Are some covers better than the originals?


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warlockfan
09-13-2010, 11:27 PM
Hey UG,

Everyday there are discussions on who the best song or band is. But what about covers? Are there any exceptions?
I am open to everyones opinions and can include studio recordings to live performances.
I wanna see what UG thinks!
Thanks.

oneblackened
09-13-2010, 11:36 PM
In my opinion, yes. Cream's cover of Crossroads was, in my opinion, far superior to the Robert Johnson version.

Wrst_Plyr_Evr
09-13-2010, 11:40 PM
I'm more partial to Reel Big Fish's version of "Boys Don't Cry". But I do like both versions.

halfj06
09-13-2010, 11:45 PM
marylin mansons sweet dreams
metallica's turn the page

zach in black
09-13-2010, 11:50 PM
marylin mansons sweet dreams
metallica's turn the page

I agree with the manson, but bob seger is clearly better than metallica. I would say johnny cash's cover of Hurt is better than the NIN. That is probably one of the best covers ever

gatechballer
09-13-2010, 11:56 PM
I like most of Metallica's "Garage Inc." covers more than the originals.

A bunch of Hendrix's stuff on his "Blues" album were actually songs by Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, etc, but he changed some of the names and improvised the leads. Ilike them much more than the originals, especially Mannish Boy.

burndttoast
09-13-2010, 11:57 PM
Radiohead's cover of Carly Simon's "Nobody Does it Better"
Eddie Vedder's cover of The Beatles' "Hide Your Love Away"
Jenny Lewis' cover of The Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care"

mtforever
09-14-2010, 11:39 PM
Off the top of my head, I prefer Joe Cocker's version of the Beatles' "With a little help from my friends" to the original. Because it's different, and good at being different.

If your just going to play a cover note for note (unless maybe your a cover band in a bar) then there really isn't a point to the cover. If the original artist already recorded a song a certain way, recording it in the same way is kind of redundant.

An example of a bad cover (IMO) is Aerosmith's cover of the Beatles' "Come together"

Sure the playing is good, they are all good musicians and Tyler is an excellent singer but the texture's in the song seem almost the same as the original. It's not different enough, nothing was accomplished with the cover other than a single that was sure to sell.

An example of a good cover (IMO) would be The Rolling Stone's cover of Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain"

The lyrics and basic structure are essentially the same, but the feel of the song is almost completely different, with more of a slow blues 6/8 feel. Arpeggiated chords as apposed to Johnson's delta blues riffs. Although I wouldn't call it better than the original, the stone's certainly make it their own.

Andrewbiles
09-15-2010, 01:01 PM
In my opinion, yes. Cream's cover of Crossroads was, in my opinion, far superior to the Robert Johnson version.

Search for Stephen Stills' version. It flows into a cover of 'You Can't Catch Me' on his live album. Truly mind blowing.

Delboyuk_01
09-15-2010, 05:56 PM
Anything Jimi Hendrix covered that was by Bob Dylan, His like a rollin Stone was awsome and Bob Dylan actually credits Jimi for All along the watchtower on one of his albums.

As for Robert johnson covers, unless you do a cover in your bedroom on a cheap acoustic using a laptop mic to record with, it's obviously going to sound better lol.

REM'S version of love is all around is pretty good.

Petey D
09-15-2010, 10:52 PM
An example of a bad cover (IMO) is Aerosmith's cover of the Beatles' "Come together"



No way, you're on Dope, Areosmith's "Come Together" is hands down better than the Beatles', and Sound Garden's version is even better than that. The Beatles are waaaaaay over rated.

Other better than the original covers, Big Sugar's cover of BTO's "Let it Ride," and Seether's cover of "Careless Whisper." I'm also a big fan of Nonpoint's "In the Air Tonight" cover.

-tempest-
09-15-2010, 10:55 PM
probably already said but i like alien ant farms version of smooth criminal better than MJ's lol.

