Top 10 Cover Songs that Sound Completely Different Than the Original

It's when it's hard to recognize the original or you do but it still sounds like a different song because the genre or the tone were significantly changed. Music re-construction.

Remember, this list isn't about the best covers or covers better than the original (though some of the cover songs could be). But you can comment on whether you like better the original or the cover.

It's about how different both versions are and if the cover sounds decent - like a "new" song you don't know or without comparing it with the original.
The Top Ten
1 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos Smells Like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos Cover Art

Tori Amos - allmost all her covers are innovative and unique. I think she takes the cake in this category - making very different covers. And her covers are good.

Artists with a series of different sounding covers that sound good, are: Tori Amos, Hellsongs, Flametal, Northern Kings.

2 Billie Jean - Chris Cornell Billie Jean - Chris Cornell Cover Art

One of my favorite covers of all time (originally by Michael Jackson).
Chris Cornell rendition is incredible - he changed the genre and the style and made the song sound darker and more emotional than the original. I adore Cornell's raspy vox in this song.
This cover has only live versions including the one on the song sample. It's from a live show in Sweden in 2005-6.
R.I.P. Chris. I still forget he died.

3 Hurt - Johnny Cash Hurt - Johnny Cash Cover Art

Originally by Nine Inch Nails. Both versions are well known so no explanation needed.

4 I Should Be So Lucky - Northern Kings I Should Be So Lucky - Northern Kings Cover Art

Originally it's a fast upbeat pop song by Kylie Minogue. The cover is very slow and dark, and sounds creepy and threatening. The genre and the tone were changed completely. The style of this cover version is close to doom metal.

5 Raining Blood - Tori Amos Raining Blood - Tori Amos Cover Art

Slayer signature song sounds like... on the song sample. Nothing in common. Probably only the lyrics remind you of the original. Complete transformation. It's a haunting rework.

6 Womanizer - The All-American Rejects

Britney, what those guys did to your song...

7 Run to the Hills - Hellsongs Run to the Hills - Hellsongs Cover Art

Iron Maiden classic was fully transformed. Just play the sample - genre and tone were changed completely. The cover sounds vulnerable and not angry.

8 Viva Las Vegas - Dead Kennedys Viva Las Vegas - Dead Kennedys Cover Art

Sarcastic cover. Jello changes some lyrics to insist on the consumerist and drug-fueled side of Las Vegas.

9 How You Remind Me - Avril Lavigne How You Remind Me - Avril Lavigne Cover Art
10 Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Marilyn Manson Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Marilyn Manson Cover Art
The Contenders
11 Comfortably Numb - Scissor Sisters Comfortably Numb - Scissor Sisters Cover Art

Originally by Pink Floyd.

My father, a devoted Pink Floyd fan, didn't initially recognize it. This version is more alike the Bee Gees, an old school disco song with falsetto vocals.

I wouldn't recognize it... Thanks, Martin, great addition, very different. But I love the original.
Yep, Bee Gees, and a bit of Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

12 My Humps - Alanis Morissette

Sounds nothing like the Black Eyed Peas.

I applaud Alanis for this cover.

It's hilarious!

13 Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Emily Browning Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Emily Browning Cover Art

Originally by Eurythmics.

The upbeat 80s electro pop song turned into a haunting, surreal yet completely calm nightmare.
It was recorded for the magnificent and horribly underrated movie "Sucker Punch" where it plays during its opening scene, and it really fits the tone of the movie.

Thanks Martin. This one is very interesting, too.

14 Symphony of Destruction - Hellsongs Symphony of Destruction - Hellsongs Cover Art

Originally a metal song by Megadeth. The cover isn't metal and it's with female vocals. The cover sounds rather soothing and beautiful than angry.

15 Aces High - Flametal Aces High - Flametal Cover Art

Iron Maiden instrumental cover flamenco style on flamenco guitars. I actually like this cover - very creative and guitars are very well played by Benjamin Woods.

16 Snowblind - System of a Down Snowblind - System of a Down Cover Art
17 Engel - Annett Louisan Engel - Annett Louisan Cover Art

Originally by Rammstein.

In 2016, German chanson singer Annett Louisan released a cover album containing ten covers of popular German songs, adapted in her petite, soft style. Rammstein's signature song "Engel" is one of them, and arguably underwent the biggest genre transformation.
She was inspired by her participation in the third season of the popular show "Sing meinen Song" where a handful of famous German singers are challenged to sing each other's songs.

18 Gin and Juice - The Gourds Gin and Juice - The Gourds Cover Art

I forgot about this! I think it's hilarious!

Originally a Snoop Dogg song

19 Ayo Technology - Milow

Originally by 50 Cent, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake.

While the original version also was a moderate success over here, Belgian singer Milow's version was even bigger two years later, it was almost unavoidable. His version was sung over a very stripped down, minimalistic guitar instrumental, in fact, no one would notice it's the same song apart from the lyrics.

20 Mad World - Gary Jules Mad World - Gary Jules Cover Art

I like the version of Tears for Fears better than this.

Much crappier than the original.

21 Master of Puppets - Wisecräcker Master of Puppets - Wisecräcker Cover Art

This cover of an angry thrash metal song sounds pretty happy in this ska arrangement, LOL.
Well, I recognize the original because I've listened to it a million times but I still can say it's very different. Believe it or not, I like this cover - for making me smile.

22 Billie Jean - Terenzi

Originally by Michael Jackson.
Marc Terenzi, or simply Terenzi, is an American singer but he is known mostly in Germany because he once was married to the wonderful Sarah Connor, and later on was engaged to the model and reality T.V. star Gina Lisa Lohfink. During his marriage with Connor he released two moderately successful albums, then he became a T.V. personality that was mostly known for his former relationships, and he participated in the German edition of "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here", which is a highly popular and hyped show over here, in 2017 and won. On his second and so far last album he had this pop rock ballad version of Billie Jean.

23 Brain Stew - Weezer

Soft piano-based arrangement.

24 Wrecking Ball - August Burns Red Wrecking Ball - August Burns Red Cover Art

Everyone knows the original by Miley Cyrus. For the rest, just play the sample.

25 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Patti Smith Smells Like Teen Spirit - Patti Smith Cover Art
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