I like Queen Latifa's remake of Phoebe Snow's "Poetry Man"
88 responses Add your response
Anything by Joe Cocker.
How about early Rolling Stones or Beatles tunes, most of which were remakes that are better known than the originals.
"Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin.
One of my favourites is "It's Only Love", Bryan Ferry's remake of the Beatles song.
Also, the Cowboy Junkies remake of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane. Even Lou Reed himself says it's good.
I could go on and on.
I'll go a different route....
Jazz: how about John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things"? Bill Evans' "Love Theme from Spartacus"...won him a well deserved Grammy.
Pop/Rock: Almost any Jamie Cullum remake of almost any song. He's outstanding!
Pop/Country: Whitney Houston's version of Dolly Parton's "I will always love you".
The worst remakes....of all time.....: ANY BEE GEES/ABBA/BARRY MANILOW SONG....they all sucked!
I have 2 CDs Id like to recommend. Both are total remakes of excellent songs. The first is Big Bang Theory from Styx. Not only are the covers done extremely well, the song choices are exceptional. A few of my favorites are I am the Walrus, I Dont Need No Doctor and One Way Out.
Following the Styx theme, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades did an great CD of covers titled Influence. A few favorites here are Lucky Man, Summer Breeze, Sound of Silence and California Dreaming. Shaw and Blades sound like they were born to sing together.
I can think of Alison Krauss's "When you say nothing at all", previously done by Keith Whitley.
Whitney Houston's "The greatest love of all", also done by George Benson.
Simply Red's "If you don't know me by now", done by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
Rebecca Pidgeon's "Spanish Harlem", done by Ben E. King.*
Blood Sweat and Tears's "God Bless this child", with the untouchable version, IMHO, done by Billy Holiday.
I am not quite sure who sang the original version of each song but those are my comparisons of remakes vs popular versions.
Happy Holidays to everyone and all the best in the New Year.
Keep the music playing.
* I could not find the Rebecca Pidgeon CD to verify this but I am pretty sure of it.
Many of my fav's are mentioned above.
Cowboy Junkies released a CD called "'Neath Your Covers". It was actually a throw in with "One Soul Now" when I bought it. Among the songs on 'neath your covers are 3 I like better than the original:
"Thunder Road" (Springsteen)
"Darkness, Darkness" (The Youngbloods)
"Helpless" (N. Young)
Darkness. Darkness is especially notable as it's already one of my favorite songs.
These made extreme hits out of previously obscure songs
Black Eyed Peas - Where is the love
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
All Along the watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Der Kommissar - After the Fire
Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
Please don't let me be misunderstood - The Animals
Red Red Wine - UB40
Shake rattle and roll - Bill Haley's Comets
I will second the Cowboy Junkies "Thunder Road" and add:
Shonen Knife: "Top of the World" (Carpenters)
Bob Dylan/Tiny Tim: "I've Got You Babe" (Sonny and Cher)
Be Good Tanyas: "Waiting Around to Die" (Townes Van Zandt)
William Shatner: "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Dylan, Byrds)
Nazareth: "Love Hurts" (Roy Orbison)
Persuations: "The Wanderer" (U2)
Ike and Tina Turner: "Proud Mary" (John Fogerty/Credence)
Tom Waits: "Hi Ho, Hi Ho" (from Seven Dwarfs)
Aretha Franklin: "Jumpin Jack Flash" (Rolling Stones)
Sebastian Cabot: "It Aint Me Babe" (Dylan)
What about those songs where the original version is far less popular/known than the cover?
"Sister Morphine" came out on the Rolling Stone's Sticky Finger album in 1971. I like the Marianne Faithful version more, but when it was released in 1969 the lyrics were deemed too controversial and the album was actually banned in some places.
"The Rose" is listed on a number of uniformed websites as being written by Bette Midler. She performed the most popular version of the song, but it was written by Amanda McBroom; I actually prefer McBroom's version of the song.
I know Jackson Browne can't stand the fact that the Eagle's cover of "Take it Easy" was much more popular than his.
Also, what about "covers" which are only loosely based on another song, such as Patti Smitth's "Gloria" which is a take off on Van Morrison's song of the same name.