Best Cover Songs

July 31, 2015 - Steps to making a good cover song: 1) Start with a song that is already good or has potential to be good 2) Improve on the original version or make the song live up to potential and 3) do something special to make the song your own. Whether through better musicianship, vocals, emotion, etc. a great cover version takes the original song and gives it a new life.

This is a collection of the cover songs that were most certainly better the second time through.
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The Top Ten

All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan)
Bob Dylan sometimes played Hendrix's version on stage, that's gotta mean something!
Out of the ten songs here, I feel this is hands down the best. No question. There will never be another Jimi Hendrix. He was so amazing and unique.
Absolutely phenominal. Fits into every era. This man was a true genius!
[Newest]Undoubtedly the greatest cover song ever, such an amazing musician.

2Knockin' on Heavens Door - Guns N Roses (Bob Dylan)
Gun's and Roses do this song better than anyone, this happens a lot with Dylans songs, a great writer and lyricist with a unique voice but whose songs are oten better with other performers take on them. Gun's and roses version adds a awesome heavy element to this song and make the changes sound amazing! better than any on the above list.


much better than 7 covers! this cover is much better than the original song, this is the best GUNS N' ROSES cover ever!


Awesome cover! It should be on the top of the list! In my opinion, this song sounds best when played with an electric guitar. I think the main reason for the success of this song was slash's guitar playing. His solo was just unbelievably amazing!


[Newest]This song is genius! Doesn't matter how old you are, it's always a hit!

3Hurt - Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)
Actually my favorite cover song is Jimi Hendrix's version of 'All along the Watchtower'. But seeing this great piece of art so far down here, I just feel like I have to give it my vote, because it is not only one of the best covers but easily one of the best songs ever recorded. So I think it is a shame to see Johnny Cash's beautiful and unique version of this great song on rank 32 (and I mean by now everybody should know that it is a cover so that is not an excuse)
No doubt this song tops the original by a hundred times, johnny cash's final songs were mediocre but this songs stands right with the best of him
This is easily the best cover. The video makes it the best I've ever seen. Johnny Cash makes this average song into a masterpiece that perfectly ends his career.
[Newest]This just proves how important NIN truly are.

4Crying In the Rain - A-ha (Everly Brothers)
I normally donĀ“t like cover versions, but this one is really good!


A-ha is always so original but the one time they covered, it was also great!
A-ha is my favorite. I love them.

5Respect - Aretha Franklin (Otis Redding)
Wonderful voive carry the song.

6To Love You More - Sarah Geronimo (Celine Dion)
Celine is at her best, suits her vocal range. I actually thought the song was written and composed for Dion. I have never heard the original, but I can't imagine it surpassing this one.
,, definitely.. ,, from the start of the start contest,, I olredy knew that she's gonna win the competition.. ,,


to love you more is here winning piece in the compitation.. by celine dion. and her voice fitted (ala) celine dion of the philippines..


7Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds (Bob Dylan)
Bob Dylan, the best songwriter ever, himself said that no one could play this song any better, which was right. This is such an amazing rendition while I'll agree that the other songs on this list are good I just like this one the best. But notice how 3 of the top 4 songs are Dylans covers...
"Wow, you can even dance to that! " Bob Dylan after hearing the cover
This is definitely the winner here. Killing a Bob Dylan song is hard to do but they did it. Crazy stuff

8Turn The Page - Metallica (Bob Seager)
One of Metallica's best songs ever! Metallica is my favorite band forever and is a big part of my life and they rock! GO METALLICA! you guys are the best!


Amazing! I was speechless when I fist heard this song. And it took me forever to actually find it, but thanks to Pandora... I finally found it!
Yes even their covers are epic! M/best band ever... this song has a meaningful video and the solo is so cool!


9You Really Got Me - Van Halen (The Kinks)
When Van Halen covers a song they always make it better than the original version of it. And this just owns the kinks version


The original Kinks tune was great - not the sort of tune that gets one-upped much - but the Van Halen cover just blows it away.
Ray Davies even said this version is better than the original.
[Newest]Best cover by far!

10Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm (Michael Jackson)
The fact that I didn't hear much good (or bad for that matter) about the original before this came out should say something. They also did this at a time when admitting to liking Michael Jackson was just something you didn't do, which is kinda cool. This version is also better by a mile.
I liked the original song, but AAF made an even better version.


