30 Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original


By Sasha Hecht & Caitlin White

Why would an artist ever choose to cover a song? I mean, seriously. Nine times out of ten, their efforts are met with something between "Not bad... but nothing compared to the original" and "This has ruined my favorite song for me forever. I hope you go septic and poison yourself from the inside out with your own feces." Often, cover songs are an attempt by a younger artist to assert their skill level as on par with a classic musician—and usually the two aren't actually equal.

However, there's nothing wrong with a good cover. Sometimes, a cover song can even—gasp—be better than the original. Just because an artist once wrote a song doesn't necessarily mean that they wrote or performed it the best way possible no questions asked forever and ever amen. Here are 30 covers that are better than the originals. Uncross your arms, open your ears, and dealwithit.gif. Some of them might even surprise you.

Click to start the list

  • Popeye

    Do you really think I’m going to click “next” 30 times? Forget it.

  • robert s

    Susan Boyle – Wild Horses

  • Tracy Reilly

    um..Bruce Springsteen wrote ” Because the Night”

  • Rod the Mod

    My fave is Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace by Cheap Trick (Terry Reid cover)

  • David Ayala

    I call bullshit on the Bird and the Bee cover, the Hall and Oates original of “I cant go for that” is way more better

  • jmccabe

    I haven’t heard Springsteen do that, but I think your comment is perfect for Born To Run when you compare his version, where he sounds half drunk and bored, compared to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s version from “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”. (And John Legend’s piano version of Dancing In The Dark is so much better than Springsteen’s original!)

  • Kiki Bridges

    I’m confused… How can Bruce Springsteen cover a song that he wrote?

  • whatever

    That dude who does the cover of “Bluish” is not even in tune like how is that better than anything?

  • Mike Stephens

    I have to agree!! I’m not a fan of remakes/covers.We don’t have the song writers now that we did back in the 60’s and 70’s.They need to leave the originals alone and start writing their own music or get someone to write music for them!!! It’s truly sad they have to destroy the songs that I grew up with.

  • http://ralomo.tumblr.com/ Anthony Fineran

    this selection is similar to how i am not loved

  • TroubleChild

    This list got two major things wrong.

    First: It didn’t include the greatest cover of all time. Respect.
    Second: James Fucking Blake? Are you kidding me? Joni’s vocals on A Case of You are some of the best ever and her dulcimer is perfect!!!!!

  • aaaaa

    Feeling good muse?!?!