Best Cover SongsSteps 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.
The Top Ten
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!
This has to be #1. It takes on an entirely new meaning than the original, NIN's version is more about the heartbreak of a lost relationship, but Cash turns it into a song about reflecting back at his life as he knows he's nearing the end. Both versions are great in their own way.
Very hard to choose between Hendrix and Cash, but Cash's rendition of Hurt is just too powerful to pass up.
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)
What makes this cover so special is that it basically reflected his life right before his death. Reznor even said he knew it wasn't his song anymore once he heard Cash play it. I was originally going for Jimmy Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower but I changed my mind at the last minute. - AlteredState
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.
Let's hope the hater troll doesn't vote a bad cover above this - 445956
I didn't know this was a cover. - Misfire
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. - Cantonez
much better than 7 covers! this cover is much better than the original song, this is the best GUNS N' ROSES cover ever! - rock2metal
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! - winner333
The fact that this isn't in the top ten is unbelievable.
Love both versions
Truly... the magic of Kurt Cobain... Best Cover ever! - hereisHorizon
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
I hate I will always love you why is it lower than that song
If more people knew this was a cover, I imagine it'd be higher. - MrKite
Most people don't know it's a cover song. That's the ultimate praise to a great cover song. Should be much higher than number 39.
Thanks to the legend John Lennon
Wonderful voive carry the song.
The worst version of this traditional Irish Song
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.
One of Metallica’s finest covers! - Userguy44
Metallica has a grammy for that song! - kkkppp
The greatest song (and only this cover version) of all-time. - truckturner
What is this doing at 159?!? This cover deserves to be in the top 5 at the very least, if not number one. Joe puts a lot of soul and emotion into this performance; one of the most iconic performances from the psychedelic era. Vote for this song, people!
This should be number one!
Why isn't number one?
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 - shouryat2b
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!
I love it. Number 1
I didn't know this was a cover... - Misfire
Even though Whitney's wasn't better (though it was SO close) she brought the song out into the mainstream. - LadyLioness
I find it crazy that I'm adding this. Maybe it's because everyone thinks that it was her song.
Should be number 1 or at least 2. I know Dolly Parton wrote it but admit it Whitney sang it better
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.
It won't get recognition because Manson has no talent at all and sucks at music - TheThomasThomas
This is a great cover, Manson really expresses it the way it is supposed to be expressed. The only thing I wonder is, does anybody think he slowed down the riff on Crazy Train on purpose? Or was it just coincidence?
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 - elitan
Van Halen makes the best covers
When Van Halen covers a song they always make it better than the original version of it. And this just owns the kinks version - rocker1796
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.
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
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.
You people are crazy?! Why do you vote for this cover? The original song is MUCH MORE better. - ammoanpoor
Cause this is best cover songs not covers that are better than the original. - XxembermasterxX
The video was better for the original, but as far as musical quality goes, AAF nailed it
I liked the original song, but AAF made an even better version. - rock2metal
In this song you can hear exactly why they call Rod Stewart the white man with the black voice.
Rod makes this his own.
Although this song was writen for a female Rod made it male like no one else can.
So heartfelt, so emotional, so wondefully good...
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! - usmcmike43
Yes even their covers are epic! M/best band ever... this song has a meaningful video and the solo is so cool! - rahulsharma1
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!
Thanks to Metallica, this now one of my favorite songs of all time - Songsta41
Should be in the top 5
HOW IS THIS NOT HIGHER? Elvis Presley, the king, only at number 25? This is not right.
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
This is a cover?
Technically Clarence Ashley's Version Was A Cover Itself, It's An Old Folk Song - Bndspitw
What can I say, unreal
Both versions are great in my opinion. - Misfire
This is Truly a great song. It deseves to be in the top
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!
AMAZING! - ryanfarolddanielwenas
Should be way higher
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. - timhatcher
I actually like Sarah's version better than the original. She's a genius. - tarot_contralto
No way is it better then the original
Amazing cover should be higher on the list.
One of my favorite songs ever. So much better than the original Slade garbage.
I don't know if I would call this a cover
Was this serously not on the list? - christangrant
I normally don't like cover versions, but this one is really good! - Daisymorot
A-ha is always so original but the one time they covered, it was also great!
A-ha is my favorite. I love them.
A-ha didn't cover that much songs, but what they covered (all of them songs) is great! Thankyou a-ha for this fantastic music :-)
A good rock version to an old classic.
One of my favourite songs in the MTV Unplugged performance (hard fight though), Kurt voice just give me shivers every time I listen to this song.
omg, i get shivers from just hearing the last lines he sings - odin666
This deserves top 5
What kind of people visit this page anyway?
Seriously? I'm sure a lot of votes will change once people actually hear this
This is without a shadow of doubt the best cover song I have ever heard. When Kurt screams those final lyrics I get cold shivers and even a bit emotional to think what couldve been if Kurt never shot himself - Danielsun182
Why is this song way down here? This is by far the best cover of a song. David Draiman did such an excellent job on the vocals and the rest of the guys matched the instrumentals perfectly!
