Cover songs have always been popular and some even better than the originals. However, whilst many artists have tried transforming an already familiar song into something extra special, not all succeed. Here are what we consider to be 10 of the best cover songs of all time – read on to see if your favourites have made the list!
Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower
Jimi Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s acoustic original went to number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the biggest hit of his career. Even Bob Dylan himself admitted to being a fan of the cover and that performing it felt like a tribute to Hendrix. The song has also been covered by U2, Dave Matthews Band, Eddie Vedder as well as Eric Clapton and Lenny Kravitz.
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
It goes without saying that Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ is one of the most covered songs of modern times and what many consider as one of the greatest songs ever written. It is however Buckley’s cover that is associated for shooting the song to stardom. It even made its way back onto the charts in 2008 when it was performed by X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, whose own version of the song was the official Christmas number one.
Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
The Pet Shop Boys went to number one in the UK chart in 1987 with their cover of ‘Always On My Mind.’ Although the song was originally made famous by “the King” himself Elvis Presley it was in fact Brenda Lee who sang it first in 1972.
Fugees – Killing Me Softly
The Fugees version of Roberta Flack’s already popular song emerged in 1996 and became an instant classic, with a stripped-back rendition and Lauryn Hill’s vocals taking centre stage.
Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World
Nirvana covered David Bowie’s hit in their 1993 MTV Unplugged special. After reviving the song on his 1995 tour, may assumed Bowie was paying tribute to Nirvana following Kurt Cobain’s suicide the year before.
Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Many don’t know that this iconic break-up song that put Sinead O’Connor on the music map was originally written by Prince. And let’s not forget the emotionally charged video featuring shaven-headed Sinead up close and personal singing straight into the camera – it still gives us chills!
Leona Lewis – Run
The X Factor stars version of Snow Patrol’s song was originally covered for Radio 1’s Live Lounge. After breaking download records, it went straight to the number one spot on the charts.
Mark Ronson – Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)
Originally by The Zutons, the song featured on Mark Ronson’s ‘Version’ album of cover songs. Ronson had just completed work on Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ and invited the singer to feature his album – it was in fact her that suggested the song.
Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got The Love
‘You’ve Got the Love’ dates back to 1986, when it was first recorded by Candi Staton and referred to as ‘You Got The Love’. The song was revived by Florence + the Machine when the band performed their version at Bestival in 2008.
Muse – Feeling Good
Originally destined to be a Broadway hit from the musical ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd’, the song has been covered by many artists including Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra. It was recorded by Muse for their 2001 LP Origin of Symmetry after a girlfriend of one of the band members rated it as one of her favourite songs. All we can say is now it’s one of ours too!