Friday, June 15, 2007


Greatest cover song of all time?
Greatest cover song of all time that you don't think other people realize is a cover?
Greatest cover song of all time that other people don't even know exists?

Answer any or all.

I suggest The Kingsmens' Louie Louie, They Might Be Giant's Istanbul (Not Constantinople), and Chumbawumba's New York Mining Disaster 1941.

People just liked it better that way


Alan said...

the band i was thinking of was cold war kids

Jeff said...

My top three covers:

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"
Carbon Leaf, "Mary Mac"
The Byrds, "Mr. Tambourine Man"

Honorable mention to Goldfinger's "99 Red Balloons."

For songs no one knows exist, try either "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" by TMBG or "In The Air Tonight" by Nonpoint.

And I think people are pretty good at identifying covers, but "Istanbul" is about as good as I can come up with in that category too. Though I think a lot of casual music fans don't know that "The Man Who Sold The World" was originally a Bowie song that Nirvana just pulled out of their collective ass.

Nate said...

Greatest is hard. A cover song I love is "I will survive" done by Cake. The Corrs cover of "Everybody Hurts" is pretty decent as well. Counting Crows have an excellent cover of "Big Yellow Taxi".
I cant think of a great one for the next question, but a song that I dont think many people realize is a cover is Gwen Stafani's "Its my Life".

A cover no one knows about, "How Soon Is Now?" covered by T.A.T.u.

Mike said...

Greatest of all time is tough, but if we consider greatness to be that the cover artist did such a good job that few know and none really care about the original, then I don't care if it's cliche, I gotta go with Jimi Hendrix's rendition of "All Along the Watchtower".

That may also qualify for one people don't realize is a cover. Another one is "Conquest" off the new White Stripes album that even I didn't realize was a cover until reading reviews. There's also Gary Jules' cover of "Mad World" at the end of Donnie Darko.

Good call Jeff on Nirvana, though any radio station who played the whole track wouldn't cut off when Cobain says "That was a David Bowie song." Moby's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" is one I didn't know was a cover for quite a long time.

Greatest that no one knows exists, I would say Built to Spill's live cover of "Cortez the Killer". Any band that can make a 21-minute cover and never let it get boring just plain rocks.

Jeff said...

If we had a category for "Greatest song that no one knows is a cover despite the fact that the original is clearly superior," I'd give you the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" (originally an Otis Redding tune).

Mike said...

Incorrect Jeff. The Otis Redding version was the cover, the Rolling Stones version was the original (this according to allmusic - I and they could be wrong). Still, I'd like to hear the Redding version if for no other reason that to understand how it could possibly top the wondrous Stones version.

MnRunner5 said...

I LOVE TMBG!! haha

Jeff said...

Mike - good call. I hadn't realized that was a cover... mainly because the Stones' version and Redding's version came out within two months of one another, and Redding's was recorded without any prior knowledge of the Stones' version.

Either way, Redding did it better.

Oh, and apparently "Hard to Handle," which most folks associate with the Black Crowes, was originally a Redding tune.

Qaro said...

Hi, I like your site. I hope you don't mind my comment, I love cover songs.

The Gipsy Kings - Hotel California
The Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter
Tracy Chapman - House of the Rising Sun