Songs Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals  

Ann Casano
18.8k votes 1.7k voters 18.3k views 86 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
463 116
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan

Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

2
419 101
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Original Artist: The Top Notes, Cover Artist: The Beatles

3
406 105
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Original Artist: Otis Redding,

Cover Artist: Aretha Franklin

 

4
474 144
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Original Artist: The Arrows, Cover Artist: Joan Jett 

5
307 63
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Original Artist: Frankie Trumbauer and Hoagy Carmichael, Cover Artist: Ray Charles

6
283 58
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Original Artist: The Leaves,

Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience 

 

7
468 184
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Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails,

Cover Artist: Johnny Cash

 

8
298 79
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Me and Bobby McGee

Original Artist: Roger Miller, Cover Artist: Janis Joplin

 

9
286 76
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Original Artist: Jake Holmes, Cover Artist: Led Zeppelin

10
443 177
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Hallelujah

Original Artist: Leonard Cohen,

Cover Artist: Jeff Buckley

11
348 162
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Original Artist: The Beatles,

Cover Artist: Joe Cocker

 

12
316 141
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Original Artist: Tears for Fears,

Cover Artist: Gary Jules

 

13
450 251
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Original Artist: Dolly Parton,

Cover Artist: Whitney Houston

 

14
467 271
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan,

Cover Artist: Guns N' Roses

 

15
266 123
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Original Artist: Prince, Cover Artist: Sinéad O'Connor 

16
225 94
The Sound of Silence is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added The Sound of Silence

Original Artist:  Simon and Garfunkel

Cover Artist:  Disturbed

17
177 57
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Babe I'm Gonna Leave You

Original Artist:   Led Zeppelin

Cover Artist:  Pink

18
326 199
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Original Artist: Gloria Jones,

Cover Artist: Soft Cell

 

19
107 34
Fade Into You is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Fade Into You

Original Artist:  Mazzy Star

Cover Artist:  Catman Cohen

20
98 35
Can't Get You Out of My Head is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Can't Get You Out of My Head

Original Artist:  Kylie Minogue

Cover Artist:  Catman Cohen

21
216 160
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Original Artist: The Rolling Stones,

Cover Artist: Sundays

 

22
196 139
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Original Artist: Sir Mack Rice, 

Cover Artist: Wilson Pickett

 

 

23
227 178
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Original Artist: Radiohead,

Cover Artist: Prince

 

24
83 34
Solitary Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Solitary Man

Original Artist:  Neil Diamond

Cover Artist:  Chris Isaak

25
204 173
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Original Artist: The Paragons, Cover Artist: Blondie