Favorite cover?

As a (minor) film buff, I almost invariably prefer originals. But when it comes to audio, I  have found more than a few covers that I prefer to the originals. So, to kick things off, and with all due respect to Boz Scaggs, I absolutely LOVE this live Incognito version of Lowdown:


What's on the top of your lists?
I almost always prefer originals because they are usually more raw but there exceptions of course.

Two obvious ones for me are Blondie’s covers of The Tide is High and Denis.

The Sex Pistols My Way could be another.
Dave Edmund's version of Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knocking".
Johnny Rivers doing "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"!
bauhaus covering "ziggy startdust" 
Boyce Avenue's cover will be on top of my favorite artists that do an acoustic cover of popular songs. 

@roberjerman, Wow, I had no idea JR did "AWSOP". The original is a masterpiece, so I really gotta hear Johnny's version!

@whipsaw, I so agree about original films vs. remakes, one exception being Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear. The added layer of ethical misconduct by Nick Nolte's character (played by Robert Mitchum in the original) really deepens the story. And Juliette Lewis' acting is about as fine as I've ever seen.

@bdp24 : I have that JR AWSOP on Realization (Imperial 9372 mono) LP. Last track on side 1. And last track on side 2 is a cover of Dylan's Positively Fourth Street! 
How about Hendrix's cover of Dylan's All Along The Watchtower!
@bdp24 Thanks, and a good point about Cape Fear.

For some reason my original link to the Incognito video isn't working. Let's try again:


Oops, it was of course Gregory Peck who played Nolte's character in the original Cape Fear, not Mitchum. Haven't had any coffee yet ;-) .

@roberjerman, I well remember the cover of Realization---kind of psychedelic. Everybody was trying so hard around then to look "experienced". By the way, when Levon Helm left the Dylan/Hawks tour in late '65, it was Johnny Rivers' drummer Mickey Jones who was hired to take his place.

I have to many favorites to mention but have been locked up on, Willie Nelson/Chris Stapleton/Lee Ann Womack/Jamey Johnsons cover of Bob Dylans Gotta Serve Somebody on The Muscle Shoals Small Town Big Sound album.
Roberjerman.   Thanks for the mention about Johnny Rivers AWSP.  I had no idea.   I am a big JR fan and love AWSP!    I might even have the vinyl.    I love this place.......
Frigid Pink. House of the rising son
Type O Negative   Summer Breeze
I already posted my favorite, but another I heard recently and really liked is Disturbed's version of The Sound of Silence.
Just played Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes and I think

WALK ON BY just kills. I used that song on a speaker demo once. Not sure if that was a good idea because I think I would love any speakers playing that song.
A bit off the beaten path, but one of my all-time favorite rock albums is "Projections" by The Blues Project, ca. 1967.  While many of the songs on the album were written by members of the group (especially Al Kooper and Steve Katz, who later were co-founders of Blood, Sweat & Tears) a couple of songs on it are great covers IMO:

"You Can't Catch Me," originally by Chuck Berry.
"Cheryl's Going Home," originally by Bob Lind (as the flip side of "Elusive Butterfly").

Just about every song on "Projections" is terrific, IMO.

-- Al

Baby it you, by Smith?
Absolutely Hendrix on Watchtower! Agreed roberjerman.

Big Log - Alison Krauss & Viktor Krauss


And hard to pick a favorite from Holly Cole's album - Temptation

Jose Feliciano version of the Doors "Light my fire"
YYZS - "Just played Hot Buttered Soul by Isaac Hayes and I think
WALK ON BY just kills"

+1 on Hot Buttered Soul.

I like your taste in music.
Created a Tidal playlist of covers. Some of my favorites include

Because The Night by Bruce Springsteen
Landslide by the Smashing Pumpkins
Valerie by Amy Winehouse
Easy by Faith No More
Come Together by Gary Clark, Jr.
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
Billie Jean by Chris Cornell 

Will be adding to my playlist from suggestions in this thread. Much enjoyed. 

great topic,

first one from the recesses of my mind, Sophie Millman, Being Green


actually anything she does. Her concert from Montreal Jazz Festival on DVD is one of my all time favorites
you tube link


Incidentally, I have Van Morrison, Hard Nose the Highway CD in my car, he covers Being Green, I love Van, but what a dud
The Ramones cover of Eric Burdon and The Animals' When I was Young
I can't name just one song; so, I'll start with a few good covers that were on TV or film soundtracks:

1) ALISON KRAUSE: "Can't Find My Way Home" (Crossing Jordan)

2) IVY: "Only A Fool Would Say That" (Me, Myself & Irene)

3) EDIE BRICKELL & NEW BOHEMIANS: "Walk On The Wild Side" (Flashback)

Shawn Colvin

Tenderness on the Block - Warren Zevon song.

