what cover versions are better than the original

For example, Mott the Hoople's version of Sweet Jane is the equal if not better than the Velvets. Also, as long as I'm on the Velvets, a one album band called Detroit, fronted by Mitch Ryder, did a version of Rock and Roll that destroys the Velvets original.What are some other examples....this post is not for rock only....
I hate to dis Prince,but I am think the Foo Fighters did an excellent re-make of "Nicky". Anyone care to take a stab at the Worst Re-make... Stained of Pearl Jams "Black"..
Just a thought.
Happy listening!
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OK- I will start this response.
I really love Allison Krauss. Her version of, "Now That I've Found You", is far better than the original!
Also, Sheryl Crow's version of,"The First Cut Is The Deepest" is also a step up from Cat Steven's version.
I've always liked UFO's cover of Arthur Lee and Love's "Alone Again Or...", and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Sting have each done really good covers of "Little Wing", although I don't think they're necessarily better...just different.
Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower.
Santana did "Black Magic Woman" much better than Fleetwood Mac.
Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels a one album band? Geez, Mitch must have 20 albums out since 1966! Maybe just us old fogies are familiar...

Speaking of "Sweet Jane", I love Cowboy Junkies version and Patti Smith's of Prince's "When Doves Cry". Not dis'n Prince either!

I much prefer Eva Cassidy's singing Fields of Gold over The Sting version.
I kinda like Wall of Voodoo's version of Ring of Fire. And Gordy, I'm with you regarding Mitch Ryder. However, how many sentences can I start with "remember when...."? :--)
Hey Gordus......the album and band was named DETROIT, not The Detroit Wheels.......do not mess with us real rock and rollers.........it was a one off album with a local all star band in the mid to late seventies ....do you REALLY think a guy who knows his rock and roll history and lived it would mistake a band called DETROIT for The Detroit Wheels??????

p.s. this also applies to you too Mt10425!!!
A bit off topic perhaps, but Cheap Trick's Live at Budokan "covers" of their own songs clobber the studio versions, which is unusual in that most live versions don't appeal to me as much as the studio.
Gov't Mule's live version of Humble Pie's 30 days in the hole is pretty tasty
Great cover- "Tecumsah Valley" written/recorded by Townes van Zant, as recorded by Nancy Griffith and Arlo Guthrie.

Great- "People Get Ready", written by Curtis Mayfield as covered by The Persuasions.

Most embarrassing cover (almost the same as worst) by an otherwise great artist- Joan Baez's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Love her voice, but she got the lyrics wrong, twice!!!

Worst AND Most embarrassing cover by an over the hill "actor"- Anything recorded by William Shatner!!!
"Blinded By The Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band is FAR better than Springsteen's version (even though "Greetings From Asbury Park" was his best album). For the most part, I can't handle Bruce - and I'm in the heart of Jersey!
I second Eva Cassidy's version of Fields of Gold.
With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker!
All Along The Watchtower - Hendrix
Respect - Aretha
I Fought The Law - The Clash

Tubino, 'Detroit' was a great one shot album from 1971 featuring Mitch Ryder & Dick Wagner(sp?) who later played guitar w/ Alice Cooper & Lou Reed.

I have a few that come to mind:

David Bowie's cover of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" is awesome, his vocal range finally does the song justice. Pick up a copy of Bowie's "Tonight" album and see if you agree.

For some odd reason I really dig the Fine Young Cannibal's cover of Elvis' "Suspicious Minds". Upbeat, rockin', just plainly fun.

Tom Cochrane does a terrific job of covering Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire". The addition of some very tasteful acoustic guitar and a more melodic vocal approach really makes the song shine!

