be awesome, though this question is more general than that) and it got me thinking about what other neat covers might be out there. In some cases the covers surpass the original, or are very interesting just due to the genre switch and it's those I'm most looking for.

Covers I already know of, to give you an idea of what I'm looking for:

Dope - You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive)
Reel Big Fish - Take On Me (A-ha)
MXPX - Barbie Girl (Aqua)
Bettie Serveert - Lover I Don't Have to Love (Bright Eyes)
Ben Folds Five - Bitches Ain't Shit (Dr. Dre)
The Decemberists - Human Behavior (Bjork)
Something Corporate - Unravel (also Bjork)

There are also some that are more remakes that I like, such as the Mindless Self Indulgence version of Tom Sawyer, so I'd be all for suggestions along those lines too.

So, anyone have any suggestions? Like I said, I love covers that really shake up the sound or the genre, and I'm a sucker for remakes of 80s hits, so if you know of any good ones out there please let me know!
posted by internet!Hannah to Media & Arts (107 answers total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Meat Purveyors did a great cover of Round and Round.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:59 PM on August 20, 2009


The Living End famously do a Tainted Love cover complete with their trademark upright bass.
posted by hiteleven at 9:00 PM on August 20, 2009


Pennywise also has a so-so cover of Down Under kicking around, I believe -- it fits your criteria, anyway.
posted by hiteleven at 9:01 PM on August 20, 2009


MXPX also has their own decent cover of Take On Me.
posted by hiteleven at 9:02 PM on August 20, 2009


Coverville has tons, although you'll have to dig through some podcast archives. At least it says what songs there are in that show so you don't have to listen if you don't want to.

And while I'm not advocating using the following link to do anything illegal with at all, all but the last 3 torrents in this search results page from Demonoid have some good stuff.

As for your 80's hits, have you heard Punk Goes 80's? That should have some stuff you like.
posted by theichibun at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wuthering Heights by China Drum works really well
posted by runincircles at 9:11 PM on August 20, 2009


Missed the link to Coverville. Here it is. And since I'm using another answer anyway I might as well give you some more. The following are songs people (who I know anyway) don't usually think of as covers.

- Crossroads by Cream (originally Robert Johnson)
- They're Red Hot by Red Hot Chili Peppers (originally Robert Johnson)
- One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer by George Throughgood (Originally John Lee Hooker with House Rent Boogie thrown in for good measure)
- The Man Who Sold the World by Nirvana (originally David Bowie)

I know those are a little bit backwards from your question, but it could still be interesting to hear originals, especially when the cover is the better known version anyway.
posted by theichibun at 9:13 PM on August 20, 2009


I always used to get a kick out of Richard Cheese, super-corny covers, but fun.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:19 PM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


ahem

sorry, internal self-link
posted by edgeways at 9:23 PM on August 20, 2009




The Flaming Lips' cover of Borderline is one of my favorites. It's a killer re-interpretation.
posted by juliplease at 9:27 PM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


feat. Stardeath and White Dwarfs
posted by juliplease at 9:29 PM on August 20, 2009


Ah, that second Lolita No. 18 isn't much of a genre switch, so here's another suggestion... just a weird interpretation of a pop song:
Crispin Glover - These Boots Are Made for Walking
posted by MegoSteve at 9:33 PM on August 20, 2009


Some cover bands:

Nouvelle Vague do 60's bossa nova pop covers of loads of 80s songs. I find that they're really really good when taken in small doses, but I can't listen to a whole album at a time.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (members of NOFX and several other punk bands) do hilarious covers.

I also really like ">Ted Leo's cover of Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone.

I have loads more, but have to go fire up the other computer, on which I have a whole folder of great cover songs. More later.
posted by rhinny at 9:35 PM on August 20, 2009


How about folky covers of hip hop songs?
Scroll to the bottom for links. Personally, I like the Gourds and Dynamite Hack covers.

# Nina Gordon, Straight Out Of Compton (orig. NWA)
# Ben Folds, Bitches Ain’t Shit (orig. Dr. Dre)
# The Gourds, Gin ‘n Juice (orig. Snoop Dogg)
# Willy Mason, The Message (orig. Grandmaster Flash)
# Dynamite Hack, Boyz in the Hood (orig. NWA)
# Barenaked Ladies, Fight The Power (orig. Public Enemy)
# Rockapella Off The Beat, Gangsta’s Paradise (orig. Coolio)
# *American Sneakers: Try Something (orig. Three 6 Mafia)
posted by fieldtrip at 9:36 PM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


yeah, that link worked really well. Let's try again:

I also really like Ted Leo's cover of Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone.
posted by rhinny at 9:36 PM on August 20, 2009


I like Scissor Sister's cover of "Comfortably Numb"
posted by trialex at 9:39 PM on August 20, 2009


Tori Amos did a great version of Enjoy the Silence. The live version on youtube is shit, look for the album version (off Strange Little Girls).
posted by crazycanuck at 9:40 PM on August 20, 2009


Here's a Japanese noise band reinterpreting the Beach Boys. Amazing!
Melt Banana - Surfin' USA
posted by paperzach at 9:42 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pearl and The Puppets' cover of "use somebody" by Kings of Leon.
posted by gursky at 9:43 PM on August 20, 2009


Tori Amos did interesting covers of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:47 PM on August 20, 2009


Aztec Camera's cover of Van Halen's "Jump."

