Best/Worst "Cover Version" songs?

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kornchild2002

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Yep, Cameo originally performed "Word Up!" but Korn put out a cover of that song back in 2004.
Here is my list of good covers:
Korn - Another Brick In The Wall (Parts 1, 2, 3)
Disturbed - Land Of Confusion
Pantera - Planet Caravan
Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence (not the best cover song but they turned it into their own)
Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
Korn & Cheech Marin - Earche My Eye
Sacred Reich - War Pigs
A Perfect Circle - Imagine

Some bad covers:
It Dies Today - Enjoy The Silence
Anthrax - Bring Tha Noize
Demon Hunter - Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck
Linkin Park - Wish (sorry, Trent is the man, it is hard to follow in his footsteps)
Wicked Wisdom - Yesterday Don't Mean (it isn't really a cover but the title of the song and the majority of the lyrics rip off Pantera so I lumped it in there)
 

javelina

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My Cool Covers

Here are some covers from my "Cool Covers" playlist that haven't been mentioned yet:

The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul - Ruben Blades (Originally XTC)
Black Steel - Tricky (Public Enemy)
Louder Than A Bomb - Tiga (Public Enemy)
Superstar - Sonic Youth (Carpenters)
Live and Let Die - Sex Mob (Paul McCartney)
Simply Irresistible - Rilo Kiley (Robert Palmer)
Black Diamond - The Replacements (Kiss)
Follow You, Follow Me - The Red House Painters (Genesis)
Maggie's Farm - Rage Against The Machine (Bob Dylan)
Winterlong - The Pixies (Neil Young)
Plateau - Nirvana (Meat Puppets)
Crazy - Nelly Furtado (Gnarls Barkley)
That's Entertainment - Morrissey (The Jam)
Oops I Did It Again - Max Raabe (Britney Spears)
Desperado - The Langley School Project (Eagles)
Thirteen - Elliot Smith (Big Star)
Gin and Juice - The Gourds (Snoop Dog)
Feel Like Making Love - Hayseed Dixie (Bad Company)
Everybody Knows - Concrete Blonde (Leonard Cohen)
The Candy Man - Cibo Matto (Sammy Davis Jr.)
I Found A Reason - Cat Power a.k.a. Chan Marshall (Velvet Underground - any song from "The Covers Record" by her is good)
Take Me To the River - Talking Heads (Al Green)
The Scientist - Johnette Napolitano (Coldplay)
I Will Survive - Cake (Gloria Gaynor)
Heaven - Buffalo Tom (The Psychedelic Furs)
Jump - Aztec Camera (Van Halen)
I Wanna Be Adored - Axton Kincaid (The Stone Roses)
Just - Alex Greenwald (Radiohead)
Seven Nation Army - The Flaming Lips (music by the White Stripes with the lyrics from "Going to Florida" by the Butthole Surfers)
 

clearyt1

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Great Covers on my iPod

Here are some of my favorite covers on my iPod: Song (Artist->Original Composer)

Benny and the Jets (Beastie Boys->Elton John)
The Magic Number (De La Soul->Steely Dan/Classic Arrangement)
Greatest Hits (G. Love->Sublime)
Ceremony (Galaxie 500->Joy Divison via New Order)
Gone Daddy Gone (Gnarls Barkley->Violent Femmes)
Doin' Time (Greyboy All-Stars->Sublime)
There Stands the Glass (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion->Webb Pierce)
Travelling Riverside Blues (Led Zeppelin-> Robert Johnson)
Gloria (Patti Smith and totally made her own->Them/Van Morrison)
Maggie's Farm (Rage Against the Machine->Bob Dylan)
I'm Housin' (Rage Against the Machine->EPMD)
Down on the Street (Rage Against the Machine->The Stooges)
It's a Long Way to the Top (If you wanna rock n' roll) (School of Rock->AC/DC, sorry gotta give credit where credit's due)
Scarlet Begonias (Sublime->Grateful Dead)
Grown So Ugly (The Black Keys->Robert Williams via Captain Beefheart)
She Said, She Said (The Black Keys->The Beatles)
Tears of a Clown (The English Beat->Smokey Robinson)
Victoria (The Fall->The Kinks)
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (The Feelies->The Beatles)
Young Man Blues (The Who->Mose Allison)
Soul Kitchen (X->The Doors, absolutely nailing it as their own with Ray Manzarek at the helm in the studio)
If 6 was 9 (Zen Guerrilla, my college buds->Jimi Hendrix)

As for bad cover songs, there are so many out there, from Pat Boone thru Britney Spears, that I've nearly successfully blotted most from my mind (though this post has graciously opened that Pandora's Box again).

