Best Cover Version?

Normally cover versions make my skin crawl (I heard someone’s cover of Madame George the other day and it was painful - proof indeed that Van is now completely bonkers).

However, I reckon Guns ‘n’ Roses’ cover of Live and Let Die is superb. A quick review of the Wings version is in order if you have doubts (I will never forgive them for Mull of Kintyre - many a childhood day spoilt by that travesty of a @song@ (Bloody keyboard again ! AAAAAAArgh!)

My personal cover of Britney Spears’ (My lonileness is killing me…) is quite awesome.

Wierd dejavu with that sentence.


Much of the music I listen to is from the 60s, and many bands back then covered each others’ songs. If done well, I enjoy hearing a different interpretation of a song… if its a good song to begin with.

Bob Dylan was a great songwriter, but he doesn’t have much of a voice, epecially when he’s wasted. The Dead do Dylan better than Dylan does. The Dead also used to do terrific drawn-out improvisations of the Stones’ Satisfaction and a coupla Beatles tunes too, such as Dear Prudence, Rain, Hey Jude and LSD. They also did nice improvs of Traffic’s Dear Mr. Fantasy. Hell, the Dead covered just about everyone.

Many people have done great covers of Take Me To The River, including the Dead, Talking Heads and Eva Cassidy.

I typically like covers, when done by people I like. That only makes sense though, right?

Janis Joplin and the Dead both did a good job in Chris Kristofferson’s Me And Booby McGee.

CSN&Y did a good job on Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock, too.

I agree with Tigerman, if the artist is good the cover’s likely to be good. As a Stevie Ray Vaughn Fan, I’m equally happy with the CD “A Tribute to SRV.” But then that is a collection of covers by Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Art Neville and Robert Cray. Not a bad bunch.

And a lot of SRV’s stuff was covers, too.

SOME of his stuff was covers. Most of his songs he wrote himself, and some of his covers were as good or better than the originals – even truly great originals like Hendrix’s Little Wing or S.Wonder’s Superstition.

Led Zeppelin did some interesting things with some old blues tunes.

Wooden Ships wasn’t a cover, as it was a collaberative effort by CSN&Y and The Jefferson Airplane.

But I always liked the Airplane’s version better. Actually, much better.

And what about songs made famous by people who did them as covers? I already mentioned Janis Joplin’s cover of Me And Bobby McGee.

Arlo Guthrie made Stevie Goodman’s City Of New Orleans a famous hit.

As did Lynrd Skynrd (sp? How the hell does this band spell its name?) do for JJ Cale’s Call Me The Breeze … as did Clapton for JJ Cale’s Cocaine.

Of course, I’m not saying that famous means better…

slightly more recent, but Dave Matthews cover of All along the Watchtower was fantastic.
If the definition of a good cover is putting one’s own stamp on a well known tune, this one fits the bill.
Course, if you don’t fancy DM’s sound your S*** out of luck.

My .02

Suzanne Vega’s “Luka” covered by the Lemonheads.
Leonard Cohen’s “Like A Bird On A Wire” covered by Joe Cocker.
Richard Thompson’s “I Wish I Was A Fool For You” (“For Shame Of Doing Wrong”) covered by Sandy Denny
Sandy Denny’s “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” covered by Judy Collins.

Ben Harper’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” ain’t bad at all.

That’s a great cover. As is Please Don’t Let me be Misunderstood. He’s done some great covers - She Came in Through the Bathroom Window is one that springs to mind. Billy Bragg’s cover of She’s Leaving Home isn’t bad either.

Isn’t Babe I’m Gonna Leave You a Willie Dixon cover, or am I completely wrong. Great tune.

Souxsie and the Banshees did a great cover of that. Never been able to get a copy. Must try Kazza…

Yes, excellent.

I was just listening to Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee the other day and it lifted me off the back porch. Reminded of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire, I’ve just slipped it on. I prefer the original to Joe Cocker’s version. I’m a bigger fan of Cocker’s expressions of Randy Newman numbers.

As for favourite covers I like Counting Crows rendition of Elvis Costello’s, “Could of Been a Good Year for the Roses”

Well hell. If we’re going to talk about Janis, let’s dig out Cheap Thrills and crank up “Ball n’Chain” along with “Summertime”. A Dixie cup full of crushed ice and Southern Comfort would go nicely too. I saw her live on the Cozmic Blues tour…:smiley:

Warren Zevon’s cover of “Back in the High Life Again” was significantly better than Steve Winwood’s original. Winwood’s is a bleedin’ anthem, not a lament – but the lyrics actually make sense when sung as a lament, whereas they make absolutely none as an anthem.

That’s one by Page/Plant/Ann Brendon

You Shook Me (Willie Dixon)
Whole Lotta Love (Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham… BUT, it contains lyrics from an old tune by either Willie Dixon or Howlin’ Wolf)
The Lemon Song (Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham… BUT, also contains old blues lyrics… can’t remember from who)
We’re Gonna Groove (Ben E. King/James Bethea)
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Willie Dixon)
The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair (Sleepy John Estes)
Travelling Riverside Blues (Robert Johnson)

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by John Cale. There’s a few other goodies on the I’m your fan album too but this one stands out.


I forgot about George Thorogood; pretty much all of his well-known songs are covers. He has a good voice for them, and his band plays them pretty well – to the point that I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of those songs played by their original artists. On his/their “best of” CD, all of the ones I’ve heard on the radio are covers; his own material is IMHO pretty dull, unfortunately.

Some of “his” songs:
“Bad to the Bone”
“One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer”
“Move it on Over”
“I Drink Alone” … B000002UZM

“God Bless the Child” by Lisa Simpson and Bleeding Gums Murphy is pretty good.

That’s one by Page/Plant/Ann Brendon

I can’t Quit You Baby (Willie Dixon)[/quote]

Yeah it was I Can’t Quit You I was thinking of.

Yeah, I love that one. John Lee Hooker ? I thinks it’s “One Scotch”