Robbin'TheHood
09-15-2010, 11:00 PM
Hey UG,

Everyday there are discussions on who the best song or band is. But what about covers? Are there any exceptions?
I am open to everyones opinions and can include studio recordings to live performances.
I wanna see what UG thinks!
Thanks.

In my oppinion Sublime's cover of Were Only Gonna Die (For Our Own Arrogance) was better than the original.

mtforever
09-16-2010, 12:54 PM
No way, you're on Dope, Areosmith's "Come Together" is hands down better than the Beatles', and Sound Garden's version is even better than that. The Beatles are waaaaaay over rated.

Other better than the original covers, Big Sugar's cover of BTO's "Let it Ride," and Seether's cover of "Careless Whisper." I'm also a big fan of Nonpoint's "In the Air Tonight" cover.


What aspect of the cover do you like better? Just curious.

Petey D
09-16-2010, 05:45 PM
^ Pretty much every aspect. The guitar work has more texture, Steven Tyler's voice gives the song an edge, heavier bass and drum lines. It just plain rocks harder than the Beatles. But then again, the Beatles don't really rock very hard at all do they?

Banjocal
09-16-2010, 05:48 PM
jonny cash - hurt
marilyn manson - sweet dreams (as mentioned)
him - solitary man
mad world

Rice_Pilot
09-16-2010, 06:00 PM
UO's version of girl, you'll be a woman soon.

mtforever
09-16-2010, 10:44 PM
^ Pretty much every aspect. The guitar work has more texture, Steven Tyler's voice gives the song an edge, heavier bass and drum lines. It just plain rocks harder than the Beatles. But then again, the Beatles don't really rock very hard at all do they?

Thats fair enough, I just think they could of made it their own buy mixing it up a bit more.

And I don't think the point of the Beatles music was "rocking hard." it's not really an aspect that I look for in a beatles song. Sometimes I want to, and prefer to listen to the lighter textures in a beatles song.

Petey D
09-16-2010, 11:31 PM
I don't think the point of the Beatles music was "rocking hard." it's not really an aspect that I look for in a beatles song. Sometimes I want to, and prefer to listen to the lighter textures in a beatles song.


You'll get no argument from me on that note.

My issue with the Beatles really has nothing to do with the composition of the music, I look at the Beatles as some of the many godfathers of Pop music, and I'm of the opinion the Pop music is representative of all that is soulless and evil and a means for the corporate universe to control the masses and erase individuality. So as a matter of principal I don't like it. It's just a coincidence that it dosen't appeal to my personal taste either.

To each his own right?

GnikNus
09-17-2010, 02:43 AM
^Seems a bit of a limiting way to view music but carry on as I'm unaffected.
On a similar topic, I've always preferred the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout".
Also, Aretha Franklin's version of "Respect", The White Stripes cover of "Stop Breaking Down" (Though I love Robert Johnson), Scala & Kolacny Brothers cover of "Creep", The Black Keys doing "Never Gonna Give You Up", and Sublime's "We're Only Gonna Die (For Our Own Arrogance)". The list could go on for days I'm sure but I think I've made the point that some covers can overshadow the original.

Codytheicecube
09-17-2010, 02:49 AM
deftones-simple man
and i am really fond of shadows fall welcome to the machine

BrainDamage
09-17-2010, 03:06 PM
My issue with the Beatles really has nothing to do with the composition of the music, I look at the Beatles as some of the many godfathers of Pop music, and I'm of the opinion the Pop music is representative of all that is soulless and evil and a means for the corporate universe to control the masses and erase individuality. So as a matter of principal I don't like it. It's just a coincidence that it dosen't appeal to my personal taste either.

To each his own right? Yes, to each his own, but only in regards to the fact that their sound doesn't appeal to you. Dismissing them right off the bat just because they influenced a genre that you don't like isn't a valid argument in my opinion. But that's another discussion for another thread.

eXperiment63
09-18-2010, 11:20 AM
Shinedown - Simple Man (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_yBTIkwXoA), One (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS-_1GYz0s8)(Only their acoustic covers).