Parts of Bloodhound Gang's "Fire Water Burn" are a cover of Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three's "The Roof Is on Fire."
Roof On Fire Claims Lives Of 43 Party People
posted by kirkaracha at 9:50 PM on August 20, 2009


Nouvelle Vague does heart meltingly cute frenchy covers of 80s teen angst stuff.

Petra Haydn got a lot of college radio play for her acapella cover of journey (the guitar arpeggio imitation gets me every time).

The Knife's Heartbeats produced two exemplary covers: Jose Gonzales' and Scala's. Mr. Gonzales also does a cool version, with the feel he's known for, of Massive Attack's Teardrop. Scala, a bit of a one trick poney, has done everyone from U2 to Manu Chao.

I'm a big fan of songs covered with extremely stripped down production relative to their originals. KT Tunstall's version of the Jackson 5's I want you back, some youtuber doing aphex twin on a guitar, Local Natives doing Simon and Garfunkel, Bach on guitar - that sort of thing.

Speaking of Bach, can you believe Bobby McFerrin did Prelude in C (BWV 846) with just his voice?! I suppose that's cake next to his rendition of The Beatle's Blackbird. Speaking of the Beatles, some enterprising jamaican chaps did this all dub version of Sgt. Pepper's recently.

It became a bit of a hipster fad to do gentle acoustic versions of ganster rap. Nina Gordon channeled Ice T, Dynamite Hack reached fratboy apothesosis with their take on Boyz In The Hood, neckbeardy nerd-cum-crooner Jonathan Coulton slathered on the irony with did Baby Got Back, and Ben Folds reminded us that Bitches Ain't Shit.
posted by phrontist at 9:51 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Triple J radio in Australia have a segment called Like A Version where they get bands to do covers - you might find something you like there.

At the moment can't stop listening to Grand Atlantic's cover of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'.
posted by Emilyisnow at 9:51 PM on August 20, 2009


In a massive genre switch, Johnny Cash did a lovely interpretation of NIN's Hurt.
posted by torquemaniac at 9:54 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


More seriously, Built to Spill's cover of Neil Young's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHwwoD8U8gc, Jane's Addiction's cover of the Grateful Dead's Ripple, Firehose's cover of Sophisticated Bitch by Public Enemy, NIN's cover of Johnny Cash's Hurt and a ton covered by Cat Power come to mind.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:55 PM on August 20, 2009


Shit. Torquemaniac got it right. I'm going to bed.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:56 PM on August 20, 2009


I especially like total de-constructions:
the cubist rendition of American Woman by the Butthole Surfers (orig. The Guess Who)
Kevin Gilbert's untwisting of the Kashmir groove (orig. Led Zeppelin)
Shudder to Think's minimalist So Into You (orig. Atlanta Rhythm Section)
Lucinda William's funereal Which Will (orig. Nick Drake)
Storyville's gospel rendering of Mercy Street (orig. Peter Gabriel)
Miles Davis' hallucinatory Guinnnevere (orig. Crosby Stills & Nash)
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2009


Portland Cello Project has done Britney. Nothing compared to this fugue though. Doesn't even touch the Balanescu Quartet renditions of Kraftwerk though.

Hey! Kraftwerk! Everyone has covered them (to say nothing of sampling). Those last links are 8-bit (as in videogame music) covers. Man has that ever become a cottage industry. Coltrane to Depeche Mode.
posted by phrontist at 10:00 PM on August 20, 2009


Matter of fact, Cash had a bunch of great covers on American IV: The Man Comes Around. Check it out.
posted by torquemaniac at 10:02 PM on August 20, 2009


Save Ferris' Come on Eileen

Cranberries' Go your own way

David Lindley's Werewolves of London

Toots and the Maytals' Country Roads

to name a few
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:03 PM on August 20, 2009


Dawn Landes did Peter Bjorn & John's Young Folks in a bluegrassy sort of way.

The Red House Painters aka Sun Kil Moon did Modest Mouse's Neverending Math Equation in that suicide-soundtrack acoustic way they're so fond of.