I like Metallica's version of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page". Harder edge while maintaining the essence of the tune.
Thank you Bld63!!! I knew I wasn't totally senile (yet). Do you know if the Detroit album was ever released on CD?
I guess I'm the senile one, it was Steve Hunter not Wagner (the other half of the Rock 'n Roll Animal guitar duo) on 'Detroit'. There are two copies of the CD for sale on ebay right now for big dollars. I believe I'll just stay with my vinyl copy.
the rationals version of 'respect' tops otis and aretha
'all along the watch tower' by savage grace tops hendrix and dylan
the detroit album goes foe big bucks on cd o.o.p
william shatner's Mr. Tambourine Man (not)
Thanks for reminding me of the Shatner album.

Lucy in the Sky is to die for.
Skynyrd's "Call Me the Breeze" vs. J.J. Cale's version.
Georgia Satelites "Don't Pass Me By" vs. Ringo's version.
Van Halen's "You Really Got Me" was better than the original by The Kinks
Yo, tubino,mr. rock genius. It was Mitch Ryder and the Detriot Wheels ---AND ---the year was late 66---- Devil W/ the Blue Dress On ---Are we on the same page???-- (Jump UP)!!!
I'm sure there are a zillion covers that were better versions then the original.--- One that comes to mind is Emmylou's 'Here There and Everywhere'.
'Detroit' was the name of a different band Mitch Ryder headed in the early seventies after 'The Detroit Wheels'. 'Detroit' released one album on the Paramount label in 1971. BTW Ryder had another great cover in the early eighties w/ Prince's 'When You Were Mine'.
Thank you again Bld63 for defending my honor....as for you Avguygeorge...if you'd have carefully read this thread then you'd of already been enlightened by my new best friend!
Stevie Ray Vaughan did a Hendrix tune...it was on the concert DVD but as a video...not sure of the name of the song but man...it gives me goosebumps every time i listen to it.
A couple surprises from the metal world - Saxon does a killer rendition of "Ride Like The Wind" (Christopher Cross) that's very authentic. Heir Apparent does a very slick AOR remake of "Sounds of Silence" as well. I could go on and on, but these are a couple that are very good, and a little shocking.
I love Pat Boone's version of "Stairway to Heaven" off of his ground breaking "In A Metal Mood" album. The jazzy, salsa-tinged arrangement and whining, overly-emotive vocals do it for me every time. Really leaves Zep in the shade. But all of the hard rock covers on this album burn themselves into one's conciousness; it's hard to pick a best one.
Layla is the most dramatic improvement I have ever heard
The Avengers cover of the Stones "Paint It Black" kills the original...
Hey I guess I'm to old and to slow for you guys. HUH??
Any covers that Phish play live!
Viridian... I thought you were full of sh*t until I ventured to check out that last 1% of doubt... holy smokes. To respond to that, I can only offer one greater force:
ANTON MAIDEN (Allmusic review)
Frijid Pink cover of "House of the Rising Sun"
Yes cover of "America"
Sisters Of Mercy cover of "Knocking On Heavens Door"
HIM cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" from 'Razorblade Romance'
Mwilson I am full full of sh*t. But the Boone disc sounds great and rocks.
Eva Cassidy- Fields of Gold

Coltrane and Hartman-Lush Life

Toots and the Maytals- Take me Home Country Roads

Earth, Wind & Fire - Got to get you into my life

Vanilla Fudge- You keep me hanging on (not!!!! this one in retrospect is extremely silly., but it certainly sounded cool to budding adolescents)
Donna Summer's cover of MacArthur Park- surreal song-but at least you could dance to her version....hehe
Edesilva, check out The Tea Party version of Paint it Black. That'll kill em both, the Stones and the Avengers.
CCR's version of "I Heard it Through The Grapevine"
red hot chilli peppers doing "higher ground"
i just heard al green's take on "unchained melody" and it struck me that he's arguably the ultimate interpretive singer --check out, e.g. his "for the good times" or "can't get next to you" or "how can you mend a broken heart".

I'll see your Tea Party and raise you one Feelies. Killer version of "Paint It Black".
New thread: best cover of Paint It Black?

Actually, I've never heard either of the other versions mentioned here, so I can't compare them, but The Feelies really nail the song - particularly live.