How about the best covers on anyone else's iPod
 

ahmedh

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best:
bring it on home, originally by sonny boy but done amazingly by led zeppelin off of led zeppelin II
back door man, originally by willie dixion, but done amazingly by the doors off their self titled debut
come together, displaying lennon's songwriting prowess but given a great growling rendition by steven tyler and aerosmith
bob dylan's fantastic cover of the animals' fantastic cover of the classic folk song 'house of the rising sun'

worst:
baba o'reilly, done by the who, massacred by limp bizkit. i cringed when i heard it
anything from american idol
give me the beat boys, done by bob seger, killed by uncle krackerface
 

Ender1490

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kornchild2002 said:
Some bad covers:
Linkin Park - Wish (sorry, Trent is the man, it is hard to follow in his footsteps)
Thank you. I hate how all the Linkin Park fans are always like, "OMG, LP is sooo much better than Nine Inch Nails!!!! They made that song sound better!!!"
 

kornchild2002

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Ender1490 said:
Thank you. I hate how all the Linkin Park fans are always like, "OMG, LP is sooo much better than Nine Inch Nails!!!! They made that song sound better!!!"
It is not that I don't think it sounded bad. I think it isn't bad for a modern day cover song. However, when compared to the Nine Inch Nails original song, it just doesn't touch it. Cover songs are so hard to do because most good covers are from classic songs. Most of the times, these classic songs don't need to be re-done but, every once in a while, an artist can come out with a good cover song that they make their own while still paying homage to the original version. A good example of this is Johny Cash's cover of Hurt. He took that song and kept it in the same style as the original but he made it his own. I think making a cover song your own is one of the most important steps.
 

Ender1490

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kornchild2002 said:
It is not that I don't think it sounded bad. I think it isn't bad for a modern day cover song. However, when compared to the Nine Inch Nails original song, it just doesn't touch it. Cover songs are so hard to do because most good covers are from classic songs. Most of the times, these classic songs don't need to be re-done but, every once in a while, an artist can come out with a good cover song that they make their own while still paying homage to the original version. A good example of this is Johny Cash's cover of Hurt. He took that song and kept it in the same style as the original but he made it his own. I think making a cover song your own is one of the most important steps.
I think LP's cover of Wish is decent too, but I'm just ####ed off how all the LP fans claim LP made the song "better" when the original studio version clearly blows it out of the water. And when talking about a live version of Wish, forget it. NIN clearly takes the cake.

PS: Cash's version of Hurt is pretty good, but it's not my style.
 

akatsuki

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Covers are tricky

I would suggest these two as good covers:

Tricky's cover of Public Enemy's "Black Steel"
Jose Gonzalez's cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats"
Tori Amos does a lot of cool covers as B-sides/bootlegs.

Bad covers aren't even worth listing.
 

Pikemann_Urge

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Interesting discussion. I love Tina Cousins' cover (ballad version) of Black's Wonderful Life. As to bad covers, I can think of a few (but don't know the performers) and mostly agree with other people's opinions here. I get the feeling that some performers do covers for cheap and easy attention.
 

FarSight010

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Pearl Jam's recent cover of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" is really fantastic. I probably favor the original, but I really like the intensity Eddie Vedder brings to the song.
 

dimmer

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akatsuki said:
Tricky's cover of Public Enemy's "Black Steel"
Jose Gonzalez's cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats"
Great covers both of them, and quite different to the originals.
Also The Byrd's Mr Tambourine Man is a great Dylan cover, to get away from AATW and Hendrix for once.

Some bad covers are worth listing - for example Mrs Miller covering Downtown or A Hard Day's Night is so awesomely bad that it is almost art. You don't get the full extent of the horror from a small sample but try a listen at Amazon

As bad a joke is Pat Boone covering metal, No More Mr Nice Guy indeed. I can't begin to pick the worst on this album, but the Metallica cover is kind of awesome in a very misguided way.

Superficially similar to Mr Boone, but more problematic is Paul Anka's Rock Swings, but Nirvana reinvented as big band jazz is sure to annoy more than a few. I secretly suspect that this album is actually quite good, but of course I will never admit it publicly.
 