I voted for Hurt by Johnny Cash but I have to say, that it's silly to vote for a cover when it sounds exactly like the original song. Land of Confusion is a great cover. Especially the guitar solo is epic and on the original it was a little bit boring. But both versions were great.
Could not agree more, this is one of my favorite covers, Johnny Cash cover of Hurt is up there too, Disturbed has other good covers too
It's an awesomely EPIC cover, but the genesis version is still better
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
Why is this so low down? Honestly please just go listen to it now it's perfect and Matt's voice is just beautiful
Moving cover version by a legendary rock band
Way better than the original, it has angel voice, with... DEVIL SCREAMS! Chester hit the spot to be the Top 1. To those who likes scream and growls, this is a perfect Semi-death metal cover for you! M/
I heard the NIN version and didn't really like it that much, but then I heard the LP version and it was awesome. Linkin Park rules. - lukestheman4
Really the best cover ever. I don't think the NIN version is so good, but Chester and Linkin Park really makes it have that angry, rough tone that NIN couldn't give.
Great Song already Trivium just added a youthful energy to it
Much better than Metallica.. Trivium rules!
It's Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Yngwie Malmsteen on guitars. - Metal_Treasure
Wow this is amazing - christangrant
Iconic song, great cover! - Metal_Treasure
When you here a great song and associate it with the band that covered it more than the original you often have something special. Jimi did this with Watchtower, and Metallica did it with Am I Evil?
This song brought Diamond Head and the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" to America's Metalheads' attention. - thethrasher
An epic classic, forged by Diamond Head, and perfected by Metallica. Cheers to James Hetfield and the boys!
AM I EVIL? YES, YES I AM >:D
MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAHA, Best song on this list by far.
Why the hell is it so low though really?
It sucks how underrated all these songs are, just because of people who love pop and pop rock, POP sucks.
They took an already amazing song and made it that much better this is deffinaetly number one quality. Evanescence really understood the song and were able to take it and add their amazing style too.. AMAZING
Everyone has covered Chuck Berry. But this is one of the most well crafted and a real tribute to Chuck.
And thus, Heavy Metal Was Born.
Mars Bonfire was a fictitious name John Kay made up to try to weasel out of a bad contract with their record company at that time. It didn't work, John Kay wrote Born To Be Wild.. Under the pen name "Mars Bonfire"
Steppenwolf made this song famous! Much better than the original in my opinion. - THEMASTER
This songs has no changes with the old one... This is an awesome creation of avenged sevenfold... They shown us what can they do and how better they are... That's why I just love a7x... And avenged sevenfold for life..
Avenged, in this song gives Paranoid a pimp. No many changes in here and there, but, still pimped
Great song both versions are different buy great
Woah. I didn't even know that this song was an mj one. Three days grace rocks
I never thought this was a cover...so great adm and the guys are killing it...just love this song
Best cover in this list...adam and the guys did a great job in this song...by giving a newlife to this song, amazing...
Best song I've ever heard, this cover is actually better than the original... The reason I started to listen to MJ is because of this song!
What more do I need to say
Ok, its good.
The Song That badly needed a cover to be good.
Sorry but how the hell is Michael Jacksons Come Together on the list.
In fact I believe that Aerosmith did the song better than Michael Jackson but not better then The Beatles.
Also Ooops!... I Did It again is a pop song not a rock song before infact Children of Bodom ruined the song.
Even though I don't mind Stevie Wonders Version too but Red Hot Chili Peppers made it their own song.
Also I should add that it is one of Red Hot Chili Peppers best songs too
My childhood was this song. I can't believe it was a cover all along. Whatever it's still amazing
One of the best bass lines to ever start a red hot chili peppers song. Ever. New album this august vote for this song if your siked
Early hit for them
The Kingsmen took an R&B song, stripped it down to its essence, and created the greatest party song of all time.
Louie Louie has to be for sure in the top 10. - sUx2Bu
When I first heard this song it blew my mind and I wondered, "How the hell did I even not hear this version before? " This remake is sick beyond belief (in a great way)! FFDP did the song great justice and Bad Company would be PROUD at this version! It needs to be WAY higher on the list.
I feel like the cover is better than the original, easily one of my favorite songs
Horrible cover, no contest to the original
One of the best cover songs I have ever heard. Good classic rock song originally, FFDP turned into a hard hitting kick ass war anthem - Nightlock
Like better than the original ^^ really good song. maybe not to well English pronunciation. but still the song rocks!
I am surprised at how few people realize that the version of this song they've heard all these years is a cover! Manfred Mann took a decent Bruce Springsteen song and almost completely changed all except the lyrics, and the result was truly something special.
Number 125 on this list?
Are you people all born after 1980?
This was a NUMBER ONE hit before Bruce ever had a number one. - dek
Bruce's version was good by Manfred Mann's Earth band made a great cover
Superior to the original IF, IF you listen to the extended album version.
Stay away from the inferior single version.