Wednesday Question: Covers That Sound Better Than Originals

Votes and nominations inside...

Ultimate Guitar
Wednesday Question: Covers That Sound Better Than Originals

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we'd like to kindly ask you folks to think about all the cover songs out there and answer this thing right here:

Which cover song sounds better than its original version?

THE RULES - post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).

Multiple nominations of one song create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given track to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same tune, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.

Finally, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another classic UG top list. Show us what you got now!

796 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Obvious answer: All Along The Watchtower - Hendrix
    Sorry to throw this here, but since UG didn't say it in the article, I'd like to encourage people to sort by "New comments" (Yes, that's a thing now!) so that nominations that weren't posted so early have a chance at getting attention.
    Totally agree! I'm looking at all of the latest posts and although there are some great suggestions, they're not getting a chance
    Totally agree! I'm looking at all of the latest posts and although there are some great suggestions, they're not getting a Chance; maybe a token vote here or there
    I read recently that when Dylan does that song now he does the Hendrix rendition. Not many people can out-Dylan Dylan.
    Or any cover of a Bob Dylan song really.
    dont talk pish
    I'm not. He's a decent song writer, but personally, I can't stand his voice. I would rather listen to Hendrix doing Watchtower, The Byrds playing Mr Tambourine man, and (although far from my favourite) Guns 'n' Roses playing Knockin' on Heaven's Door. It's just opinion.
    A decent song writer? come on, thats a bit understatement. I notice you mention 3 acoustic songs, albums like H61,bringing it all back home, blonde on blonde, blood on the tracks,desire,slow train coming,shot of love, as good as ive been to you, world gone wrong, oh mercy etc with a whole band behind him are very different. Although I may be a die hard fan i can understand people saying they are not a fan of his voice to say he cant sing is totally incorrect. Very few singers could have held 200,000+ in their hand at blackbushe or on the 1974 tour for example the way he done.
    a decent song writer. a DECENT song writer. Yeah, and Michael Jordan was pretty good at basketball.
    Yeah. I'm not even a Hendrix or Dylan fan, yet this cover is one of my favorite songs ever.
    Gary Jules- Mad World, such a haunting song, in a good way.
    I have to disagree. While it's a good cover, the mood almost feels forced as sad, while the original Tears for Fears version presents a much more complex soundscape that simply sounds more "mad".
    True. The Gary Jules version is pretty good, but the original was more fitting. Even that trippy solo was cool.
    Fantômas - Rosemary's Baby (Christopher Komeda cover) I can't decide what I like more - this or the cover of Nino Rota's "The Godfather" - the whole "The Director's Cut" album is just fantastically great! And yes, Mike Patton is just an insane genius!..
    Not going to win but I totally agree. The directors cut is one of my favorite albums ever.
    Metallica - Am I Evil?
    Lets make it easy and say a majority of Garage Inc
    I would have gone with Turn the Page, personally. It does a better job of taking something and making it their own.
    Not any of the classic rock covers, though.
    Lol y'all actually like their Tuesday's Gone?
    I like it but as a tribute. But -to me- they butchered astronomy and whiskey in the jar...
    lol, says the person who probably only knows "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "The Boys are Back in Town"
    Metallica fanboy much? I've got all discographies from both bands (and metallica too), is it a crime to have an opinion? I prefer these songs from thin lizzy and blue öyster cult, I dont understand why that would made me an incult... Don't insult people because their opinions diverge from yours But I'll add to my previous comment : I still like the covers metallica did, but it's far from being as good as the one I mentionned (to me)
    I always felt that song didn't translate from British to American so well, but I'm probably in a minority here as everyone seems to love the Metallica version
    Hurt - Johnny Cash
    One thing I love is that although both versions share the same lyrics, both have such a different tone and meaning. With the NIN version it tells a story of somebody who is lost and desperate in a world of drugs, reliving his hurts through addiction. With Johnny Cash's version it shows an old man who has had a great long life, filled with pain, love and regret. I wouldn't necessarily say one is better than the other, because both renditions are so excellent in their own way.
    are you KIDDING ? the original is flawless with so much emotion from Trent
    Thank you for your sensible answer!!
    The question is about covers that sound better than the original. Nothing wrong with the NIN version whatsoever, but I reckon the man in black felt it, channeled it and did it better. Love both versions regardless.
