The Best Cover of All Time – The Final Countdown

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Will

Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Clint says:

    Otis Redding = victor.Report

  2. Avatar Pinky says:

    I’m jumping in way late on this one, but I’ve got to say that you had Ray Lamontagne nominated, and a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, but you have to check out Lamontagne’s cover of Crazy.Report

  3. Avatar Lucas says:

    Galaxie 500 covering New Order/Joy Division’s ‘Ceremony’:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suxw2FcpKpI

    The studio version is on a release of their album “On Fire”, I think.

    Or Sonic Youth covering ‘Superstar’ by The Carpenters (got somewhat popular after it was featured in “Juno”):

    Report

  4. Avatar joeyhepatitis says:

    Hip-hop covers that are released on albums seem pretty rare. The only one that really popped in my head was Def Squad’s cover of Rapper’s Delight, which improves on the original in that they cut it to a much more manageable length – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PKhMe3e0uU
    But I think it’s a pretty big staple of hip-hop shows to perform covers, or at least snippets of covers, during live shows. Nas did Microphone Fiend or My Melody by Eric B and Rakim on some MTV special (can’t find the video) but the covers always seem to signal respect to the original rappers/producers as opposed to a re-imagination that the best covers do. That sort of re-imagination of hip-hop songs would be more of a putting original verses over borrowed beats, but I wouldn’t consider it a cover.
    I love Susanna and The Magical Orchestra doing It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock & Roll but I can’t find a video.
    Dinosaur Jr covering Show Me The Way – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8z8Sk2to1U
    White Stripes covering Jolene – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE3-q-aoFZI
    Dirtbombs doing Ode To A Black Man – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3ifQ7Se2JEReport

    • Avatar JosephFM in reply to joeyhepatitis says:

      Unfortunately, there isn’t a good quality recording of it (for copyright reasons I imagine), but for sheer ridiculousness I really dig the cover of ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by my undead-revolutionary friends in Zombies! Organize!! But I am biased as they are friends of mine.

      Crappy version here:

      Report

  5. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Did anybody pick Johny Cash’s version of “Hurt”? Or “All Along the Watchtower” by Hendrix?Report

  6. The Byrds’ cover of Mr. Tambourine Man is vastly inferior to the original, not only does it leave out most of the verse, it’s also only about 1o% as beautiful. Their cover of Chimes of Freedom is astounding, though: they turn Dylan’s barely melodic drone into honest-to-God rock’n’roll.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    For my money, I think that “Gimme Shelter” is the best rock and roll song of all time (yes, a bold claim). Better than Stairway, better than Satisfaction, better than Like a Rolling Stone, better than Are You Experienced? Yes, better than Funeral for a friend/Love Lies Bleeding (which I just found out that Dream Theater covered?!?)

    It works on several levels. It’s discussing the war, it’s talking about how fragile everything is, the emotions are raw, the chord progressions themselves are threatening… and, at the end, it turns out it’s a hump song. The problem with the Stones’ version is that Mick communicates perfectly the hump song portion of the song without really carrying the threat promised by those opening notes on the the guitar.

    The following songs fix that.

    Merry Clayton has a “cover”, if you will, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCyTqnizcvI
    Now, she was the amazing voice that upstaged Mick on the original. Since she sort of sang the original this probably doesn’t qualify but… man. She carries the entire song and puts Mick to shame.

    Now the Sisters of Mercy also covered it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4kVBdVBn9w
    They, to my mind, do the best job of carrying the threat of the song. If anything, it reminds me of those old gothic cathedrals where you have to walk under the steady gaze of several gargoyles before you finally get to the safety inside the doors at the end.

    Now if they could just get Merry to work with Andrew Eldritch…Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I also prefer the Bauhaus to Bowie when it comes to Ziggy Stardust.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_YQXFs7Ts

    But you probably could have guessed that.Report

  9. Avatar kelvin says:

    faye wong is the bestReport

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