Best Remakes Of All Time

Remakes of the original rarely hit the mark, but here are some of my favorites.

1. The Cure's remake of Jimmi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" - It's so good it maybe better than the original.
2. Power Station's remake of "Bang A Gong" originally performed by T-Rex. Awesome.
3. Marvin Gaye's version of the Miracles "Heard it Through the Grapevine". Marvin's version is way better than the original.
4. Jimi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower.
5. Love the Doors cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Backdoor Man".
6. Johnny's Cash's 2003 version of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt" was not only courageous, but seriously good.
7. Chicago's remake of "I'm A Man" originally performed by Spencer Dave Group is outstanding.
8. The Allman Brothers remake of "Statesboro Blues" is an upgrad over Blind Willie McTell 1928 version.
9. The Talking Heads 1978 version of Al Green's original release of "Take Me To The River". Do I even need to comment on that one?
10. Love Stevie Ray Vaughn's version of Jimi's "Vodoo Child".

There are a ton more... what are your favorite remakes?
Miles Davis versions of Michael Jackson's Human Nature and Cindi Lauper's Time After Time, I heard both in concert and they were superb...
I'm a huge Who fan, but Elton John's cover of "Pinball Wizard" is better than their version.

Elton again on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

every song Shelby Lynne covers on Just a Little Lovin' is better than any other version that I have heard.

I agree on the Power Station's "Bang a Gong", Hendrix "All Along the Watchtower", and "Take me to the River"
"Take Me To The River" Annie Lennox

"Don't Be Cruel" Cheap Trick
There are many, many good remakes/covers. However my favorites have to both be by Nazareth.

The Nazareth cover of "Love Hurts" is a classic and I prefer it to the Everly Brothers version and Roy Orbison's version.

The Nazareth cover of "This Flight Tonight" works much better for me than Joni Mitchell's original version.


Here are a few of my favorites.
Hendrix "Hey Joe"
SRV "Taxman"
Van Halen "A Apolitical Blues"
Levon Helm "Tennessee Jed"
Gov't Mule "She Said,She Said"
Eric Clapton "After Midnight" both versions
Frank Zappa "Directly From My Heart To You"
Hank Williams,Jr. "Lawyers,Guns and Money"
Rolling Stones "Love In Vain"
Willie Nelson "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
Johnny Cash "Rusty Cage"
The Doors "Crawling King Snake"
Nirvana "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"
Jeff Healey "Stuck In The Middle With You"
Leon Russell "A Hard Rains Gonna Fall"
George Benson "This Masquerade"
The Band "When I Paint My Masterpiece"
Way too many more to list,but you get the idea.
Katie Melua remake of The Cure Just Like Heaven
Devo covering 'Satisfaction'
Indigo Girls - Mono Lisas and Mad Hatters

Linda Ronstadt - Carmelita, Hasten Down the Wind
Some songs shouldn't be remade, including "Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters" And "Just Like Heaven" sacrelidge!!!
Eva Cassidy: Fields of Gold
Siouxie and the Banchees: The Passenger
Righteous Brothers: Unchained Melody
Hendrix: All Along the Watchtower
Marvin gaye: I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Creedance: I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Aretha Franklin: Respect
AC/DC: Baby Please Don't Go
Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender; and of course
The Beatles: Twist & Shout
For those of you who like "All Along the Watchtower"