The Postal Service did Phil Collins' Against All Odds, and then Iron and Wine did their big hit Such Great Heights.
posted by phrontist at 10:08 PM on August 20, 2009


Try this older thread for some ideas...
posted by Master Gunner at 10:13 PM on August 20, 2009


I love ThouShaltNot's cover of Front 242's Headhunter.

Also Turisas do Boney M's Rasputin.

My mix in the last MeFi swap was made up of this kind of thing; drop me a Memail and I can hook you up with the complete list.
posted by immlass at 10:14 PM on August 20, 2009


Ahmet and Dweezil Zappa's "Baby One More Time" sounds like it might be up your alley. (Apologies for the video, but it was the easiest copy I could find).
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 10:17 PM on August 20, 2009


The album Pop Artificielle by Lassigue Bendthaus.
posted by yesno at 10:24 PM on August 20, 2009


Luthor Wright and the Wrongs covering Pink Floyd's The Wall, country-fied. Suprisingly listenable and well done throughout though I am not country music's greatest fan.
posted by Sparx at 10:37 PM on August 20, 2009


I LOVE awesome covers! I'm pretty good about not linking myself, but I did a whole week of great cover songs on my blog last winter: UnderCover Week at ThaBombShelter.

Some of my all time favorites:

Doves' cover of "Blackbird"
Devotchka's cover of "Venus in Furs"
Hem's cover of "Rainy Night in Georgia"
The Bees' cover of "A Minha Menina"
Scott Walker's cover of "Jackie"
Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah"
Tally Hall's cover of "Freebird"
Calexico's cover of "Bisbee Blue"
Elbow's cover of "Live on my Mind" and "August & September"
Sublime's cover of "54-46"
Madlib's cover of "Song for my Father"

Feel free to mefi mail me if you want to hear any of them.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 10:38 PM on August 20, 2009


Cake's War Pigs is pretty good.

I see you like 80's hits, Smashing Pumpkins have done a few:

The Car's You're All I've Got Tonight

Alice Cooper's Clones (We're All)

David Essex's Rock On
posted by erikgrande at 10:47 PM on August 20, 2009


Modest Mouse and Califone covering Slayer's "South of Heaven"
Age of Chance covering Prince's "Kiss"
Bobby Bare Jr.'s alt-country version of the Smiths' "What Difference Does it Make?"
The Staples Singers covering the Talking Heads' "Slippery People"

The Flying Lizards--man, where to start? How about "Money?" The video has an amazing non-guitar guitar solo.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:04 PM on August 20, 2009


OK, I love covers. By the time this answer is over, you may be overwhelmed.

First, a few cover albums you might be interested in—they're both pop-punk flavored and 80's-centric:

The Duran Duran Tribute Album - featuring such artists as Goldfinger, Deftones, Riverfenix, Less Than Jake, Wrens, and yes, Reel Big Fish tearing up Hungry Like The Wolf.

A New Found Glory's From the Screen to Your Stereo - The Goonies 'R' Good Enough, That Thing You Do!, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, My Heart Will Go On, and oh man The Glory of Love, one of my all-time faves. ANFG also has a FtSTYS Vol. 2, which I haven't heard.

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes basically wrote the book on covering kitschy-cool songs in the pop-punk style.

Dump is James McNew's solo project (he's the bassist for Yo La Tengo also), and he's ventured pretty far out with covers (not surprising, again see Yo La Tengo). My favorite's gotta be That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice?, an entire album of re-imagined Prince songs, but there's a couple of winners on A Grown-Ass Man in Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy) and Mr. Too Damn Good (Isley Brothers)

Another artist to consider who has worked some odd covers into his repertoire is Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. His EP with Tortoise, The Brave & The Bold works through Milton Nascimento, The Minutemen, Elton John, Springsteen, and DEVO. He's also put out an album of covers of his own work, Sings Greatest Palace Music. It's a terrible listen, and a great album.

Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance. I get all teary and nostalgic just thinking about it, it's so good. They range around Bowie (The Man Who Sold the World), The Vaselines (Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam), Leadbelly (Where Did You Sleep Last Night?), and oh man oh man The Meatpuppets (Plateau, Lake of Fire, AND Oh Me).

Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out does what it says on the tin. Not exactly genre-bending, but interesting for the fact that it's a song-by-song, note-by-note cover of The Who Sell Out using only Haden's multi-tracked voice. Similarly, Pink Floyd has received a couple of notable cover albums that recreate their original works song-for-song: Luther Wright & The Wrongs' bluegrass Rebuildin' the Wall and Easy Star All-Stars' Dub Side of the Moon. The Walkmen also venture into entire album coverage, doing Harry Nilsson and John Lennon's Pussy Cats from start to finish. It's a lot of cheap fun.

Seu Jorge's The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions magically transforms David Bowie songs into a hot deck and cool breeze with sea to the horizon and nothing to do.

