Musicians Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals  

Ann Casano
16.5k votes 1.5k voters 16.1k views 80 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
393 109
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan

Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

2
355 94
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Original Artist: The Top Notes, Cover Artist: The Beatles

3
351 98
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Original Artist: Otis Redding,

Cover Artist: Aretha Franklin

 

4
418 139
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Original Artist: The Arrows, Cover Artist: Joan Jett 

5
266 57
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Original Artist: Frankie Trumbauer and Hoagy Carmichael, Cover Artist: Ray Charles

6
404 152
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Hallelujah

Original Artist: Leonard Cohen,

Cover Artist: Jeff Buckley

7
258 70
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Me and Bobby McGee

Original Artist: Roger Miller, Cover Artist: Janis Joplin

 

8
234 56
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Original Artist: The Leaves,

Cover Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience 

 

9
408 168
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Original Artist: Nine Inch Nails,

Cover Artist: Johnny Cash

 

10
252 76
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Original Artist: Jake Holmes, Cover Artist: Led Zeppelin

11
183 41
The Sound of Silence is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
148 24
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
414 220
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Original Artist: Dolly Parton,

Cover Artist: Whitney Houston

 

14
422 232
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Original Artist: Bob Dylan,

Cover Artist: Guns N' Roses

 

15
280 126
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Original Artist: Tears for Fears,

Cover Artist: Gary Jules

 

16
298 144
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Original Artist: The Beatles,

Cover Artist: Joe Cocker

 

17
236 108
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Original Artist: Prince, Cover Artist: Sinéad O'Connor 

18
92 14
Fade Into You is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Fade Into You

Original Artist:  Mazzy Star

Cover Artist:  Catman Cohen

19
285 187
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Original Artist: Gloria Jones,

Cover Artist: Soft Cell

 

20
89 16
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
70 9
Only Love Can Break Your Heart is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Original Artist:  Neil Young

Cover Artist:  Lady Antebellum

22
196 133
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Original Artist: The Rolling Stones,

Cover Artist: Sundays

 

23
72 15
Solitary Man is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Originals
MusicOfTheForest added Solitary Man

Original Artist:  Neil Diamond

Cover Artist:  Chris Isaak

24
198 150
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Original Artist: Radiohead,

Cover Artist: Prince

 

25
171 135
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Original Artist: Sir Mack Rice, 

Cover Artist: Wilson Pickett