Compared to the versions done by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix the Savage Grace does the best version yet. The drummer even imitates horses galloping when they are approaching.
"Devo covering 'Satisfaction'" Thanks to this little one-liner, I'm now wearing this morning's caffeinated beverage that came spewing out my nose...
Rickie Lee Jones- Under The Boardwalk.
Bonnie Raitt- Angel from Montgomery (still not as good as Prine though)
Dave Mason- All along the Watchtower
Die Hornissen (The Hornets)- Here Come The Warm Jets (Eno)
The Shadows- Sleepwalk (Santo and Johnny)
Steve Khan- Penetration (Steve Leonard)
The Who- Young Man Blues (Mose Allison) Shakin' All Over (Johnny Kidd)
Voivod- Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd)
Outsidemen- Follow Your Heart (John McLaughlin)
Konk Yo- Third Stone From The Sun (Hendrix)
Orange Symphonette- Midnight Cowboy (John Berry)
Van Halen- Pretty Woman (Orbison)
999- Little Red Riding Hood (from Concrete). (Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs)
Michael Hedges- Sofa (Zappa)
Wayne Peet Trio- Visions (Larry Young)
Henri Texier Trio- Stolen Moments (Oliver Nelson)
Snakefinger- The Model (Kraftwerk)
SUD- Night in Tunisia (Dizzy Gillespe)
Hendrix- All Along The Watchtower (Dylan)
Charlie Hunter Trio- Come As You Are (Cobain)
Gary Lucas- Autobahn (Kraftwerk)
I Don't Care- Fire (Hendrix)
Harlem Nocturne- Danny Gatton (Hagen)
Tin Machine... REEVES!!!!!!!!- If There Is Something (Ferry)
David Slusser- Eight Miles High (Crosby/McGuinn)

-The whole Bowie Pin ups record is pretty good, See Emily Play and Can't Explain stand out.
-T.J. Kirk mashes up Thelonious Monk, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and James Brown real good.

Usual sins of omission/Lots of others will hopefully get listed and listened to.
Some of my favorites, in order:
Stevie Ray Vaughn's version of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing".
Creedence Clearwater Revival's version of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It through the Grapevine"
Joe Cockers version of the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends".
Jimi Hendrix's version Of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watch Tower".
Mina Agossi - Voodoo Child & Third Stone
SRV - Voodoo Child
Johnny Winter - Highway 61 Revisited
Sepultura - Smoke on the Water
Green Day "A Quick One While He's Away"
The Beat Farmers "Reason to Believe"
Pearl Jam "Baba O'Reilly"
REM "Ghostrider", "Funtime", "Academy Fight Song"
The Replacements "Another Girl, Another Planet"
The Cowboy Junkies "Sweet Jane"
Chris Isaak "South of the Border"
Dave Alvin "Ol' 55"
Bruce Springsteen "Trapped"
Johnny Cash "Hurt"
Trisha Yearwood "Sad Eyes"
Robert Plant "Little Sister"
Bebel Gilberto "Sweet Dreams"
The Faces "Angel"
Los Lobos "Marie Marie"
Jake Shimabukuro "While my guitar gently weeps"
Jack Johnson "I shall be released"
The Clash "Policeman on my back" "I fought the law"
Deco "Satisfaction"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Al Green "I wanna hold your hand"
Van Halen "I really got you"
Shelby Lynne "Just a little lovin'"
I mean Devo "Satisfaction".
I like The Cult's version of "Born to Be Wild", and Slayer's "In a Gadda Da Vida".
There's a little more "oomph" to these versions.
buck dharma-come softly...the cheer-summertime stevens-another saturday night...burton cummings-you aint seen nothing yet... robert wyatt-i'm a believer...manfred mann-the mighty quinn...manfred mann's earth band-s.o.s...manfred mann's whatever-any song they ever oyster cult-born to be wild...the dictators-california sun...the beatles-till there was you...peter tosh and mick jagger-keep on walking(dont look back)...the faces-maybe i'm amazed...johnny rivers-memphis...the blues magoos-gloria...the cryan shames-suger and spice...the buckinghams-mercy,mercy,mercy...i could go on forever.
Jeff Beck- Rollin' And Tumblin'
Bobs Knockin on Heavens Door by Guns And Roses
Mary J Blige's version of U2's "ONE".
James Taylor covering Wichata Lineman
Allman Brothers Statesboro Blues is an upgrad (sic) of Willie McTell? That's laughable.
Duane got my #1 choice: Danny Gatton doing "Harlem Nocturne". A nearly perfect song AND the seamingly perfect cover already provided by Duke Ellington. Then Gatton goes out and IMHO one ups the Duke.