Cat Power can also work a cover song; she's done a few albums' worth.

See also of Montreal. The cover archive at You Ain't No Picasso has grown to 83 songs as of Montreal continues to tour and do new covers in the encore.


Now, some specific tracks that are great genre-bends:

- Clem Snide doing Christina Aguilera's Beautiful (live on YT, but the studio record can be found on the Beautiful EP.
- Marilyn Manson had two great covers near the start of his pop chart career: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) originally by The Eurythmics, and Tainted Love, which was popularized previous to MM by Soft Cell and a Levi's commercial.
- Iron & Wine's cover of The Postal Service's Such Great Heights is a dramatic genre shift, and a pretty song to boot.
- Smashing Pumpkins' b-sides disc had a couple notable covers on it: Landslide (Fleetwood Mac) and A Girl Named Sandoz (The Animals).
- OK I have to stop. More later?
posted by carsonb at 11:08 PM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I know you mentioned Mindless Self Indulgence, so you're probably aware of these, but just in case:

Warning: Below links are most likely NSFW
"Bring the Pain" (Method Man)
"Big Poppa" (Notorious B.I.G.)
with Kenny Muhammad: "La Di Da Di" (Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick)

Another fun one that comes to mind is Coal Chamber and Ozzy Osbourne's "Shock the Monkey" (Peter Gabriel)
And like the Bloodhound Gang song above, Coal Chamber's "Sway" also used part of "The Roof Is on Fire" (Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three)
posted by ataxia at 11:10 PM on August 20, 2009


OK real quick scrolling up I see some notables. The Bees' (here in America it's A Band of Bees) A Minha Menina is heartily seconded; it should be noted that Sun Kil Moon did an entire album of Modest Mouse cover songs called Tiny Cities; oh and Madlib's also completed an entire album of Stevie Wonder covers just called Stevie Vol. 1 (as Yesterday's New Quintet).
posted by carsonb at 11:14 PM on August 20, 2009


Oh, if you've seen Mulholland Drive, you might've caught this one already, but I love Rebekah del Rio's version of the Roy Orbison classic "Crying". Hers is called "Llorando", since it's in Spanish, but it was wonderfully mind-blowing when I recognized the song.
posted by Diagonalize at 11:25 PM on August 20, 2009


Pearl Jam did a fantastic cover of A Quick One While He's Away by the Who.

Less than Jake did Your Love, Teenager in Love, Jenny (867-5309), and an entire album of songs from Grease.

Johnny Socko is worth tracking down for their version of Devil Went Down to Georgia, noticeable for working in the original theme from Battlestar Galatica as well as the guitar riff from Sweet Child of Mine.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:48 PM on August 20, 2009


internet!Hannah, didn't even realize this was your post when I submitted my first answer. Gig 'em and all that. One for the road:

Built to Spill covers Daniel Johnston's Some Things Last a Long Time.
posted by erikgrande at 11:52 PM on August 20, 2009


Growing Up by David Bowie, orig. Bruce Springsteen.
In my opinion, a relatively boring song made better.
Pressure Drop by the Clash and The Specials, orig. by Toots & the Maytals.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 11:53 PM on August 20, 2009


I'm very partial to Hawksley Workman's version of Love Will Tear Us Apart.
posted by hip_plumber at 12:22 AM on August 21, 2009


I have always been a huge fan of the Blind Melon cover of 'Three Is A Magic Number' from Schoolhouse Rock, which is interesting because I've never been a big fan of Blind Melon or most cover songs. Schoolhouse Rock makes me happy, though.
posted by Rewind at 12:29 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I picked up a nifty CD a while back -- Lounge-A-Palooza -- which despite its atrocious Gen X-y name has an awesome cover of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme doing "Black Hole Sun."
posted by hawkeye at 1:03 AM on August 21, 2009


Absolutely start with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They've done various themed albums of familiar classics (like Danny's Song). And they did a great live album (recorded at a bar mitzvah) that's a good intro, with lots of great banter in between songs also.

Foo Fighters have done some cool heavy rock versions of 70s/80s songs like Baker Street, Down in the Park, and my favorite cover ever, Band on the Run.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:06 AM on August 21, 2009


Has Cake's "I Will Survive" become so mainstream that people think it's the original now?
posted by benzo8 at 1:09 AM on August 21, 2009


Oh, and speaking of lounge covers, there's also Richard Cheese and his Lounge Against the Machine.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:10 AM on August 21, 2009


Will try to honor email requests /trades...

Hevre cover/remix of Metallica ~Enter Sandman~

White Stripes cover of Son House ~Death Letter~ (Easy to find on YT.) Brilliant.