    Sepultura - War (Bob Marley & The Wailers cover) Just raw and great...
    Catamaran - Kyuss I really hope this doesn't get lost in this sea of comments, because this really is a tremendous cover and one of my favorite songs of all time. Pretty shocked to see this hasn't earned a single vote, it transforms the song into something more beautiful and sheer production and talent makes this cover so uniquely better than the original.
    311 - Love Song (The Cure cover) The Cure's original is really great, but 311's version is much more soulful and deep in my opinion - just check it:
    AMAZING cover, it's just sooooo good!! It took the song to a whole new level...
    Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
    Buckley did a great job, but it's nowhere near Cohen's original version.. The question is about covers that are better than the original, not "good covers".
    Well technically Jeff's was a cover of John Cale's version of Hallelujah. Even Cohen said no one cared about that song until Jeff made it popular.
    *John Cale I have a lot of respect for Cohen as a songwriter, but I honestly prefer John Cale's version.
    I'd say that John Cale's version is as good as either Buckley's and Cohen's versions. Maybe better?
    Quiet Riot Cum on Feel the Noize
    I wouldn't say they did it better. Theirs is just far more popular today. They didn't even really change anything about it.
    Easy - Faith No More. The original is good but they killed it with that cover
    How can it be better when the keyboard sounds like a simplified MIDI version, they cut one of the two verses out, and changed nothing else but "ooh" to "eww".
    FNM's version is basically a completely straight cover but with the piano parts simplified and one less verse. The cover is good, but only because the original song is great and there's nothing added to it by FNM.
    This is my #1 cover of all time, the perfect balance of being true to the original yet making it your own.
    Ugly Kid Joe- Cats in the Cradle, gives me goosebumps everytime i hear it. Plus, i hate the original
    Santana - Black Magic Woman It was actually originally released by Fleetwood Mac, which really surprised me when I found out. Both versions are great though.
    The man who sold the world -nirvana
    Yea they do a great job with this, but IMHO the Bowie version is better. Especially the live one from SNL.
    Turn the Page - Metallica.
    Seager's is sooooo much better.
    I'm with you, man. I like it better than their Whiskey in the Jar or Tuesday's Gone, but it's not better than Bob Seger.
    Metallica - Breadfan
    Is everyone going to post all of Metallica's Garage Inc? Because most of their versions suck ass! Budgie's breadfan is so much better than Metallica's... it also applies to the Blue Öyster Cult covers (they sound horrid to me, and I listened to BOC's versions first).
    Metallica is one of the most popular bands of all time. Of course there's going to be several songs from that album chosen for this poll.
    Whiskey In The Jar - Metallica. Originally by I think The Dubliners, then Thin Lizzy. Always been one of my favorite Metallica tunes.
    Isn't it an old folk-song too? If so, it's hard to say it's "better" than the original, when it has tons of forms.
    Metallica's cover is good, but nowhere near the original
    I hate the Metallica cover. It's almost note for note the thin lizzy song so what's the point? Thin lizzy should have been the nominations here
    Manfred Mann-Blinded by the Light
    No No no no no. Sorry. I respect its your opinion but Manfred Mann butchered this song. Greeting from Asbury Park was rough and poorly mastered but the original is better. Check out a live version if the recording is to poor.
    Muse - Feeling Good
    I Ike it. But it ain't nowhere near better
    It's two very different versions - Personally, I prefer Simone's original, but Muse's is also great
    Ha. When I heard that on the radio when it came out I honestly thought it was a joke version in the style of Thom Yorke. I was howling with laughter and other people were saying it was incredible.
    I've always thought that Matt Bellamy sounds like a Thom Yorke knockoff (vocally), but people here call me crazy for thinking that.
    What makes you think that Matt sounds like knock off? I keep hearing this but never understand the logic behind it beyond similar vocal range and use of falsetto.. I think their delivery/tone is very different in style. Matt is more in your face while Thom sounds much more calm/soothing. Yes they get into each others territories time to time (For example Blackout-Muse verses sound like Thom) but their "distinctive" voices are similar at all. Especially Showbiz album sounds nothing like early Radiohead...
    I don't mean it in a bad way. I just don't know another word for it.
    Knockin' on Heavens Door - Guns 'n Roses
    I may be the only one but Guns n Roses' cover is my LEAST favorite cover of this song. Eric Clapton, Warren Zevon, even Bon Jovi do it better. I don't think GNR's version has any of the emotion that the song's lyrics would imply.
    jerome snail
    Anthrax - Antisocial
    Limp Bizkit - Faith
    I was going to suggest this but though I may get down voted into oblivion due to the LB hate
    I think you'll find that quite a few people on UG have respect for Limp Bizkit but think Fred Durst is a douche.