I usually stick to classic versions of songs, but some covers are really well done. It’s a lot harder than you would think to make a song your own, but when it’s done the results can be really impressive. So, here’s my top 10 covers in history.
10. Mt. Eden – Omen:
The Prodigy are a hard act to follow. And ‘Omen’ is arguably their greatest song of recent years. Therefore, to make a good cover, the style had to change. And Mt. Eden really did that. Slowing down the beat and adding a dubstep feel to the track, they really made it their own.
9. Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love:
For the record, I’m really not a fan of Marilyn Manson… usually. But this remake of Depeche Mode’s ‘Tainted Love’ is without doubt a remake of the highest quality.
When I first heard this song I didn’t think I liked it. That’s because I quite often feel that old-school hip-hop/rap shouldn’t be touched. However, there’s an irritating whistle like noise throughout the N.W.A. version of this track that genuinely ruins it for me. Labyrinth’s inoffensive and poppy take on this classic is actually pretty decent if you ask me.
7. Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal:
Normally I’d say don’t touch Michael Jackson’s songs. However, Alien Ant Farm are a band that know how to have a laugh and make a classic pop-rock track. ‘Smooth Criminal’ was one of my favourite songs when I was younger and I’m proud to admit that.
6. Johnny Cash – Hurt:
A definite tear-jerker now from the legend that is Johnny Cash. Recorded less than a year before his death, this acoustic take of Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Hurt’ is a complete classic. Beautiful.
5. Goldfinger – 99 Red Balloons:
’99 Luftballons’ by NINA was a controversial song about a Cold-War time propaganda effort by the Americans. It’s been remade a few times but this one from Goldfinger is arguably the best; a huge rock twist to the song, but uniquely keeping a verse in German.\
4. MUSE – Feeling Good:
So many people have attempted this song that it’s origins are often forgotten (it was actually created for a 1965 musical that I’ve forgotten the title to). Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra are among those to record it, and don’t get me wrong, I love their takes. However, MUSE really made this song their own.
3. Guns ‘n’ Roses – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door:
Bob Dylan’s original was always a great track, but Guns ‘n’ Roses brought power to this song that it never had before. Plus, Slash’s solo, although simple, fits the song brilliantly. Still one of my all-time favourites.
2. Jon Gomm – Ain’t Nobody:
I love guitar. Normally electric is the more impressive instrument, but when acoustic is played well it’s incredible. And this is one of those examples. Jon Gomm is an incredible musician and his variety of styles are all incorporated in this take of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’.
1. Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight:
If I’m honest, it took me quite a while to realise that this song was a cover. Hopefully you’ll forgive me, I’m only young. Anyway, cover or not, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t love Toploader’s remake of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, originally by King Harvest.
It was difficult to choose the winner of this list, so I decided the best way to do it would be to finish on an upbeat note. And I’m sure you’ll all agree that Toploader delivers for that. You might not agree with some of my choices though; what are the best covers you’ve heard?