Ray Lamontangne cover of Gnarles Barkley ~ Crazy~

Streelab cover/remix of NIN ~Capital G~

Eva Cassidy cover of Fleetwood Mac ~Songbird~

Eva Cassidy cover of Stings ~Fields of Gold~

Shock of Pleasure cover of Carpenters ~Superstar~

Ministry of Sound cover/remix of Nirvana ~Smells Like Teen Spirit~

Drums of Death mix Black Sabbath ~War Pigs~

Hard -Fi cover of White Stripes ~Seven Nation Army~

Pearl Jam cover of Israel Kamakawiwaole ~Hawaii 78~

Fugees cover of ~Killing Me Softly~

Jack Johnson cover of Jimmy Buffets ~Pirate Looks at 40~

Marilyn Manson cover of ~Tainted Love~

Zwan cover of Iron Maiden ~Number of the Beast~

30 Seconds ot Mars cover of Kanye west ~Stronger~

the Reggae dub cover version of the entire Dark Side of the Moon album

Damian Marley covers of ~Move~ and ~Exodus~

Drive by Truckers cover of Paul MaCartney ~Let Me Roll it~

Marie Mckees cover of Lou Reeds ~Sweet Jane~ (the ultimate most covered cover song)

DHT cover of Heart ~Listen to your Heart~ (Slow version)

Junior Boys cover of ~So This is Goodbye~

El Lele De los Van Van Feat. Radiohead cover of Radiohead ~High and Dry~

Flying Lizards cover of Beatles ~Money~

Asperagus cover of Roxy Music ~Main Wang~

Sinead O'connor cover of ~Silent Night~
posted by Muirwylde at 1:51 AM on August 21, 2009


Nthing Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

Joan Jett's cover of "Crimson and Clover"
posted by clorox at 2:21 AM on August 21, 2009


There are absolutely dozens and dozens of bluegrass tribute albums out there - it seems to have become a musical genre all by itself. Just google the phrase - there's everything from Abba to ZZ Top. My particular favourites are Iron Horse's cover albums of tracks by The Shins and Modest Mouse. A few of the tracks are easily as good as the originals, albeit in a bluegrass mode.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:31 AM on August 21, 2009


Stayin' Alive by Supple from the Hurricane Streets soundtrack is just the bestbestbest cover of this song. Puts a whole new feel on the original (and no falsetto in hearing distance).
posted by Kerasia at 2:53 AM on August 21, 2009


Johnny Cash's covers of Beck's "Rowboat" and Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage"
Failure's cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence"
Pat Boone's "In a Metal Mood" album (includes cheesy swing arrangements of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and GnR's "Paradise City" among others)
Billy Preston's cover of The Beatles' "Blackbird"
If you like the Failure cover, you may enjoy the entire Replicants album, which is all covers - you'll never listen to "Silly Love Songs" the same way again.

Does Devo's cover of the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" count?

Oh, and how could I forget the unique stylings of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards covering "Stayin' Alive"?
posted by usonian at 3:02 AM on August 21, 2009


Awesome bluegrass cover of Viva la Vida by The Abrams Brothers. Carbon Leaf covering Crazy Train.
posted by ersatzkat at 3:56 AM on August 21, 2009


Phish -- Gin And Juice
Phish -- Getting Jiggy With It
Asleep At The Wheel -- Hot Rod Lincoln
posted by jmsta at 4:03 AM on August 21, 2009


Being late to the party, I'd strongly suggest you go here.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:38 AM on August 21, 2009


The Cure - Purple Haze (I don't even like The Cure and I LOVE this cover).
posted by biscotti at 4:56 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


  • The Polyphonic Spree covering Nirvana's "Lithium". There's something apt in having that song sound like it's performed by musicians on heavy doses of antidepressants.
  • The Revolting Cocks covering Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?". It turns the song from smarmy to raunchy.
  • Ozzy Osbourne covering The Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive". Apparently, pop really will eat itself.

posted by Johnny Assay at 5:14 AM on August 21, 2009


I have a million of these. Here are 12:

Against All Authority - Centerfold (J Geils)
Anthrax - Got the Time (J Jackson)
Avail - Pink Houses (J Mellencamp)
Earth Crisis - Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
Gob - Paint It Black (R Stones)
Good Riddance - I Melt With You (M English)
Jawbox - Cornflake Girl (T Amos)
Shades Apart - Tainted Love (S Cell) [The video is mislabeled as Social D. It's not.]
Snuff - I Will Survive (G Gaynor)
The Toasters - Secret Agent Man (S Berri, P Sloan)
Toy Dolls - Livin La Vida Loca (R Martin)
Throwdown - Baby Got Back (S Mixalot)
posted by milquetoast at 6:13 AM on August 21, 2009


I really liked the recent cover that The Fray did of Kanye West's "Heartless"-- especially to hear those emo guys of Gray's-Anatomy-theme fame sing, "I got homies."
posted by potatopeople at 6:20 AM on August 21, 2009