A lot of covers don't deviate much from the original. This one, however, is quite unique.


The Contenders

11Walk This Way - Run-DMC (Aerosmith)
This is not a cover

12Rolling In the Deep - Linkin Park (Adele)
The Best Cover Ever! Although it it is newer than many of the items at the top(at this moment)...

And it is 100 times better than Adele Version of the song...

I Hated this song too much but when Chester Bennington sang it and Mike Shinoda took the piano, it was totally a different experience...

Chester's Voice cannot be compared he's 10 times better than Adele!

Awesome Cover... Linkin Park for Life


Rumor has it that Adele made a cover of this song.

Chester really blew this song out the competition. Amazing vocals with Shinoda on the piano. It was just beautiful
Chester's awesome voice and Mike's addictive tunes. Gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Linkin Park doesn't do a lot of covers. But when they do, they make it better than the original. LINKIN PARK ROCKS!

13Man Who Sold The World - Nirvana (David Bowie)
Truly... the magic of Kurt Cobain... Best Cover ever!


Can't believe this song is way down in this list.. This together with all along the watchtower-jimi hendrix are the best cover songs to be ever performed
The best cover of Nirvana and all time, they made it better than David Bowie!

I think this one must be in the principal list
[Newest]This is the best ever! It should be at least in the top ten

14Dust in the Wind - Sarah Brightman (Kansas)
When Sarah covers a piece of music, the unique beauty of her voice and the sensitive emotional phrasing she brings to it leave her name forever inscribed on that song.


I actually like Sarah's version better than the original. She's a genius.


No way is it better then the original

15Whiskey In The Jar - Metallica (Thin Lizzy)
Metallica just put a new life in this song. And James' solo was just great. What I want to tell is that Metallica popularized this song and just made it monumental like the band itself. Unfortunately this song has a really stupid video. Anyway an all time classic and Metallica just put some of their mind and soul to create a masterpiece.
I cannot believe that this song ain't made by them! Perfect!
Metallica has a grammy for that song!


16Sweet Dreams - Marilyn Manson (The Eurythmics)
The lyrics are dark and creepy, Marilyn Manson made the song fit the lyrics. Unfortunately it will never get the recognition it deserves because he is Marilyn Manson.
The songs lyrics were meant to be creepy but the original isn't creepy sounding, Marilyn Manson changed it to it's true form.
the cover by marilyn manson has so much more soul than the original. respect 4 MM


[Newest]Marilyn Manson played this song the way it was meant to played. So much better than the original


17House of the Rising Sun - The Animals (Clarence Ashley)
This is by far the best hands down cover song of all time a classic.

This is amazing, I cry every time I hear it
What can I say, unreal

18Feeling Good - Muse (Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse)
Muse has made this song into an epic - original use of a loud speaker - hidden away at the end of Origin of Symmetry this has become a firm fan favourite and a must=play at live gigs - this has to be higher than number 32
Moving cover version by a legendary rock band
Matthew's voice is beautiful and haunting.


19Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen)
This is such an underrated cover. This is personally one of my favorite covers of all time, showing the true talent behind Jeff's composition. He writes these solos himself, which takes talent guys. Some of my personal favorites are this, Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower, Heart's Rock and Roll and Guns N' Roses' Knockin' on Heaven's Doors
This song will never be such a beautiful masterpiece if Jeff Buckley never covered it. I listened to the original and totally hate it, I can respect Leonard's genius in lyrical composure but the execution of the song is horrible in my opinion. Jeff Buckley ripped apart the song and stripped it down to a pure, simple but nonetheless wonderful work of musical art.
Once you get to the point where people think that you wrote the song, it's safe to say that the cover was amazing. This cover is monumental and made it the legend it is today.
[Newest]How is this not number 1? This is one of the greatest songs ever by one of the greatest voices

20Live and Let Die - Guns N' Roses (Wings)
I've heard this song 100 times! This is the best cover song all time! They change the bored song to a crazy hard rock song! It deserves to be in the top!


This is Truly a great song. It deseves to be in the top

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This list was created 9 years, 184 days ago and has been voted on over 11,000 times. This top ten list contains 471 items, has been remixed 28 times and has been blogged about 3 times.

Updated Friday, July 31, 2015

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