Top 10 Favorite Cover Songs

The idea of writing a post about cover songs has been on my mind for a while.  I’m a big fan of cover songs and lately I have run into a couple of them that, I must say, are not that great.  It is really hard to make a cover of a song that is already fantastic; the chances of not getting it right are very high.   For instance Mary J Blige, did you really think you could sing One better than Bono? We all have our boundaries, no matter how famous we are.   Cover songs are a tricky business; the way I see it, they have to be different enough from the original song to make it memorable, but at the same time, they have to capture its essence and original intent.  That is why when you listen to a great cover song, you find new elements and meanings in the same lyrics you have listen to, many times.   There are no rules for  cover songs, its success only resides on pure talent, and that’s the bottom line. 
Since I feel passionate about this topic, I had no option but to create a top 10 of my favorite cover songs, I hope you enjoy it: 

10. Everywhere – Vampire Weekend (Fleetwood Mac) :  This Fleetwood Mac song from 1988  is found in their album Tango in the Night.  I always liked this song and The Vampire Weekend version from 2008 is a great re-make.

9. Dancing in the Dark – Pete Yorn (Bruce Springsteen): Dancing in the Dark from Bruce Springsteen was in the first cassette I ever had.  My cousin gave it to my for my birthday in 1985 and every time I listen to this song I remember my younger years.  Wake me up before you go-go was also in this cassette.  Pete Yorn’s version is more mellow and slow bringing a new dimension to this song. 

8. Nobody Does it Better – Radiohead (Carly Simon):  I must say I’m not a big Carly Simon fan; I only like her song You’re so Vain.  However, the cover of Nobody does it better by Radiohead is fantastic.  The transformation of this song into a rock ballad makes it a more interesting song.  Thom Yorke’s voice captured my heart and allowed me to enjoy this song.

7. Thank you – Chris Cornell (Led Zeppelin): I’m a big Chris Cornell fan, I like this version of  Thank you more than the original. Thank you Chris Conell!

6. Bizarre Love Triangle – Stabbing Westward (New Order): This New Order song was released in 1986.  I remember dancing to this song in the 80’s and early 90’s.  There have been many covers of Bizarre Love Triangle, but this version by Stabbing Westward adds a rocker side to it that I think is great.

5. Just Like Heaven – The Watson Twins (The Cure): To make a cover of any of  The Cure’s songs is a big risk.   I think The Watson Twins were smart by transforming this song into a slow ballad.  You don’t notice how sad this song is since The Cure’s version has a faster bit and sounds more cheerful.

4. Modern Love  – Last Town Chorus (David Bowie): This is a classic example of a great song and a great cover.  It is hard to pick one over the other.  The David Bowie’s version, released in 1983 has more synthesizers and a faster tempo.  The last Town Chorus version transforms this song into a slow, sad but beautiful ballad.

3. High Tide or Low Tide – Jack Johnson and Ben Harper (Bob Marley): Jack Johnson + Ben Harper are a perfect duo.  These two individuals can sing anything they want and it will always be beautiful.  I discovered this song when my friend posted it on Facebook and since then it has become one of my favorite songs.  Unfortunately I have not been able to find it in any album.  There is another version of this song by The Belle Islanders that is pretty good too.

2. Sea of Love – Cat Power ( Phil Phillips): This song by Phil Phillips,  released in 1959 was a great success in the US.  It hit the  #1 spot on the  Billboard R&B Chart.  Its most famous cover was made by The Honeydrippers (1989).  The Cat Power version was featured  in the film Juno from 2007.   This song also appears in the Cat Power’s The Covers Record, I just downloaded it and it is pretty good.  There is not much to say about this cover other than it is fantastic!

1. If you Leave – Nada Surf (OMD):  This is one of my favorite songs! I love it! The OMD version is great, but the cover by Nada Surf, in my humble opinion is simply amazing. 


5 responses

  1. Vicky

    I love that cover of just like heaven

    March 3, 2011 at 7:41 am

  2. Rob

    You’re right about Bizarre Love Triangle. I really like the version by Frente which is very simple.

    March 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    • I like that version a lot too!

      March 4, 2011 at 11:40 am

  3. Meme

    Me gusta el nuevo diseño!!

    Sobre los covers, Can’t help falling in love es una canción que en su versión original cantada por ELvis Presley será siempre mucho mejor que los covers que después sacaron UB40 y U2.
    Always on my mind en cambio, es una canción que en su versión original es muy romántica pero me gusta también la de Pet Shop Boys, no se si sea porque me acuerda a las cheers del colegio o porque me enrumba 😉
    Y Armando Manzanero tendrá que estar siempre agradecido con Luis Miguel por sus albumes de Romance I y II, porque definitivamente suenan mejor. Manzanero será siempre un buen compositor pero de cantante no me gana ni en karaoke!
    Felicitaciones por esta nueva presentación.

    Beso! Meme

    March 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    • Gracias Memecita!
      La verdad no he oido un cover the Elvis mejor que sus canciones originales… que risa con Armando Manzanero, tienes toda la razon tiene una voz terrible!

      March 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

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