- Antony & the Johnsons - Crazy in Love (Beyonce cover)
- Youth Group - Forever Young (Alphaville cover)
- The Offspring - Totalimmortal (A.F.I. cover)
- TV on the Radio - Mr. Grieves (Pixies cover)
- The Flaming Lips - Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Kylie Minogue cover)
- Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Redemption Song (Bob Marley cover)
- Calexico - Corona (Minutemen cover)
- Snow Patrol - One Day Like This (Elbow cover)
- Weezer - Velouria (Pixies cover)
- The Ataris - Butterfly (Weezer cover)
- System of a Down and Alkaline Trio both did great covers of "The Metro", originally by Berlin
- "Feeling Good" is a famous and oft-covered song, but my favorite covers of it BY FAR are by Muse and My Brightest Diamond - the MBD one in particular sends chills down your spine!

Man, so many... These are just off the top of my head, I'd have to look through my collection for more.
posted by sprocket87 at 6:21 AM on August 21, 2009


Retrocrush did a list a few years ago- I got some interesting songs from that. They also did a worst list that's kind of fun too.

One of my favorites is Warren Zevon's cover of Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life". On a completely different note (ha!), I also love the Ramones doing the Spiderman theme.
posted by dogmom at 6:24 AM on August 21, 2009


Ha ha ha. You will like one I've discovered recently: John Cale's soul-crushing cover (fashioned with the help of one Brian Eno) of Elvis' 'Heartbreak Hotel.'

"You could be so lonely! I could be so lonely! We could be so lonely WE COULD DIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!"

There are a number of fantastic live re-covers of this tune on Youtube. You may want to check out my favorite, a nine-minute slow dazzle of a piano solo version which ends up with a weird and creepily frightening Cale flopping onto the floor and singing the song prostrate before ripping up the floor tiles and wearing them on his head.
posted by koeselitz at 6:28 AM on August 21, 2009


And, hell, while I'm on the subject of Elvis, I've always loved Nick Cave's excellent version, from his very first album, of 'In The Ghetto.' Nick Cave was always really good with covers.
posted by koeselitz at 6:59 AM on August 21, 2009


OK, ten more, what the hell.

Untergangskommando - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (C Lauper)
Lagwagon - Brown Eyed Girl (V Morrison)
Ignite - Sunday Bloody Sunday (U Two)
UK Subs - She's Not There (Zombies)
Brave Combo - Sixteen Tons (T E Ford) [The video is mislabeled as M Patton. It's not.]
Germ Attack - Our House (Madness)
H20 - Like A Prayer (Madonna) [No idea about the video -- just linking for the audio.]
Jack Off Jill - Lovesong (T Cure)
Sentenced - House of the Rising Sun (Trad)
Hayseed Dixie - Walk This Way (A Smith)
posted by milquetoast at 7:09 AM on August 21, 2009


Check out the end of this article from Salon
posted by jindc at 7:20 AM on August 21, 2009


Graveworm does a death metal cover of REM's "Losing My Religion." It is... something.
posted by ubersturm at 7:30 AM on August 21, 2009


So far no one's mentioned the Beautiful South's cover album--my favorites from that are "You're the One that I Want" from Grease, the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" and Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper."
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:37 AM on August 21, 2009


Metallica does a great cover of Breadfan by Budgie.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 7:38 AM on August 21, 2009


Does Devo's cover of the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" count?

Absolutely! I forgot this one last night, which is odd because I've often touted it as the greatest cover version of anything of all time. Fucking brilliant.

A few more I should have mentioned:
The Neville Brothers' version of The Ballad of Hollis Brown (orig. Bob Dylan)
Little Wing by Derek & the Dominos. (orig. Hendrix)
Papa Was a Rolling Stone by Was (Not Was) (orig. The Temptations)
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:12 AM on August 21, 2009


Oh, wow, what an epic thread. And I didn't even realize how much I love covers.

My contribution: Alien Ant Farm sings Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, complete with single glove and exclamatory "hee"s.
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:47 AM on August 21, 2009


Gary Numan's "Cars" from 1979 was covered by Fear Factory in 1999 with Numan contributing vocals to the new version. Here is a youtube link to it. I'm not usually a fan of covers ... but IMO this is an example where the cover is even better than the fantastic original version.
posted by Dave. at 9:28 AM on August 21, 2009


Snake River Conspiracy - How Soon Is Now (The Smiths).
YouTube link has distorted sound, but gives you an idea.
posted by w0mbat at 9:35 AM on August 21, 2009


I do love me some covers.

