Page 1 of 8

Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:02 am UTC
by luvnotwar
This might be controversial. I think Tool's cover of Led Zeppelin's No Quarter was better than the original.

Pretty much every cover ever made of The Left Banke's only hit Walk Away Renee is better than the original, but Neko Case's version is my favorite.

The Vanilla Fudge version of You Keep Me Hanging On is better than The Supremes version, but The Supremes are still better overall.

Post covers you think are better than the original and stuff.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:05 am UTC
by Naurgul
I like the Metallica version of Smoke on the Water.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:11 am UTC
by poxic
Some covers are widely acknowledged as better: Johnny Cash's Hurt, for an iconic example. Blinded by the Light as recorded by Manfred Mann. China Girl by Bowie, original by Iggy Pop (this one is debatable, maybe). Heck, Bowie has been known to cover his own material, and do it better the second time (no examples come to mind, but I'll think of one).

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:14 am UTC
by TaintedDeity
Bauhaus' cover of 'Ziggy Stardust'
I remember reading somewhere that Bowie himself prefers this version of the song, though that's probably not true.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:56 am UTC
by shieldforyoureyes
poxic wrote:Some covers are widely acknowledged as better: Johnny Cash's Hurt, for an iconic example. Blinded by the Light as recorded by Manfred Mann. China Girl by Bowie, original by Iggy Pop (this one is debatable, maybe). Heck, Bowie has been known to cover his own material, and do it better the second time (no examples come to mind, but I'll think of one).


Bowie co-wrote China Girl. It originally appeared on one of the Bowie-produced Iggy albums.

I generally like Hendrix and SRV, but I can't stand Voodoo Child by either of them. I like Angelique Kidjo's version though. Her version of Gimme Shelter is also great.

All covers by Nina Hagen, and Melt-Banana are fantastic.

Fear's "We Gotta Get Out of This Place".

Diamanda Galas "I Put a Spell On You".

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:58 am UTC
by psychosomaticism
Jimmi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." I don't mind the original, but I think Dylan had better stuff in later albums.

Also Metallica's cover of "Astronomy" by Blue Oyster Cult was better, imho.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:58 am UTC
by Izawwlgood
I thought Gobs rendition of Paint it Black was really good, although I love the first one as well.

Anything by an Irish punk rock band.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:38 am UTC
by Mokele
"I love Rock & Roll" was actually originally by The Arrows, but the Joan Jett cover has become the defining version.

I like both, but I prefer the Guns N Roses cover of "Sympathy for the Devil".

On a lighter note, Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" was f***ing awful, but the Alanis Morissette parody / cover video was just hilarious.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:54 am UTC
by Midnight
siouxie and the banshee's cover of dear prudence. JC's cover of Hurt. SRV's cover of voodoo child.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:33 am UTC
by 1337geek
The Monkees' cover of Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer," of course. And UB40 did a good version of his "Red Red Wine." (Not ragging on Neil, he's brilliant. But gotta give props where they're due.)

Also, I love Bob Dylan as a songwriter, but blech, sometimes he doesn't do his own songs justice. Johnny Cash doing "It Ain't Me Babe" and Katie Melua doing "Blowin' in the Wind" are amazing. (Ironically, the Rolling Stones' cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" is NOT better. Ugh ugh ugh!)

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:38 am UTC
by TheAmazingRando
Glad to see nobody's mention any indie/alternative covers of rap songs. God those are terrible.

I like Okkervil River's cover of Sloop John B. (John Allyn Smith sails), but that's more just a folk song that was most famously performed by the Beach Boys, so I'm not sure if it counts as a cover.

Jeff Buckley's cover of Hallelujah is better than Leonard Cohen's original, but he also leaves out one of my favorite verses, so it isn't like it makes it obsolete.

I prefer SunnO)))'s cover of For Whom The Bell Tolls better than Metallica's original, but that's mainly just because I like drone a lot more than I like Metallica, and the cover is hardly recognizable as such.

Six Organs of Admittance's cover of Thicker Than A Smokey (which I'd never heard before it) is potentially better than the original. It's pretty similar, but it sounds less polished and has more of the unstable, skilled but sloppy psych-folk drone trappings of Six Organs which work better than the more polished original, I think, for the psychedelic feel it's going for. Plus its placement on the album is perfect, a lot of covers seem sort of unnecessary but here it seems like anything but a cover of an old, obscure psych-folk song (except maybe the original itself) wouldn't have the same effect.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:11 am UTC
by Pez Dispens3r
Grinspoon did a cover of INXS's "Don't Change" which is quite tidy, and I also like No Doubt's "It's My Life": whether those are better than their source material, rather than just updated, is debatable, but I fall towards the former opinion.

Izawwlgood wrote:Anything by an Irish punk rock band.
Blegh: I'm generally a fan of punk covers, but I don't rate Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, if that's who you're referring to. They strike me a little as, "Have we mentioned that we're Irish in the last five minutes?"

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:57 am UTC
by Chavroux
shieldforyoureyes wrote:Diamanda Galas "I Put a Spell On You".

Second that. The same for her version of "Gloomy Sunday" and "The Thrill Is Gone".

