I know the version of a song I hear first is usually the one I like the best, and every time I hear another artist cover it I cringe, and think whyyyyyy? But sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.
And so, here in no particular order, are six tracks that I think transcended from good, to Holy-freakin’ GREAT, when they were reproduced. Go on, take a listen. See if you agree 🙂
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Original: Tears for Fears
The original was a poppy, light-hearted 80’s song, but Lorde turned it into a different beast altogether. Dark, and brooding, it’s PERFECT for this Assassin’s Creed Unity game trailer
Original: Chris Isaak
Cover: Stone Sour
Stone Sour kept the moody, soulful vibe the same, but with enhanced melodic guitar runs. I’m sure there’s a timing slip-up too, around 2:46, but that happens to the best, and adds a delicious complexity to the song.
Cover: I Am Giant
How to turn a rock anthem into a heartbreaker. Step 1. Take a heavy number, from a heavy band. Step 2. Watch as kiwi band I Am Giant turn it into an acoustic dream.
Original: Gerry Rafferty
Cover: Foo Fighters
Who else would have the skills and the heart to turn this jazz-esque number into a rock ballad?
Original: (Lead Belly in the 1930’s) and then Ram Jam
Ohhh. Gotta love the crazy drummer. This neglected number comes to life in their hands.
Original: Nine Inch Nails
Cover: Johnny Cash
Another track that becomes almost unbearably poignant second time around, in the skilled hands of the late Johnny Cash. Trent Reznor, who wrote the song, said that Johnny’s version was better than his own.
I’m sure there are more, but these are six that spring to mind immediately. How about you? Do any of these ping your cringe radar? Or are there any I missed?