The Boy Least Likely To - Faith (George Michael Cover)
posted by somanyamys at 9:39 AM on August 21, 2009


Also, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain does some really awesome covers as well. Their version of Life on Mars is epic. (Seriously.)
posted by somanyamys at 9:42 AM on August 21, 2009


Pressure Drop by the Clash and The Specials, orig. by Toots & the Maytals

This made me think about songs we know as the cover version, where the original might surprise us.

The Paragons - "The Tide is High"
Gloria Jones - "Tainted Love"
Al Green - "Take Me to the River"
Blind Willie Johnson - "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" (A traditional, but this is the first recording of "In My Time of Dying")

A couple more Clash covers:
The Equals - "Police On My Back"
Willie Williams - "Armagideon Time"


More genre shifting:

The Cardigans - "Iron Man"
Big Black covering Kraftwerk's "The Model"
This Mortal Coil covering Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren"
Caetano Veloso covering the Talking Heads "Nothing but Flowers" (The video is a duet with David Byrne, but Veloso recorded a version on his own.)

I've been trying to think of examples where the covering artist reworked the song and made it something entirely their own. The best example could be what Jimi Hendrix did to "All Along the Watchtower," which Dylan liked so much that he started using Hendrix's arrangement when he performed his own song.

A new favorite for me is the Dirty Projectors album Rise Above, which reworks the classic Black Flag album Damaged. Supposedly when they started working on it they hadn't listened to the original in years and recreated the lyrics as best they could from memory.
Here's "Depression": BF DP
"Rise Above": BF DP


The Sound Opinions guys did a show about cover versions a few years ago. You can listen to it or just scan the list of songs here.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:46 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pennywise covers The Misfits' Astrozombies
Audiosmog covers Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone (numa numa song)
Cradle of Filth covers Hallowed be thy name by Iron Maiden
A Day to Remember covers Over My Head by The Fray
MXPX cover Vacation by The GoGos
The Unseen cover Paint it Black
Stretch Armstrong covers Get this party started by Pink
Mighty Mighty Bosstones cover Enter Sandman
Sugarcoma cover Crazy by Britney Spears
AFI cover Head Like a Hole by NIN
Riverfenix cover Ordinary World by Duran Duran
Forever the Sickest Kids cover Men in Black by Will Smith
Pixies cover Head On by Jesus and Mary Chain
Dumbstruck cover Runaround Sue
The Twits cover I woke up in Love this Morning by the Partridge Family
Emm Gryner does two brilliant covers - piano versions of Fugazis Waiting Room and Ozzys Crazy Train
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:47 AM on August 21, 2009


Also Slayer did an album of covers - I particularly enjoy Violent Pacification and Richard Hung Himself.
Seaweed did Go Your Own Way.
Frente covers Bizarre Love Triangle
Burning Airlines does Back of Love by Echo and the Bunnymen
Split Lip covers Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil
Donnas cover Dancing With Myself
Atreyu cover You give love a bad name
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:57 AM on August 21, 2009


kt tunstalls cover of bloc party's the prayer - turns a dumb dance track to a soulful haunted uplifting meditation on ambition
posted by lalochezia at 12:34 PM on August 21, 2009




Type O Negative (goth-y doom metal) generally puts a cover song on each of their CDs. They have ones of Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young), Summer Breeze - song starts at about 2 minutes in - (Seals & Crofts), and a Beatles medley that I particularly enjoy since the genres of the originals are so far from what these covers end up being.
posted by meggan at 2:17 PM on August 21, 2009


Creep - Scala
posted by Gotham at 3:02 PM on August 21, 2009


Dolly Parton's cover of Stairway to Heaven. No kidding.

The lovely, evocative version of Mad World from "Donnie Darko" by Gary Jules.

Kind of fun, sometimes kind of funny: Dub Side of the Moon, a reggae tribute to Pink Floyd. Here's Money (try to get past the initial bong reference).

Cat Power's Satisfaction and New York, New York

Rock el Casbah by Rachid Taha.

Big Muff, My Funny Valentine (terrible sound on the YouTube versions; remix here)

M.I.A.'s cover (with liberties) of the Pixie's Where is My Mind.

Betty LaVette's covers of Joan Armatrading's Down to Zero (on last.fm) and Fiona Apple's (!) Sleep to Dream (only could find the live version on YouTube here).
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:04 PM on August 21, 2009


Bon Iver's cover of Sarah Siskind's "Lovin's for Fools." Transcendental. The goods are at 2:00.
posted by kitcat at 3:06 PM on August 21, 2009


I almost forgot: Bjork's jazz alblum Gling Glo has some wonderful covers of standards, such as Ruby Baby (compare to the Beatles here) and Petula Clarks' Downtown (compare to here). And while we're at it, you might want to check out Bjorkestra. Not saying they come even close to St. Guðmundsdóttir herself (could anyone?) but they do what they do in a way that can be interesting.



