I have a love/hate relationship with cover songs. There are some that are as good if not better than the originals, i.e. “All Along the Watchtower” by Hendrix (Originally by Bob Dylan), but then again there are those that fall flat, i.e. “Downtown Train” by Rod Stewart (Originally by Tom Waits). So it’s kind of a crap shoot on what you’re gonna get. There are a million covers that everyone has heard so I decided to compile a list of songs that, while well known, are not always covered.
It is quite something for an artist to do someone else’s work & create his own interpretation of it. There are times when an artist has one hit & that hit happens to be someone else’s song, see The Lemonheads cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” which was Evan Dando’s Mea Culpa though it wasn’t his song. In this case it’s because The Lemonheads are bad at music. Here are some covers that I think you may enjoy, because I did & I’m a music genius, when talking about other people’s music. I pretty much can only play “Suicide is Painless” (The Mash Theme) on guitar.
Okie From Muskogee (Merle Haggard) – James Taylor
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) – Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie
Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen) – Matt Nathanson
Jealous Guy (John Lennon) – Donny Hathaway
When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin) – Jeff Buckley
The Weight (The Band) – Gaslight Anthem
I Want it That Way (Backstreet Boys) – Ryan Adams
Bang, Bang (Nancy Sinatra/Sonny Bono) – The Raconteurs
Two of Us (The Beatles) – Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley) – Pete Yorn
You Ain’t Going Nowhere (Bob Dylan & The Band) – Joan Baez
Chim Chim Cher-ee (Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews) – John Coltrane