Seether - Careless Whisper, Rehab

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Hildesheimer
09-18-2010, 01:49 PM
I've always enjoyed Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" over Leonard Cohen's. I don't really know why, probably because Buckley's has much more emotion attached to it.

MortifiedLizard
09-19-2010, 10:36 AM
Johnny Cash - Hurt
John Mayer - Wait Till Tomorrow (I'm no Mayer fanboy, but his trio stuff is amazing. "Bold As Love" was his epic fail cover though)
Showbread - Safety Dance

and that's all I can think of actually.

rflink
09-21-2010, 04:40 AM
I love Aerosmith but, I agree with the people that like the Beatles version of 'Come Together' better than the cover. However, I think Aerosmith's cover of the Yardbirds version (also a cover) of 'Train Kept A Rollin' is fantastic.

A few years ago Styx released an album of cover songs. I liked their version of 'I Don't Need No Doctor' which was a cover of a Humble Pie release which was a cover of a Ray Charles song.

I love Linda Ronstadt. Her entire career was built on cover songs. Covers that I thought were better are than the original were 'Blue Bayou' by Roy Orbison', It's So Easy' by Buddy Holly, 'When Will I Be Loved' by The Everly Brothers, Poor Poor Pitiful Me' by Warren Zevon and 'You're No Good' originally recorded by Betty Everett. Van Halen also did a very good version of 'You're No Good'.

Speaking of Van Halen, though I loved the Kinks version of 'You Really Got Me' I did like Van Halen's better. I even liked their version of 'Happy Trails' better than Roy Rogers. On a live album, they did a respectable version of 'Won't Get Fooled Again' by the Who. I can't say I liked it better but, I thought Eddie doing the synthesizer solo on guitar was particularly impressive.

Speaking of the Kinks, I liked Green Day's version of 'Tired Of Waiting' better mainly because of the quality of the recording made on more modern equipment, even though Billy Joe wimped out slightly playing major chords or power chords instead of the 7th chords played on the original.

'Feelin' Alright' by Traffic was outdone by both Three Dog Night and Joe Cocker.

'Blinded By the Light' by Manfred Mann was better than Springsteen's.

'Summertime Blues' by almost everyone was better than the Eddie Cochran version. The Who and Blue Cheer come to mind. I said "almost everyone" because the Alan Jackson version sucked.

'Good Lovin' by the Rascals was a cover. I've forgotten who did the original.

I agree with Bob Dylan and all the other people that thought Jimi Hendrix did a better job with 'All Along The Watchtower'. 'Mr. Tambourine Man' is another Dylan tune. The Byrds did it better.

Very few people know that 'Without You' was originally done by Badfinger. It was first made famous by Harry Nillson in the early 70s. Mariah Carey had a hit with it too.

I could go on forever but, I'm starting to bore myself. Sorry.

kenfrazee@gmail
09-21-2010, 04:47 AM
Type O Negative- "Cinnamon Girl"
Foo Fighters- "Down in the Park"
Fear Factory- "Cars"

Last 2 not necessarily better than Numan, just refreshingly different. The Down in Park cover kills me.

Tarsplitter
09-21-2010, 05:28 AM
There are only two cases where I find a cover version far superior to the original:

Train Kept a Rollin' by Aerosmith
I Heard It Through the Grapevine by CCR

TheAzMyster
09-23-2010, 09:49 AM
I Like Motley's version of Anarchy in the UK more than the Sex pistols version.
I think simply because it's more up beat and it adds to "Anarchy" that is trying to be represented in the song

Calibos
09-23-2010, 11:55 AM
Radiohead's cover of Carly Simon's "Nobody Does it Better"


lol irony

Emenius Sleepus
09-25-2010, 09:16 AM
I marginally prefer Opeth's cover of Soldier of Fortune over the original song. Killer tune either way, but the cover was I suppose a refinement on the original. In my view, at least.

