Cover versions better than the original.

Posted by: dave marshall on 02 August 2018

I was listening to Fink do "All Cried Out" last night, thinking that I preferred it to Alison Moyet's outstanding original from the '80's.

                                

  Fink - Biscuits For Breakfast.                                                              Alison Moyet - "Alf"

 

Pondering whether there were other examples in my library, I also concluded that Cyndi Lauper's "True Colours" and  "Time After Time"  had been covered beautifully by Eva Cassidy.

                                       

  Eva Cassidy - Simply Eva.                                                                    Cyndi Lauper - True Colours - The Best Of.

Obviously, this is all a matter of personal taste, but any suggestions for cover versions which you feel add to, and probably surpass the original? 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Bruce Woodhouse

The best are surely those that are completely and surprisingly different?

With that in mind;

Yo La Tengo's cover of The Cure 'Friday I'm in Love' is just great. Funny video too. I also think Billy Bragg singing 'Jerusalem' (from The Internationale EP) is better than any choral version! Full of passion. Maybe not strictly a cover.

 

Johnny Cash does a fine version of U2's 'One', and an even better one of Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt'. The lyrics resonate so much for him; a man dying of his own addictions. I did read somewhere that the guy who wrote it was just blown away and thought it was easily better than his original.

Bruce

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by TOBYJUG

Not so much a cover, more a remix.  Astrud Gilberto.  Who needs forever.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Innocent Bystander

Sex Pistolsí version of My Way (Sinatra - or at least he was the singer best known for it) - simply better in every way!

Anti-Nowhere LeagueĎs version of Streets of London - takes Ralph McTellís hauntingly moving song and thrusts the reality of life on the streets in your face.

Quite a few others, though these immediately spring to mind. Often I simply find I prefer the first version I hear and like, whether or not the original, but definitely not the case with tose two.

Hendrixís version of Bob Dylanís All Along the Watchtower - hard to describe why, just sounds better.

Emerson Lake and Palmerís version of Pictures at an Exhibition - but that probably doesn't count as its an interpretation rather than cover, Mussourgsky having been a composer rather than performer.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Pev

Vanilla Fudge's version of "You Keep Me Hanging On" smokes the Supremes, wonderful though they are/were.

Joe Cocker "I get by with a little help from my friends"; but to pay due respect to a Beatle, I prefer "Stand By Me" by John Lennon  to Ben E King's original.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Innocent Bystander
Pev posted:

Joe Cocker "I get by with a little help from my friends"; 

Odd isnít it - Although it seemed almost universally popular I never really liked that one, very much preferring the Beatlesí original

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Bert Schurink

Hallelujah on this album, for me unbeatable....

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by TK421

I prefer Nirvana's version of The Man Who Sold The World.

I also rather like listening to Sturgill Simpsons version of In Bloom, not necessarily better than Nirvana but definitely different.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Eoink

 

Much as I love Dylanís Mr Tambourine Man, the Byrds took it to greatness .

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Monster

Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower and Hey Joe

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Eoink

 

The original version of I Fought The Law  by the post-Buddy Crickets was frankly boring to me, the cover by the Bobby Fuller Four which took it to the charts was great rock and roll. Then the Clash took it to (for me) an even higher level.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Timjoebill

Grace Jones covers of Walking In the Rain - Flash and the Pan, and Private Life - The Pretenders

Here's a forgotten gem: Tom Waits covering Heigh-Ho on the Stay Awake album celebrating Disney songs - produced by Hal Willner. Disney goes all dark and apocalyptic. Check it out. It also features on his Orphans compilation album.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by ALANP

Seeing Hendrix's name mentioned reminded me that I prefer Stevie Ray Vaughan's version of "Little Wing" to the original.As beautiful as the original is it is just too damn short and leaves me feeling short changed,When SRV 's version was released it was like "ah yes" that is what Hendrix should have done.

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by TOBYJUG

How can you possibly better Neil Young ?

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by TOBYJUG

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yai4bier1oM/hqdefault.jpg

You Decide.

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by intothevoid

Gary julesís interpretation of Mad World, from the Trading Snake Oil for Wolftickets album. Incredible. So different from the original by Tears for Fears, and much better for it.

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by fatcat

Edith and the Kingpin.

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Peder

???? FATCAT,.....Whaoo,I did not know that Tina Turner had recorded a jazz song with Herbie Hancock.....
Or a jazz-song at all,you learn as long as you live ????.

Good singing voice for this song,much feeling.

/Peder ????

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Monster

Steppenwolf - The Pusher

John Prine - Clay Pigeons

Rare Earth - Tobacco Road

Merle Haggard - If I Could Only Fly

The Be Good Tanyas - For The Turnstiles & In My Time of Dying

Steve Earle - Willin'

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Peder

Please write which is the original song first,and then the version that you think is better.

I personally do not know who recorded the original on all songs.

/Peder ????

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Monster
Peder posted:

Please write which is the original song first,and then the version that you think is better.

I personally do not know who recorded the original on all songs.

/Peder 

Sorry about that Peder...

The originals are:

Hoyt Axton - The Pusher

Blaze Foley - Clay Pigeons

John D. Loudermilk - Tobacco Road

Blaze Foley - If I Could Only Fly

Neil Young - For the Turnstiles

Blind Willie Johnson (traditional gospel song) - Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed/In My Time of Dying

Little Feat - Williní

BB

 

Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Monster

The Temptations - I Know I'm Losing You - immeasurably bettered by Rare Earth...

Posted on: 03 August 2018 by pumpkinhead

Sonic Youth's version of Superstar by The Carpenters is very different to the original and a big improvement. It's on the If I were a Carpenter tribute album. 

Posted on: 03 August 2018 by Kevin-W

The only example I can think of of a cover of a Beatles' song that's better than the original is Earth Wind & Fire's version of 'Got To Get You Into My Life', in all its finger poppin' glory:

Posted on: 03 August 2018 by Kevin-W
Monster posted:

The Temptations - I Know I'm Losing You - immeasurably bettered by Rare Earth...

Interesting call - what do you think of the Earth's version of "Get Ready"?

Posted on: 03 August 2018 by Kevin-W

Bobbie Gentry's jazzy, scuttling version of Kenny Rankin's "Peaceful", which appears on the 1968 Local Gentry album, is infinitely  better than the rather wimpy original.