Oh, and best thread evah!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 3:11 PM on August 21, 2009


Counting Crows is one of my favorite bands, and they have done a few covers:

Amie, by Pure Prairie League
Big Yellow Taxi by Jonie Mitchell
Blues Run the Game by Jackson C Frank (my favorite song they cover)
Friend of the Devil by Grateful Dead

Some interesting interpretations.
posted by Draccy at 3:55 PM on August 21, 2009


God, I love good covers.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) - Greg Laswell
Crazy Love (Van Morrison) - Jason Manns
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Bob Dylan) - Nick Drake
9 to 5 (Dolly Parton) - Willis
and pretty much every cover of Helter Skelter ever.

(ignore the visuals on some of those videos, obviously).
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:05 PM on August 21, 2009


Motherlode. You Tube search string "cover of" returns 871,000 results.
posted by Muirwylde at 6:40 PM on August 21, 2009


Jason Falkner! I first became a fan of his with his awesome cover of "Both Sides Now," which rocks. It's from the all-covers second disc of his 2001 album Everyone Says It's On. Another favorite from that one is the hidden track of "Photograph" (originally Def Leppard).

Also, he did three albums of Bedtime with the Beatles, though it's lullabye-ish and probably not what you're looking for (although it's nice!).
posted by Madamina at 7:31 PM on August 21, 2009


Metallica's cover of Breadfan comes from Garage Inc. which is two discs of nothing but covers.
posted by ericales at 6:30 AM on August 22, 2009






You know what? Annie Lennox's cover of Neil Young's Don't Let it Bring You Down is really good, too.

I don't know what to say about the video but I kind of like it?
posted by juliplease at 10:55 AM on August 22, 2009


OK, a few more.

Daniel Johnston was brought up earlier, and if you like Built to Spill like I like Built to Spill, you'll probably also dig The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered. Disc 1 is all covers (Clem Snide again!, T.V. on the Radio, Eels, Calvin Johnston (no relation), Beck, Sparklehorse w/ The Flaming Lips, Guster, Tom Waits, M. Ward, etc.) and disc 2 has the originals for comparison. Ward's done another Johnston cover as well, To Go Home (original).

UNCUT Magazine put out a couple of Bob Dylan tribute CDs a few years ago that are pretty awesome through and through. Hard Rain Vol. 1 has The Waterboys, pieces of Sonic Youth, Cat Power, The Hollies, Mary Lou Lord, Todd Rundgren, etc. Vol. 2 is excellent, with Echo & the Bunnymen, Yo La Tengo, Paul Westerberg, Robyn Hitchcock, Ani DiFranco, Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, etc. Dylan Country also has some winners on it.

I'll second The Flaming Lips doing Kylie Minogue; their Can't Get You Out of My Head is just as earwormy as the original, but on the other end of the musical spectrum.

Warren Haynes' morning set at Bonnaroo from a few years ago has him doing Radiohead's 'Lucky' and U2's 'One'. From the AMG review: The performance should be taken in context, considered as a sort of Sunday brunch performance for the jam band audience who went to Bonnaroo. For them, it was perfect, and for listeners already familiar with one or more of Haynes' group endeavors*, it may be quite a kick to hear these songs stripped down to what amount to folk arrangements. *[Gov't Mule, Allman Bros., Phil Lesh & Friends] At the least, he's definitely genre-hopping.

Alright, this one I'm ashamed for having left off the first list: !!! (Chk Chk Chk's) little EP of Take Ecstasy With Me (Magnetic Fields) b/w Get Up (Nate Dogg) is great.
posted by carsonb at 12:29 PM on August 22, 2009


Everything on Richard Thompson's 1000 Years of Popular Music, but especially "Orange Coloured Sky," "Tempted," and especially especially "Oops! I Did It Again."
posted by kristi at 12:56 PM on August 22, 2009


SomaFM currently has a channel that is completely covers.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 7:03 PM on August 22, 2009


Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Tortoise collaboration cover of "Thunder Road" is just beautiful. Plenty of other good covers on the album, The Brave and the Bold.
posted by cl at 5:20 PM on August 23, 2009


Travis - Hit me baby one more time (Britney Spears)
Thrice - Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)
posted by MechEng at 6:48 PM on August 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see someone's already recommended Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Redemption Song, but here's a video to make Joe Strummer fans sad
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:11 PM on August 23, 2009


Oh, I forgot--Grant-Lee Phillips did an entire cover album of 80s songs (not necessarily hits) called Nineteeneighties. I liked a lot of it--his version of the Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation" was good.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:45 PM on August 23, 2009


No one's mentioned the Wall of Voodoo remake of Ring of Fire. . . .
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 11:04 PM on August 23, 2009


Milow - Ayo Technology
posted by MechEng at 9:00 AM on April 19, 2010


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