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the4starish

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Good:

Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love (Soft Cell Cover)
Pennywise - Stand by Me (Ben E. King Cover)
Incubus - Still Not a Player (Big Pun Cover)
Buckcherry - Anything Anything (Dramarama Cover)
Frickin A - Jessies Girl (Rick Springfield Cover)
Lenny Kravitz - American Woman (The Guess Who Cover)
Reel Big Fish - Take On Me (Ah-Ha Cover)
Maroon 5 - Highway to Hell (AC/DC Cover)
Nirvana - Lake of Fire (Meat Puppets Cover)
Orgy - Blue Monday (New Order Cover)
Yellowcard - Everywhere (Michelle Branch Cover)
Save Ferris - Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners Cover)
Spiderbait - Black Betty (Ram Jam Cover)
Suicide Machines - What I Like About You (The Romantics)
And the ABSOLUTE BEST cover is Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (Judy Garland/Louis Armstrong). If you haven't heard it, I definately reccomend just listening to it atleast once.

As for the Worst, I compiled the best list using my iPod, so if I think its one of the "worst" covers, I wouldn't have it on my iPod. But off the top of my head, while I love 311, their cover of The Cure's Love Song is awful. So is Sheryl Crow's cover of Gun N Roses Sweet Child o Mine.
 

tawriffic

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Best:

Pearl Jam - Last kiss (not sure who did the original)
Jose Gonzales - Love will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
K T Tunstall - Tangled Up In Blue (another Dylan cover for the list)
Joshua Radin - Only You (The Yaz or Yazoo)
 

yashin

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Wilco doing Big Star's Thirteen
Teenage Fanclub doing the Pastels' Nothing To Be Done
Jenny Lewis doing the Travelling Wilburys' Handle With Care
Primal Scream doing Motorhead's Motorhead
 

yashin

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javelina said:
Here are some covers from my "Cool Covers" playlist that haven't been mentioned yet:

Thirteen - Elliot Smith (Big Star)
Gin and Juice - The Gourds (Snoop Dog)
Take Me To the River - Talking Heads (Al Green)
Heaven - Buffalo Tom (The Psychedelic Furs)
I Wanna Be Adored - Axton Kincaid (The Stone Roses)
I need to look up Elliot Smith's Big Star cover, it's a classic song.
The Gourds comedy bluegrass version of Gin and Juice is hilarious.
Talking Heads could do no wrong, IMO.
Buffalo Tom are criminally underrated.

I'm opposed to any Stone Roses covers on religious grounds, but I'd be intrigued to to hear this one. ;)
 

Huskerz85

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If you like the old stuff.........

"Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Joe Lynn Turner aint that bad :cool:
 

paavopetie

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William Shatner, both best & worst cover artist

boxlunch said:
worst/funniest: William Shatner doing Common People (Pulp)
Come on, Shatner's version of Common People is one of the best covers EVAR!

But his cover of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds off his Transformed Man album is by faaaaaaaaaaaaaar the worst cover.

Bette Midler covered the Ben Folds Five song "Boxing" quite horribly as well.

And if we go by commercial success, the Counting Crows "Big Yellow Taxi" is probably the best cover in history.
 

gilmourbto2001

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Nice thread . . .

Best -

Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel the Noize (Slade)
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Wing and Voodoo Chile (Jimi)

Worst -

I hate all those crappy "electronica does the '80s or pickin' on the '80s" type albums where they get these performers you've never heard (and for good reason) and they cover songs that should have been left alone.


My 2 cents . . .
 

superpoincare

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George Michael's "Somebody To Love" is not only the best cover but the BEST LIVE ACT ever!
 

threemilechild

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A few of my favourites have already been mentioned, but here's a few new ones:

Good:
Suck - NIN (Pigface... though I still prefer the original)
Blue Monday - Flunk (New Order... an ok song to begin with, a perfect song by Flunk)
1969 - Solex (The Stooges... fun either way)
If 6 Was 9 - Tori Amos (Hendrix)
This Corrosion - Lambchop (Sisters of Mercy)
Purple Haze - The Cure (Jimi... it's not that this song is so so great, but simply that they managed to do a cover so unlike the original that was still any good at all)

Bad:
American Woman - Lenny Kravitz (The Guess Who). Lenny Kravitz has no soul.
Piece of My Heart - Faith Hill (Erma Franklin, probably via Janis. Faith Hill is the reason I stopped listening to country radio.)
 
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