“What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?” Everyone is familiar with that opening line from 1968 Joe Cocker cover of With A Little Help From My Friends. Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon for Ringo to sing, it isn’t Ringo verison we remember. Joe Cocker’s beautiful melodic powerful spin is definitely better so much that his verison is the official rock anthem for Woodstock and is the most memorable.
Me personally I don’t like covers or re-makes because way too often the re-make or cover sounds worst then the original, example of this is Mariah cover of Def Leppard’s “Bring On The Heartbreak”, however, there are those rare occasions a cover song has such an impact more then the original that you have to take note. This blog will focus on cover songs that sounds just as good if not BETTER than the original so let’s get started.
“Just Like Heaven” (Origin: The Cure 1987 Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
Just Like Heaven is the alternative rock love anthem with lyrics like ““Spinning on that dizzy edge Kissed her face and kissed her head Dreamed of all the different ways, I had to make her glow Why are you so far away she said Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you? That I’m in love with you”, it’s a no brainer that this song has melted the hearts of Cure female fans. The song was written by lead singer Robert Smith. Smith was inspired by a trip to the seashore with his wife. The song is the 3rd single from Kiss Me LP. Just like Heaven is the first song by Cure to chart in the US coming in at number 40 This song has been covered by few artists including Blink 182 but it’s the 2005 cover by Kate Melua that is most memorable. Kate sweet sound voice adds an easy listening vibe. (The Cure 1987) / (Kate Melua 2005)
“I didn’t Mean to Turn You On” (Origin: Cherrelle 1984 Single)
I didn’t mean to turn you on is the ultimate dance song. Written by dynamic duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis yes the guys behind Janet Jackson “Control” wrote the this classic for soul singer Cherrelle. Who can forget the video, classic love story beauty & the beast. This power house song charted on Billboard Hot Black Singles at #* and #6 on Billboard dance charts. The song has been covered so many times to count but the most memorable covers comes from 1986 Robert Palmer. Palmer video revivals Cherrelle video, his video featured him lead and a bunch of models as his backup band, giving a VMA nod for best male video. The song is the 5th single from Palmers monster smash hit LP Riptide, and of course we can not forget the Queen of covers herself Mariah Carey’s 2001 version for the flop movie “Glitter”. (Cherrelle 1984) / (Robert Palmer 1985) / (Mariah Carey 2001)
“Running Up That Hill” (Origin: Kate Bush Hounds of Love 1985)
Talk about difference between man and woman then explained in this 1985 hit for Kate Bush. Most people don’t get that from this song it’s often misinterpreted, some people even believing the song represent death. Kate, however, explained men and women can’t understand each other because of being man and woman and if we can swap roles we’ll be very surprised. Surprised was the record Exes. who was very hesitant to release because of its original title “A Deal With God”. Kate relented agreed and changed the title. This song marks the first top charter for Kate since 1978 Wuthering Heights. Running has been covered by many artists but none like 2003 Placebo somber version. Placebo verison has been featured in many TV shows such as CSI, Vampire Diaries and Bones. (Kate Bush 1985) / (Placebo 2003) bonus (Wuthering Heights 1978).
“All Along The Watchtower” (Origin: Bob Dylan Wesley Harding 1968)
You can’t mention a cover without mentioning the All Along The Watchtower. This is a classic case where the cover sounds much better than the original. The cover version is so iconic, the opening of the songs begins with ” There must be some kind of way outta here Said the joker to the thief There’s too much confusion I can’t get no relief” lyrics that sends chills down you bones. Bob Dylan himself when performing this song performs Hendrix verison. Hendrix captured the essence of the era making this song the un-official anthem of Vietnam War. Hendrix verison was recorded and released six months after Dylan and is featured on 1968 Electric Ladyland LP. The song been covered by many artists including Dave Matthews but it’s Jimmi verison that is classic gold. This song is so iconic that Rolling Stones featured on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ranking #47. (Bob Dylan 1968) / (Jimmi Hendrix 1968)
This list wouldn’t be complete without “I Will Always Love You” the ultimate cover song. Dolly Parton yes that Dolly from 9 to 5 fame wrote and recorded this song to her then as a farewell to partner Porter Wagoner. Dolly’s verison charted Billboard Country and was featured in 1982 Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Dolly and Burt Reynolds. Dolly along with the rest of the galaxy had no idea that 19 years this song will rise from the ashes and reign supreme for months. The song was revived in 1992 when Kevin Costner in post production of the movie The Bodyguard heard the tune in a bar and took the song to Whitney Houston his co-star for her to record. A relent Whitney agreed and the rest is history. Whitney verison had smashing records winning multiple awards including Grammys, Whitney version is so hot that after her death in 2012 the song charted again on Billboards making it the second single in history to achieve this feat. Whitney Houston version smashed records winning multiple awards that includes CMA, VMA, an Oscar it’s the juggernaut that keeps on going. Dolly once said that she didn’t mind who sang her song just as long as the checks was sent to her. (Dolly Parton 1972) / (Whitney Houston 1992)
Well there you have it.
Tell me what you think or if there’s cover song not listed drop me a line would love to hear your picks.
Drink Responsibly 🍸🚖🚔