Musicians Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals  

Ann Casano
10.4k votes 1k voters 12k views 65 items

List Rules Vote up the covers that definitely outshine the originals.

Everyone loves when a musical artist somehow re-crafts a beloved song with a creative new spin. Covers illustrate the multifaceted nature of music and lyrics. A simple tweak of the melody or alteration of the singing style can create whole new layers of complexity in regards to what a song means - without even changing the lyrics! Sometimes, covers even surpass the originals in terms of popularity and critical acclaim. What are the best cover songs? Help decide below. 

Good cover songs are common, but they don't always outdo the source material. Whether it's old songs covered by new bands or recent hits revamped by contemporary artists, people often show loyalty to original versions. The songs below, however, are an exception. Some of the best cover songs on this list are so universal that most people think that they aren’t covers at all. "Twist and Shout" was not originally recorded by the Beatles and while "Me and Bobby McGee" is heavily associated with the late Janis Joplin, she was not the original writer or recording artist. When artists choose to try their luck with a cover, it can sometimes be a gamble, especially if the band or musician behind the original version is an esteemed figure. However, the below musicians took a risk and it really paid off. 

Which cover songs do you think are better than the originals? Vote up the most impressive songs below! 

list ordered by

1
297 89
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan, Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience    

2
327 109
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Original Artist: The Arrows, Cover Artist: Joan Jett 

3
203 39
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Original Artist: Frankie Trumbauer and Hoagy Carmichael, Cover Artist: Ray Charles

4
258 75
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Original Artist: The Top Notes, Cover Artist: The Beatles

5
256 78
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Original Artist: Otis Redding, Cover Artist: Aretha Franklin  

6
219 65
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Original Artist: Gloria Jones, Cover Artist: Soft Cell  

7
209 59
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Original Artist: Jake Holmes, Cover Artist: Led Zeppelin

8
177 40
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Original Artist: The Leaves, Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience   

9
198 55
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Me and Bobby McGee Original Artist: Roger Miller, Cover Artist: Janis Joplin  

10
322 145
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Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails, Cover Artist: Johnny Cash  

11
136 39
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Original Artist: Sir Mack Rice,  Cover Artist: Wilson Pickett    

12
298 176
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Original Artist: Dolly Parton, Cover Artist: Whitney Houston  

13
122 40
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Original Artist: The Paragons, Cover Artist: Blondie

14
108 36
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Original Artist: Jean DuShon, Cover Artist: Stevie Wonder 

15
207 124
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Hallelujah Original Artist: Leonard Cohen, Cover Artist: Jeff Buckley

16
258 176
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan, Cover Artist: Guns N' Roses  

17
148 81
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Original Artist: Prince, Cover Artist: Sinéad O'Connor 

18
138 75
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What a Man Original Artist: Linda Lyndell, Cover Artist: Salt-n-Pepa 

19
106 59
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I Fought the Law Original Artist: Sonny Curtis, Cover Artist: The Clash

20
109 68
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Original Artist: Al Green, Cover Artist: Talking Heads  

21
98 63
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Original Artist: Otis Redding, Cover Artist: The Black Crowes  

22
113 88
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Original Artist: David Bowie, Cover Artist: Nirvana  

23
141 143
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Original Artist: Roberta Flack, Cover Artist: The Fugees  

24
109 106
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Original Artist: The Beatles, Cover Artist: Joe Cocker  

25
69 56
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Original Artist: Tom Waits, Cover Artist: Rod Stewart 

26
102 100
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Original Artist: Tears for Fears, Cover Artist: Gary Jules  

27
63 56
Not Fade Away is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Original Artist: Buddy Holly, Cover Artist: The Rolling Stones

28
73 73
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Original Artist: Neil Diamond, Cover Artist: Urge Overkill  

29
107 128
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Original Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cover Artist: Ike and Tina Turner

30
62 65
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan, Cover Artist: Adele 

31
50 53
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Original Artist: The Zutons, Cover Artists: Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse  

32
54 73
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Original Artist: The Bee Gees, Cover Artist: Al Green 

33
37 49
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Jonathan Lichter added Original Artist: Michael Jackson, Cover Artist: Alien Ant Farm

34
6 1
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SingerDr.B. added My Way The english lyrics for this song - My Way - were written by Paul Anka. It was set for the French song - Comme D´habitude - wich was co-composed, and co-written and performed in 1967 by Clude Francois. My Way was a succsess ...

35
5 2
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SingerDr.B. added Algo Estupido EN: "Algo Estupido" or "Something Stupid", was originally recorded in 1966 by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as Carson and Gaile. The song is best known for the 1967 version by Frank Sinatra and his daughter ...

36
35 53
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Original Artist: Judy Collins, Cover Artist: Joni Mitchell

37
14 21
I Woke Up in Love This Morning is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Jonathan Lichter added I Woke Up in Love This Morning Original Artist: The Partridge Family, Cover Artist: Weezer

38
1 0
She's Not There is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added She's Not There Zombies version is good.  Santana's version is great!

39
1 0
Kentucky Woman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added Kentucky Woman Original Neil Diamond Cover Deep Purple(They Bring This Song To Life!!!!!!)

40
1 0
Youngblood is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added Youngblood Coasters version is simple but delightful.  Bad Company's version  has a bouncy style and showanship.

41
1 0
Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Quee... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added Original Fleetwood Mac(decent)-Santana(awesome)

42
1 0
Woodstock is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added JOni Mitchell's version is good.  Crosby, Stills and Nash's version is great!

43
1 0
It's All Too Much is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added It's All Too Much Original-The Beatles(too noisy and too much sitar) Cover-Journey (pre Steve Perry and a solid rocker that is much shorter than the Beatles version and much better!

44
30 50
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Turn On Your Lovelight Original Artist: Bobby Bland, Cover Artist: The Grateful Dead  

45
0 0
Another Saturday Night is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added Another Saturday Night Sam Cook's version is Ok but bland.  Cat Stevens puts some spirit into the song.

46
0 0
Ain't Too Proud to Beg is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Glenn J. Wiener added Ain't Too Proud to Beg Original Tempations Cover The Rolling Stones

47
0 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Roy Shaw added https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y8Q2PATVyI

48
1 4
Hey Jude is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
Roy Shaw added Hey Jude Original Artist:  The Beatles, Cover Artist: Wilson Pickett w/ Duane Allman

49
71 129
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Original Artist: Bob Seger, Cover Artist: Metallica  

50
25 51
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All You Had To Do Was Stay Original Artist: Taylor Swift, Cover Artist: Ryan Adams