TJM2482
09-26-2010, 04:14 PM
Deftones?!?! Shinedown!?!? BLASPHEMY!

Skynyrd ain't gettin' outdone by some nu-metal band or a generic radio rock outfit.

I can't really think of any covers off the top of my head that managed to be better than the originals. Some are close though, such as BTBAM's Metallica/Pantera covers, Paul Gilbert's rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, etc.

Mekchrious
09-27-2010, 05:13 PM
Rascal Flats cover of Life is a Highway was better to me. Two different styles of music, but I like his voice much better.

MortifiedLizard
09-29-2010, 04:05 AM
I Like Motley's version of Anarchy in the UK more than the Sex pistols version.
I think simply because it's more up beat and it adds to "Anarchy" that is trying to be represented in the song
It just makes no sense, Motley was a total hair band, basically representing everything the Sex Pistols hated. Not hating on either genre, just saying. It's like GnR covering Nirvana.

IIjakeH
09-29-2010, 04:22 PM
Jimi hendrix's All along the watch tower was better than Bob Dylans in my opinion.

TheLastAutobot
09-30-2010, 02:33 PM
Jimi hendrix's All along the watch tower was better than Bob Dylans in my opinion.
Bob Dylan can write good songs but goddammit he can't play them for shit. Every bob dylan cover is better than bob dylan. ESPECIALLY Jimi's All Along the Watchtower.

Hildesheimer
10-01-2010, 09:30 AM
I don't think it's his intention to be as technical as Hendrix was.

ohhey9040
10-01-2010, 06:30 PM
The two that come to mind are John Cale's version of Hallelujah (the strings and the vocal performance just kill me) and Jim O'Rourke's version of the Spice Girls song Viva Forever. It's not all that hard to outdo a Spice Girls song but even by those easy standards he kills it.

MoosemartGuy
10-14-2010, 06:27 AM
If the original is a Bob Dylan song is the original the cover is better ( not all of them though)

And Joe COcker also does some good covers, such as I get By with a little help from my friends

ironmanben
10-15-2010, 04:13 PM
Motley Crue - Smokin' In The Boys Room. The original was great, but this blows it away!

Wylde_Life
10-16-2010, 06:26 PM
'Summertime Blues' by almost everyone was better than the Eddie Cochran version. The Who and Blue Cheer come to mind. I said "almost everyone" because the Alan Jackson version sucked.


I was reading through this, just hoping someone would mention Summertime Blues. The Who version is probably my all time favorite cover song, they made that song excellent. Rush also did a very good version of it in some of their live sets, like R30.

Really, anything Clapton covered, with the exception of some of his mid 90's blues covers, are better than the original. 'After Midnight', 'Cocaine', 'Crossroads', etc...

SRV's version of 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' and 'Little Wing' to me surpass the originals. As well as his live performances of 'Voodoo Chile', although, those are a toss up with Jimi's own.

As mentioned, Jimi's 'All Along the Watchtower.'

I think it is a fairly rare sight to see a cover made better than the original nowadays though, like the newer covers of Bad Company and Janis Joplin musci (cannot recall the newer artists) sound bad to me, but I am sure the same was thought by Blues enthusiasts when rock musicians started covering their music. The music they are covering is from too well known of artists, where at the time as Clapton says, most people had forgotten about the old Blues musicians, so their songs maybe weren't as hard for people to accept as 'new'.

The K-Man
10-16-2010, 08:02 PM
The Ramones cover of The Searchers "Needles and Pins" was phenominally better than the original...! :dance:

Twistedrock
10-16-2010, 08:14 PM
Tbh, Dream Theater's cover of To Tame A Land stunned me. LaBrie's vocals in the first few minutes are intense and Petruccitron nailed the solos perfectly imo.

Edit: Just noticed this is the Classic Rock forum. Meh, Maiden are 'classic metal' aren't they?

darth whaler
10-16-2010, 09:24 PM
The Ataris' cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer' is a good one. Sped up a bit, distorted a bit, and still retains the vibe of the original.

