UG's Top 10 Best Cover Songs

Your votes have been counted, and the pranksters have won again. Check out the playlist of the best cover songs of all time right here.

Ultimate Guitar

On Wednesday we asked you about the best cover songs of all time.

We've collected the results and pulled the best cover songs ever.

There's a few entries you might expect, but several that might surprise you. And, as usual, UG readers pulled another classic prank and voted a hilarious but worthy entry to number 1. See if you can guess what it is before scrolling down.

So make a cup of tea, grab a guitar, and play along to the best cover songs ever.

10. Metallica covers "Turn The Page" by Bob Seger

The original by Bob Seger in 1973 was never released as a single but became a mainstay of classic rock radio stations. When Metallica tackled it in 1998 for their album "Garage Inc.", and went to the top of the Billboard Rock Chart for longer than any of their previous hits.

09. Van Halen covers "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks

This slammin' version of The Kinks' classic improves on the lo-fi original with crisp guitar and thumping drums. We love the original, but Van Halen make it sound even better then throw in a guitar solo for good measure.

08. Anthrax covers "Antisocial" by Trust

French band Trust released the original in 1980, but Anthrax decided to brush it off in 1988 with English lyrics to include on their album "State Of Euphoria". They paid respect to the gallic songwriters by including a French version on their compilation album "Anthology: No Hit Wonders (1985-1991)".

07. Nirvana covers "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by David Bowie

This American folk classic otherwise known as "In The Pines" or "Black Girl" was brought to the attention of Kurt Cobain via the artist Lead Belly, who recorded several versions in the 1940s. This live version for Nirvana's unforgettable unplugged session could be the most aggressive version ever committed to tape.

06. Red Hot Chili Peppers cover "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder

The band loved this Stevie Wonder song so much that they made it the second track on their album "Mother's Milk" and released it as a single. Believe it or not, this awful 1980s-style video earned them an MTV Award nomination.

05. Children Of Bodom cover "Oops I Did It Again" by Britney Spears

This Finnish death metal act took aim at the pop princess with this gnarly distorted recording. It's not particularly good until around 2:40, when you accidentally start singing along and sling an air guitar around your head.

04. Johnny Cash covers "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails

Perhaps one of the most emotional songs of all time. Johnny Cash recorded this shortly before his death, helping secure his legacy as an all-time musical hero. Producer Rick Rubin is often slammed for being something of a non-producer, but this song is as much a testament to him as it is to Cash and its original composer Trent Reznor.

03. Nirvana covers "The Man Who Sold The World" by David Bowie

David Bowie's 1970 album of the same name was listed in Cobain's top 50 albums ever in his journals. The song became such a regular in Nirvana sets that Bowie became frustrated with "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'F-ck you, you little tosser!'"

02. Jimi Hendrix covers "All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was full of praise for Hendrix's classic re-imagining of this song, which is often cited as one of the best cover songs ever.

"[Hendrix] could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn't think of finding in there," Dylan said in 1995. In fact, ol' Bob liked the cover so much that it inspired him to play include the song in his own live sets for the first time.

01. Drunk guy in back of cop car covers "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Oh man. You guys deserve a high five, because this is f--king awesome. Who could forget the drunk guy singing to cops after being arrested back in March this year? This real video from the back of a cop car shows a young man protesting his innocence before diving into a word-perfect rendition of the classic.

It's the eighth wonder of the earth, and officially your best cover song of all time. We couldn't agree more.

Which is your favorite? Did another classic miss the cut? Share other covers worth checking out in the comments. Drunk singers get extra points, especially if they sing instrumental parts.