Featuring the Subdudes on backing vocals and accordian. 

Abosolute Killer Cover.. 

Them’s version of Big Joe Williams’ "Baby Please Don’t Go", though they model their version on that of John Lee Hooker. Wicked, tough, Them make The Stones sound like the p*ssies they are.

Another is The Guess Who’s (the first line-up, without Burton Cummings) take on Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ "Shakin’ All Over". I much prefer TGW’s version to that of The Who, whom I saw & heard perform the song live in ’68 and ’69. That opinion "may not" be shared by everyone ;-) .

"Let Her Dance" by Phil Seymour, the drummer/singer on the two Dwight Twilley Band albums (after Phil left the group, "Band" was dropped from the name). The original is by The Bobby Fuller Four, written by Bobby. In contrast, TBFF’s recording of "I Fought The Law" (written by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets) has never been equaled, certainly not by The Clash, whose version is dreadful, even worse than The Who’s take on "Shakin’ All Over", which I wouldn’t have thought possible. Hoary, bombastic, empty.

To me, Lou Reed falls into a category with Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits in that some of the best versions of their songs end up being done by other artists. Some of my favorite Lou Reed / Velvet Underground covers are:

EVAN DANDO & KIRSTY MacColl: "Perfect Day"
BRYAN FERRY: "All Tomorrow's Parties"
THE PRIMITIVES: "I'll Be Your Mirror"

In an ironic twist, I thought the best song on the Bob Dylan "30th Anniversary Concert Celebration" (aka BobFest) was Lou Reed's stomping cover of "Foot Of Pride."

The Triple Threat in the 70s and 80s was David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. I’m not hot doggin ya! 🌭 
Everly Brothers-"Unchained Melody"

Shonen Knife-"Top of the World"

Roy Orbison-"Love Hurts"

R.E.M.-"First We Take Manhattan"

Great thread

Ryan Adams- "wonderwall"

Yes, his version of Wonderwall is terrific.  It is too bad he has fallen into the persona non grata classification of artists.

There are a lot of covers I really like, but, not necessarily more than the originals, for example: Garcia/Grisman-"Friend of the Devil."
Bryan Ferry - Take Me To The River
Van Halen - You really got me
Jamie Cullum - Frontin'
I judge any cover by this: "If that was the original, would it have been a hit?"

I like collections of covers, here, a bunch of Dylan Songs issued around his 60th bday


I see they issued vol 2 for his 70th bday, I will have to get it


another, various people covering Kate Wolf songs.


here, Jennifer Warnes collection of Leonard Cohen songs


this, some Beatles, some Dylan, by Richie Havens has some great ones, and not so great


Santana - Black Magic Woman (original:  Fleetwood Mac)
Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (original:  The Band)
The Talking Heads version of "Take me to the river" is one of their best performances period, let alone being the best cover.

Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe" is also the definitive version of that song.

The Quicksilver Messenger Sevice's cover of Buffy Sainte Marie's "CODEINE"
Love the guitar work!
Led Zep's version Willie Dixons "you shook me"
Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Who Do You Love?" and "Mona" promptly come to mind, as does Janis Joplin's "Summertime" and (of course), "Ball and Chain".
Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East playing "Stormy Monday"
+1 on picks by bdp24 & gasnsteering. I forgot how good the Guess Who & Frigid Pink covers were.

++1 on repeluso's pick of Baby It's You by Smith.  That song should have been a huge hit. I always found it interesting that the Beatles stopped doing cover songs shortly after this came out. That was probably because their songwriting was getting too good to be doing covers anymore. But, the fact remains that the Beatles wimpy cover of Baby It's You is embarrassing when compared to the Joplinesque @** kicking version by Smith.

If you're in the mood to get your heart broken, check out Kim Richey's cover of "Mexico" (CAKE) on YouTube.

How bout Godsmacks version of Beatles come together .As far as something modern, I like it


The Who’s cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.”
Bob Dylan’s House of the Rising Sun. Funny story from Dave Van Runk,

”Then, one evening in 1962, I was sitting at my usual table in the back of the Kettle of Fish, and Dylan came slouching in. He had been up at the Columbia studios with John Hammond, doing his first album. He was being very mysterioso about the whole thing, and nobody I knew had been to any of the sessions except Suze, his lady. I pumped him for information, but he was vague. Everything was going fine and, "Hey, would it be okay for me to record your arrangement of 'House of the Rising Sun?'" Oh, shit. "Jeez, Bobby, I'm going into the studio to do that myself in a few weeks. Can't it wait until your next album?" A long pause. "Uh-oh". I did not like the sound of that. "What exactly do you mean, 'Uh-oh'?" "Well", he said sheepishly, "I've already recorded it".[13]