Top 10 Favourite Cover Songs


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Because some cover songs are actually really good!

10. Feeling Good – Muse
When Muse were due to sing this live on the BBC in 2001 they were asked not to swear. Lead singer Matt Bellamy took offence (mainly because Muse songs don’t really have any swearing anyway) and to prove a point ad libbed a Fuck Fest right in the middle of their performance. Watch it here.

9. Sweet Dreams – Marilyn Manson
I honestly think the strength of this song mainly lays in how good the original is (by The Eurythmics) than Manson’s musical genius, but the dark, rocky sound really suits it. Apparently Manson got the idea for the cover after being on an acid trip and ‘seeing’ himself sing it.

8. Step On – The Happy Mondays
I have had so many good times to this song and yes they mainly involved beer. Hardly anyone (my age) realises it’s a cover anyway but it was originally sung by John Kongos and called He’s Gonna Step On You Again.

7. Hotel California – Gipsy Kings
I honestly, literally cannot hear the intro of this song without also hearing Walter from The Big Lebowski sulkily stating “eight year olds dude”. Not better than the original but a bloody great song in its own right.

6. Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards
Originally by Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, this cover encapsulates what the 80s were really all about. A great party song and so very camp too, I love it.

5. Jealous Guy – Roxy Music
I genuinely prefer this to the original written by John Lennon. In fact I’m sure when I was younger someone actually had to explain to me that John Lennon was the person who wrote and performed it first. Of course it helps that Bryan Ferry is such a cool motherfucker but kudos still to Lennon because the lyrics are genius.

4. Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon – Urge Overkill
Yep, I only know this because of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction. I like the original by Neil Diamond but the Urge Overkill version is a lot meatier and now when I listen to the Neil Diamond version it doesn’t really sound….meaty enough. I do prefer this cover though their voices are remarkably similar.

3. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Santa Esmeralda
Oh-my-god-another-cover-song-found-in-a-Quentin-Tarantino-movie (Kill Bill Volume 1). It’s almost a cover of a cover because the version most of us know well is the one by The Animals (which is also great) but actually, originally – this was a Nina Simone song. I really love the dramatic feel and the overly long intro is just super.

2. California Dreamin’ – Bobby Womack
Another cover that I prefer to the original. Bobby Womack’s version of California Dreamin’ can only really be described as Sexual Pleasure for the Ears. Apparently it played in the second series of Fargo (haven’t watched it) so like, everyone knows it now. But if you haven’t heard it and only want to click on one link today – make it this one.

1. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
If ever there was a single song in the world guaranteed to get me dancing, every single time – even when I’m tired, nauseous, bored and gagging for a kebab – it’s Tainted Love. BEST COVER SONG EVER.

Honorable mentions:

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – Al Green (The Bee Gees), Always On my Mind – Pet Shop Boys (Elvis), All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan). The Impossible Dream – Andy Williams (from the musical Man of La Mancha), Perfect Day – various artists  (Lou Reed), Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (Todd Duncan).

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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94 Responses to Top 10 Favourite Cover Songs

  1. I like those too! You have a great website, I am really enjoying it 😀

  2. Nice choices. Not that I could agree with most of them, haha! But you certainly did it right including Hendrix cover of Dylan’s AATW as an honorable mention 😀 (any other way I’d be madly disappointed dancing at the atrocious Gipsy Kings! :LOL:) …BTW, Cash’ cover of ‘Hurt’ inclusion would make a great top 10, IMO.

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha 🙂 I’m not a fan of the Cash cover, or original either, but it’s a big favourite with people I’ve noticed.

      Oi you, leave the Gipsy Kings alone! 🙂

      • Hahaha! Well, as for the Gipsy Kings, You know, they are flamenco Pop and for that matter we have in Spain a lot of amazing artists far better than they were, but yeah, that’s true… They were utterly commercial and had a fine swing, funny I’d say… anyway, they were actually butchering the Spanish language… which in a certain way could even be a badge of merit, hahaha.

  3. Tangled Up In Music (by Ovidiu Boar) says:

    Great, varied list.

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