247 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The drunk guy sings the guitar solo better then I play it sober.....
    Well, I'm certainly convinced. Nothing says 'I'm innocent' like a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.
    UG is trying to be "trendy" And congrats to you for being the first comment I've replied to.
    I think Rage Against The Machines "How I Could Just Kill A Man" should be noticed.
    Really that whole album...
    this is a cool change in the comments section but UG still needs that edit and delete button. also, i did not realize all of the songs from this album were covers
    i get downvoted for what reason? first of all u dnt even explain what u mean by "that whole album". u may b referring to their 'Renegades' album but u didnt specify, and im talking about ONE song.
    looks like i accidentally "replied" to you.
    The album that the song you mentioned was could that be any clearer...
    would've liked to see pantera's "hole in the sky" on here... but thanks for having a sense of humor UG
    Two nirvanas??? I'm pretty sure no quarter by tool got a bunch of suggestions...
    They get all the crap because the band that covered that song isn't same band. 2 members got kicked after 2 album and they've gone downhill ever since more mainstream than ever
    Great list I think. Though I think Priest's Diamonds& Rust deserves a nod. Helpless by Metallica is awesome too.
    good list but I like Simple Man by Shinedown
    Epi g-310
    I really don't understand the crap that Shinedown gets. That cover was actually really amazing.
    I thought that cover was ****ing horrible. It's the same song, except the music is dumbed down, and the vocals are terribly over sung.
    "Come on feel the noise" by Quiet Riot must have been overlooked, it should be here.
    it's a very famous cover, but let's be honest. Does anyone really think it's good? I cringe every time I hear it. Like nails on a chalkboard.
    VH's You Really Got Me is not better than the original - I know this is a guitar site but random licks do not make a song better. Not a bad cover, but not better.
    Thank you! The Kinks, imo, played the song far superior to Van Halen. They did a nice job and all, but the Kinks won in every aspect. The solo especially, because it was both badass and tasteful.
    The Clash - I Fought the Law Isaac Hayes - Walk on By The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man The Beatles - Twist and Shout And tons of other reallyreally great covers should be on this list! I understand UG is mainly populated by metalheads but c'mon.
    probably not good enough for this list, but machine heads cover of battery was pretty awesome
    Turn the page neat out Am I Evil, and Stone Cold Crazy!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    I would have liked to see Tool's cover of No Quarter, Chris Cornell's cover of Billie Jean, Paul Gilbert's cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Slayer's cover of In a Gadda Da Vida, but this list is for the most part good. Twist and Shout and Texas Flood should be on here, but most people aren't aware that those songs are covers. I'm really surprised that Knockin' on Heaven's Door isn't on here though, GNR and Clapton both did good jobs with their cover of that song.
    Cum on feel the Noize - Quiet Riot Smoking in the Boys Room - Motley Crue Memories Can Wait - Living Colour
    Come on guys, where is With a Little Help From My Friends, by Joe Cocker?
    I'm pretty sure that would be 'gay dad rock' by half of the users here, but I think it definitely belongs in the top 5 or higher.
    I'm glad to see "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" up there. I listened to that song, both the cover and Leadbelly's version on repeat when I first heard Nirvana cover it. Also, the Unplugged set Nirvana did in '93 is one of my favorite live performances.
    Sepultura - Symptom of the Universe White Zombie - Children of the Grave Death - Painkiller Exodus - Low Rider Slayer - In a Gadda Da Vida
    I think that one of Iced Earth's covers off their album Tribute to the Gods should have been on this list. They do some really good covers there.
    What about Jolene by The White Stripes?? It's not common at all but, It's an amazing cover Heres a video of it.
    And whil your there, check out my YouTube channel ManOnTheSteps
    Darth Wader
    I don't care what anybody says, Johnny Cash's "Hurt" is the best cover song of all time! I also like Social Distortion's cover of Cash's "Ring of Fire" to complete the Cash circle.
    Imagine by A Perfect Circle, that whole album (eMOTIVe) is really interesting and well done. You can tell they put a lot of effort into it.
    Snowblind - System of a Down No Quarter - Tool Supernaut - 1000 Homo DJs Symptom of the Universe - Sepultura Lullaby - Robert Plant
    This list is almost useless with no Knocking on Heavens Door - GNR
    definitely thought holy diver was gonna make the list.
    gordy420 · Aug 10, 2012 04:51 PM
    This list is almost useless with no Knocking on Heavens Door - Guns n' Roses