FlisiQ
04-15-2011, 07:10 PM
Chili Peppers made cover of Sly And Family Stones `If you want me to stay`.
That's better

ron666
04-16-2011, 07:37 PM
I would say that Van Halen's version of You Really Got Me is much better that the Kinks original version. The VH version has way more energy. What does everybody think??

ron666

JammerZice
04-17-2011, 12:43 PM
Joan Jett's cover of "Crimson and Clover" was absolute mind blowing! Her cover of "Everyday people" was very good also.

Quab
04-17-2011, 03:32 PM
Hmmm this is a tough question because you dont want to disrespect the musical minds who came up with the song in the first place. In some cases I do enjoy listening to the cover of a song such as Disturbed's version of Land of Confusion. They covered it so well interpretting it into their own style. However, Genesis wrote this song first and it is still quite good. It really all depends on your ear and what you are looking for. I like some covers better then the original but hate others as I think the writers totally trash the song to make money off it. FE- Sean Kingston's rip of Zep's D'yer Maker. Kingston wrote a horrible song imo, but sometimes its better FE- Disturbed's Land of Confusion. As long as you credit the original, I think you can be better then them too based on your likes.

JediRabbit
04-20-2011, 11:35 PM
I would say that Van Halen's version of You Really Got Me is much better that the Kinks original version. The VH version has way more energy. What does everybody think??

ron666

No Chance man. I love Van Halen as a band, probably more so then the Kinks (that's another discussion), so don't think I'm trying to hate on Van Halen. But the Kinks version is one of the greatest songs of all time. I'll tell u why.

Ray Davies and Dave Davies wrote that two power chord riff when Ray was fooling around on their piano. Dave was plugged up, and started playing it on the guitar. Ray thought it was fine, but Dave wanted it more distorted. So he slashed the speaker of a little Eplico amp, then slaved it to his Vox amp. This created a distorted and utterly primitive sound. Keep in mind this was 1964, when ear pleasing distortion was a very new thing in music. So a 17 year old kid almost invented modern distortion. Couple this with furious drumming, heavy Riffing and a wild guitar solo, u get the track that invented hard rock.

This inspired Pete Townshend to write "I Can't Explain". W/ either of those songs, there would be no Van Halen. Opinions are opinions, but knowing this might make u appreciate how great the original really is.
Rock On,
Jedi Rabbit
P.S. And I'm not trying to offend u or question your opinions. If u like The Van Halen version better, cool. I'm just explaining why I like the kinks version the best.

frehleyjr
04-22-2011, 12:45 PM
Of course there are covers better than the original:

Aerosmith - Come Together
Originally by The Beatles

Ace Frehley - Do Ya
Originally by ELO

isthisnameused
05-03-2011, 11:12 AM
Johnny Cash - Hurt
Aerosmith - Train Kept A Rollin'
BB King - Key To The Highway (I know it's not Classic Rock, but it's easily one of my favorite covers)

Also, Humble Pie did lots of awesome covers that are really worth checking out.

bigblockelectra
05-04-2011, 12:06 AM
Pantera's cover of Planet Caravan is better than the original.

hitman_47
05-05-2011, 12:02 PM
APC's cover of Imagine is much better than the original IMO.

Born2Fun
05-15-2011, 02:53 PM
I'm a huge bruce fan (hence the username) but I really like Manfred Mann's cover of Blinded by the Light better than Bruce's.

feyenoordgvv
05-17-2011, 04:07 PM
red hot chili peppers - higher ground (original stevie wonder)

potheadpixie
05-18-2011, 03:16 PM
eric burdon & war covered paint it black and a day in the life. both are better than the originals by the rolling stones and the beatles.

Born2Fun
05-19-2011, 10:34 AM
i really like the stones "Just My Imagination" from the "Shine A Light" movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAPa3V0jIbQ