Some -not yet mentioned- that I also like as much as/or better than the original:

801 doing "TNK" (Beatles)
Webb Wilder doing "Don't Slander Me" (Roky Erickson) and "Ain't Livin' Long Like This" (Rodney Crowell)
Sonny Landreth doing "Devil's Right Hand" (Steve Earle)
Stones doing "Little Queenie" (Chuck Berry)
Alejandro Escovedo doing "All The Young Dudes" (Mott The Hoople)
Feelies doing "All Tomorrow's Parties" (Velvet Underground) and "Paint It Black" (Stones)
Todd Rundgren doing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (Beatles)
Pretenders doing "Time The Avenger" (virtual, but uncredited cover of the Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me")
Don Dixon doing "Amplifier" (dbs)
Marti Jones doing "Soul Love" (Bowie)
Bonnie Raitt doing "Thing Called Love" (John Hiatt)

Ingenuity award to Richard Thompson for "Oops I Did It Again" (Brittney Spears???)

and a special mention to Don Dixon and Marti Jones doing "You've Got What It Takes (to Take What I Got)" by Joe Tex. This version was the first dance at my wedding.

Many more, too.


I think you're being a little harsh there. The Allman's version of Statesboro Blues is so vastly different from the original that it's easy for me to see why some would prefer it. I also understand why others would prefer the original - or, for that matter the versions by Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, etc. etc. It's a great, great song that has lent itself to a multitude of wildly differing interpretations, many of which IMHO succeed on their own terms. I'd probably choose the original (or possibly another acoustic version - Paul Geremia and Fred Sokolow both do killer takes) if I could only keep one, but it wouldn't be an easy choice - for me, anyway.
From a previous sujbect on copies,covers and remakes;
+ a few more.........

Whiskey in the jar-Metallica (Trad.tin liz)
Hallalooljah- Jeffree buckley (cohen)
God save the queen-motorhead (pistols)
My way-sid-ern-ee vicious (an italian geezer)?
A New England-Kirsty Maccoll (billy bragg)
20th Century Boy-Placebo (T.Rex)
Knockin on 'evans door- Sisters of Mercy (bob)
Any cover done by ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS!
Help/hey joe-Deep Purple, (beatles)
Tainted Love/Sweet dreams-M Manson (soft cell/euro group)
Satisfaction-Devo (Rolling and the Stoned)
A little respect-Wheatus (Erasure)
To love somebody-Jimmy Somerville (heebeegeebees)?
Don't leave me this way (Communards/Somerville)
Emilie Autumn-Bohemian Rhapsoda.
Kermit the Frog-Creep (radiohead)
Lucia Micarelli & Jethro Tull - Kashmir(Led Zep)
Anything by Dread Zeppelin.
Pearl Jam - Baba O'Riley
Dream Theater-Floyd covers excellent, even Iron Maiden!
Slade- My baby left me/That's Alright (Glam man)
Billy Swan-Don't be Cruel (Elvis the Pelvis)
Primus-Have a ciger (Pinky boys)
The White Stripes - Jolene (dolly's partons)
Love Hurts- from bonny Scotland.....Nazareth! (Ev Brothers)
Tainted Love-Soft Cell (Gloria Jones)
The Air that I breathe-The Hollies (albert Hammond)?
Battle of Evermore-Heart (minor league group from the UK)
Norah Jones sublime cover of "Cold Cold Heart." Just discovered this and can't stop playing it.
Bruce Springsteen's version of "Trapped"
Tom Rush and Greg Allman's versions of Jackson Browne's "These Days"
CSNY's version of Woodstock
The Beatles version of "Til There Was You"
Love Rollercoaster remake by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is terrific as is U2 doing Satellite of Love (early Lou Reed song).

Tom Russell and Nancy Griffith. Bus Station by Dave Alvin. I love this version. I enjoy the original but this version really does it for me. Especially when she says "she'd like to leave" around the 3 minute mark. She sings it so flatly (intonation is perfect but the attitude is so worn down).

Richard Bischoff
A lot of terrific selections in this interesting thread started by Dawgbyte. Thanks everyone.