I also like the Johnny Cash version of "One" (U2) much better than the original, and once you've heard the Judas Priest version of "Paint It Black" or Megadeth playing "Paranoid" you won't bother listening to the original again.

Oh, and "7 Seconds" by Love Like Blood.

"Tainted Love" by Coil, "The Final Countdown" by Laibach and "Like A Virgin" by Masonna are rather interesting covers too.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:58 am UTC
by charliepanayi
1337geek wrote:Also, I love Bob Dylan as a songwriter, but blech, sometimes he doesn't do his own songs justice. Johnny Cash doing "It Ain't Me Babe" and Katie Melua doing "Blowin' in the Wind" are amazing.


Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. There is no known universe where Katie Melua can do a Bob Dylan song better than Bob Dylan.

It's not the most original choice, but both John Cale and Jeff Buckley's versions of Hallelujah are great.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:25 pm UTC
by Naurgul
psychosomaticism wrote:Jimmi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."
I personally prefer the Michael Hedges version of the song.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:49 pm UTC
by PatrickRsGhost
charliepanayi wrote:
1337geek wrote:Also, I love Bob Dylan as a songwriter, but blech, sometimes he doesn't do his own songs justice. Johnny Cash doing "It Ain't Me Babe" and Katie Melua doing "Blowin' in the Wind" are amazing.


Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. There is no known universe where Katie Melua can do a Bob Dylan song better than Bob Dylan.


I think the same could be said for any popular artist or band of today trying to do a cover of a song from 3 decades ago. I remember seeing a Target commercial with the Jonas Brothers doing a cover of the Beatles' "Hello Goodbye" and another where they did "With A Little Help From My Friends". I wanted to shoot myself.

"Imagine the great John Lennon spinning in his grave..."

Speaking of "With A Little Help...", I think the best cover was by Joe Cocker, which was used as the "theme song" for that old TV show "The Wonder Years."

As for best Dylan covers, Peter, Paul and Mary did a good cover of "Blowin' In The Wind", as well as covering John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

I think Seal did a good cover of Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle".

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:51 pm UTC
by shieldforyoureyes
Chavroux wrote:
shieldforyoureyes wrote:Diamanda Galas "I Put a Spell On You".

Second that. The same for her version of "Gloomy Sunday" and "The Thrill Is Gone".

I also like the Johnny Cash version of "One" (U2) much better than the original, and once you've heard the Judas Priest version of "Paint It Black" or Megadeth playing "Paranoid" you won't bother listening to the original again.

Oh, and "7 Seconds" by Love Like Blood.

"Tainted Love" by Coil, "The Final Countdown" by Laibach and "Like A Virgin" by Masonna are rather interesting covers too.


I saw Diamanda do a Johnny Cash song live (or... a song Cash was known for - did he write it?) - "25 Minutes To Go".

The best Black Sabbath cover has to be Cindy and Bert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIYRFvQMh7A

Lightning Bolt's Guitar Wolf cover is good.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:04 pm UTC
by sje46
The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.

I like the covers of Hallelujah better than the original.

I generally prefer the Beatles' covers to the originals, such as Twist and Shout. Usually, the most famous version is famous for a reason.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:29 pm UTC
by PatrickRsGhost
sje46 wrote:The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.


It's originally by the Beatles, not the Monkees.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:30 pm UTC
by sje46
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
sje46 wrote:The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.


It's originally by the Beatles, not the Monkees.

That's clearly Townshend's voice.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:46 pm UTC
by PatrickRsGhost
sje46 wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
sje46 wrote:The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.


It's originally by the Beatles, not the Monkees.

That's clearly Townshend's voice.


Nope, it's actually Ringo's, but I can see where one can easily get confused. A lot of their songs sound like other bands'. Some of their early works sound almost like something the Beach Boys would sing, or the Monkees.

And besides, Townshend was nowhere near those music hacks known as The Monkees. He was in The Who.

Edit: Correct info about Pete Townshend.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:56 pm UTC
by philsov
Glad to see nobody's mention any indie/alternative covers of rap songs. God those are terrible.


Maine - I Wanna Love You. It's worlds better and a very catchy tune. Sorry, had to :p

Older songs better known as covered not yet mentioned (I don't think):

Peter, Paul, and Mary - Leaving on a Jet Plane (poor Jon Denver)
Aretha Franklin - Respect (poor Otis Redding)

Otherwise:
Alison Krauss - Carolina in my Mind
Sarah McLachlan - Blackbird
Sheryl Crow - Mother Nature's Son
Jennifer Saunders - Holding Out For a Hero
Anberlin - Love Song (I really can't stand the guy from the Cure's voice. PS - die 311)
10000 Maniacs - Because the Night

and... Metallica - Whiskey in the Jar.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:30 pm UTC
by PatrickRsGhost
philsov wrote:Older songs better known as covered not yet mentioned (I don't think):

Peter, Paul, and Mary - Leaving on a Jet Plane (poor John Denver)


Fix'd.

