Great cover songs…


I’ve always maintained that one of the true marks of great artists is the ability to take another artist’s music and make it their own. Or better know as covering a song.  To me the worst thing a band can do is just mimic the original song.  I mean, what’s the point.  So here is my list of the best rock ‘n roll cover songs (in my humble opinion) Just click on the links to hear:

1. “Satisfaction” by Devo –  Even Mick Jagger has stated that he likes Devo’s version of “Satisfaction” better than the Stones.  Devo’s version sounds NOTHING like the Stones’.  And that’s what makes it great.

2. “You Really Got Me” by Van Halen – The Kinks version was great. Van Halen beefed it up an made it greater.  From the open chord their version rips it up.  The segue from “Eruption” on the album makes it even better.

3. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix – One of Jimi’s signature songs. Only it wasn’t his.  Originally recorded by Bob Dylan, Hendrix psychedelisized it and it made it one of the epic songs of the 60’s.

4. “Venus” by Bananarama – Yeah, yeah. Bananarama! But can you guess who the original was by. Shocking Blue. That’s why this song is on the list. Bananarama made it a HUGE hit in 1986.

5. “Dear Prudence” by Siouxsie and the Banshees – Yes, another iconic 80’s  band. They took one of my favorite Beatles tunes and made it, dare I say, better.  Hard to do to a Beatles song.

6. “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles – And speaking of the Beatles.  Their cover of an old Isley Brothers tune was included in one of my favorite movies as well, “Ferris Beuhler’s Day Off”.  Again, I betcha didn’t know this was a cover.  That’s the benefit of having parents that grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. I was privy to this kind of useless information before all of my classmates.

7. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell – Originally done by Gloria Jones in 1964, hers was a more soulful rendition.  Soft Cell synthesized and sleazed it up to make it one the most recognizable songs on the face of the earth.

8. “Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye – Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded the song about a year ahead of Marvin Gaye and had a big hit with it.  Which makes Marvin’s version that much more impressive.  Most people don’t even know Gladys and her Pips did the song, and it was #2 on the R&B charts.

9.  “Rollin’ and Tumblin‘” by Cream – Various versions of this song have been recorded over the years but it has mainly been credited to Muddy Waters.  No little white British guy has ever sounded more black than Jack Bruce does on this tune.  The song culminates in a rip roaring, exhusting,  melange of harmonica and guitar that  leaves you wanting more.  Try not tapping your foot to this one. You just can’t.

10. I’m Losing You by Rod Stewart (Faces) –  The Temptations have been covered by dozens of bands. Hell, I could have created a list of covers of Temptations songs alone that would have been impressive.  But Rod took this one and made it his own.  It sounds like the original, but then it doesn’t.  Pure genius.

So that’s my list.  I’m sure there are more out there that you can come up with.  Please do. We’d love to hear about them.


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