I would like to add the following, not as being "better" than the original, but certainly different and interesting:

Persuasions: Wanderer (U2 original)

Shonen Knife: Top of the World (from a terrific album of Carpenters covers called "If I were a Carpenter")

Cowboy Junkies: Thunder Road (Springsteen)

Nouvelle Vague: Guns of Brixton (Clash)

Black Box Recorder: Seasons in the Sun (Terry Jacks loosely interpreting Jacques Brel)

From curious to ridiculous, look for an album called "Golden Throats" it has a lot of the classic bad covers (Captain Kirk doing "Lucy in the Sky" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," Mr. French reciting "It Ain't Me Babe," Andy Griffith doing "House of the Rising Sun," and a whole lot more). On NPR I heard something really weird; it was Bob Dylan and Tiny Tim doing Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe."
the youngbloods the ultimate 'statesboro blues' cover.
How about...

Petra Haden and Bill Frisell doing Coldplay's "Yellow"

Jeff Beck's "A Day in the Life"

Johnny Cash's "Hurt" - way better than original and Cash's version will never be equaled.

Chris Isaak doing Cheaptrick's "Want You to Want Me"

Michael Hedges "After the Goldrush"

Red Hot Chili Pepper's doing Ramones "Havana Affair"

Tori Amos "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Brad Mehldau doing Elliott Smith's "Independence Day"

And these bonuses just to freak you out at the very idea...

Nels Cline doing the entire "Interstellar Space" Coltrane album - I've seen him do live.

"Straight Outta Compton" acoustic version by Nina Gordon is really great - google it today...
I will not say it is better (of course) but Carlos Santana and John McGlaughlin did a version of Coltranes 'A Love Supreme' that is awesome and a classic in my book.

Jennifer Warnes w/ S.R. Vaughn performing L. Cohens "First I'll take Manhatten". Also Jeff Buckly's version of Cohen's "Hallelujah". OUTSTANDING WORKS.
ditto Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah
I also forgot to list Luka Bloom's acoustic take on LL Cool J's "I Need Love". In concert, this one makes the ladies swoon.

Speaking of Santana,"Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va" are without a doubt,IMHO,two of the best remakes of all time.Plus,they are on the same album.
Save Ferris 'Come on Eileen' Dexys midnight runners
Letters to Cleo- 'I want you to want me' Cheap trick.

both as good, if not better than the originals.IMHO.
Eric Clapton Cocaine (J.J. Cale original)
Guns n Roses - Knockin' on heavens door (Dylan original)
The Troggs - Wild Thing (can't remember except it is a cover)
Knockin' on Heavens door by Guns n' Roses has got to be THE track to max out yer equipment.
It is also an excellent cover too!
Another good choice is "Battleship Chains" originally by The Woods and later superbly covered by both The Georgia Satellites and Hindu Love Gods. Similarly, the Satellites do a killer version of "Hippy Shake" and the Hindu Love Gods cover "Wang Dang Doodle" to great effect.


A related curiosity. "Money Changes Everything", a song by an obscure alt. rock band called The Brains became a hit when covered by Cyndi Lauper. Now it seams that everyone (punk to country) does a version - varying in quality as much as you'd guess. One or more might qualify here, depending on your taste. iTunes has something like 25 versions for sale.
Yes' version of S&G's "America" is one long-time fav of mine.
I love this version of Honky Tonk Women

I know this is a bit off the beaten path but it is darn impressive.

However the Greatest Cover of ALL TIME has to be THIS version of the famous Swedish hit.
Dune does a great job of this Queen classic...very haunting voice. A rare but good one.

Also I like Tom Petty version of Thirteen Days (JJ Cale Song)
Can't say I like that version of the Rolling and a Stones but I think you have raised the room temperatures in many a household just a tad with the Toj Mahole youtube clip.
Nice voice for the Queen song though.
the troggs' wild thing is not a cover, but was penned by jon voight's brother, chip taylor.

I found this at wiki

it may be wrong but it seems it was originally recorded by The Wild Ones.

FWIW: Nobody remembers the original