Scroll up a few posts and you'll see where I mentioned them covering Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind" as well as Denver's "Leaving On A Jet Plane". I think their version of "Leaving" is better, because it's a bit slower, and more heartfelt. That, and I've heard it more than I have Denver's original.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:24 am UTC
by sje46
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
sje46 wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
sje46 wrote:The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.


It's originally by the Beatles, not the Monkees.

That's clearly Townshend's voice.


Nope, it's actually Ringo's, but I can see where one can easily get confused. A lot of their songs sound like other bands'. Some of their early works sound almost like something the Beach Boys would sing, or the Monkees.

And besides, Townshend was nowhere near those music hacks known as The Monkees. He was in The Who.

Edit: Correct info about Pete Townshend.

WHOOOSH

;)

I'm a huge Beatles and Who fan. Probably on these boards.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:33 am UTC
by 1337geek
charliepanayi wrote:
1337geek wrote:Also, I love Bob Dylan as a songwriter, but blech, sometimes he doesn't do his own songs justice. Johnny Cash doing "It Ain't Me Babe" and Katie Melua doing "Blowin' in the Wind" are amazing.

Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. There is no known universe where Katie Melua can do a Bob Dylan song better than Bob Dylan.

Have you heard it? To each his own, of course, but I think she does it beautifully.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7-Tb_FsWRw

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:56 pm UTC
by luvnotwar
I like Frou Frou's cover of Holding Out For A Hero the best.

Radiohead did a wicked good cover of Nobody Does It Better.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:43 am UTC
by quadripedman
I'm going to have to go with Killswitch Engage's cover of Holy Diver. It is amazing.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:25 am UTC
by lu6cifer
Hendrix version of American Woman is very good.

And speaking of covers, some band did a reggae cover of some Pink Floyd albums (I think The Wall? Or maybe it was Dark Side of the Moon), which I thought was pretty interesting.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:02 am UTC
by Various Varieties
sje46 wrote:The first one that comes to mind is With a Little Help From My Friends, orig by the Monkees, covered by Joe Cocker. It's just...wow. There was a funny Youtube video up that they took down, that "translated" his mumbled singing into pictures.

Fear not, it's still there! :mrgreen:

lu6cifer wrote:And speaking of covers, some band did a reggae cover of some Pink Floyd albums (I think The Wall? Or maybe it was Dark Side of the Moon), which I thought was pretty interesting.

Yes, Dub Side of the Moon by the Easy Star All-Stars. I haven't heard that, but Radiodread - their version of OK Computer - is great. ("Jah loves his children...")

Oooh, checking those Wikipedia articles just now I see they've done a new one called Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band. Now that I've got to hear!

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:57 am UTC
by apricity
Gary Jules and Adam Lambert both did better versions of "Mad World" than Tears for Fears originally did.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:38 am UTC
by Sandry
Revolting Cocks - D'Ya Think I'm Sexy? Takes a horrible, unfortunate song and makes it actually pretty awesome.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:54 am UTC
by parkaboy
Sandry wrote:Revolting Cocks - D'Ya Think I'm Sexy? Takes a horrible, unfortunate song and makes it actually pretty awesome.


fan-fucking-TASTIC contribution!

I'll say The Cramps covering Fever (orig. by Peggy Lee. also covered wonderfully by Ella Fitzgerald and not so wonderfully by a lot of other people)

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:14 am UTC
by shieldforyoureyes
Sandry wrote:Revolting Cocks - D'Ya Think I'm Sexy? Takes a horrible, unfortunate song and makes it actually pretty awesome.


Tiny Tim's version of that can't be beat.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:13 am UTC
by Phill
My wife prefers the Pet Shop Boys version of "You're always on my mind". Not sure about it myself but it is different.

I prefer the Guns'n'Roses version of "Live and Let Die".

Also the Muse version of "Feeling Good".

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:07 am UTC
by scrt_rbt_agnt
surprised to see no zeppelin songs in here. obviously their version of "when the levee breaks" is way better than the orig. also noteworthy, while maybe not better perasay, is xiu xiu's cover of "fast car" orig by tracy chapman.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:54 am UTC
by Venture
poxic wrote:Some covers are widely acknowledged as better: Johnny Cash's Hurt, for an iconic example.


His version of hurt was incredible. I actually thought it was the original for a while.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:09 am UTC
by Skythe
Sam Tsui's version of Don't Stop Believing (Journey)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIoSTbPt_PI

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:54 am UTC
by TheAmazingRando
I completely forgot about Nirvana's cover of The Man Who Sold The World until I heard it on the radio today. David Bowie is a much better songwriter than he is a performer, the cover gives it a passion and immediacy that the original version lacks.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:42 am UTC
by scrt_rbt_agnt
then again, kurt could give anything passion and immediacy. it is a great cover though.

Re: Covers That Are Better Than The Originals

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:14 am UTC
by Midnight
[quote="scrt_rbt_agnt"]surprised to see no zeppelin songs in here. obviously their version of "when the levee breaks" is way better than the orig.

Well, two things: One... the OP mentions Zeppelin. Says that Tool did No Quarter better. Secondly

WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS ISN'T ORIGINAL? YOU JUST ROCKED MY WORLD. VIEW.