Music is one of the few art forms where a remake can prove to be better and more successful than the original. Well, music and movies. Time and time again, musicians have been able to recreate long forgotten melodies into fresh new hit songs. Elvis’s very first song, “That’s All Right,” was a cover, originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. Elvis remained a cover artist his entire career but was certainly not unoriginal. Have a listen to these amazing cover songs.
co•ver [noun] – a recording of a song previously recorded, usually by another performer.
There are a million YouTube videos of people covering and crossing different genres of music. We’ve compiled a list of 12 excellent covers that are worth the price of admission, regardless of your thoughts and feelings about the original.
12. Beat It (Michael Jackson) covered by Pomplamoose
Californian musicians Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn make up the indie band Pomplamoose. Over the last few years they’ve done a variety of weird and wacky covers, including Angry Birds, Single Ladies and Favourite things. This excellent cover, however, is a remake of Michael Jackson’s hit single “Beat It”.
11. Umbrella (Rihanna) covered by Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore doesn’t have a lot of street cred as an actress or an artist. This cover might make you reconsider your thoughts on Mandy’s abilities. Like her or not, this is a really good cover.
10. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell) covered by James Blake
James Blake is a seriously talented young man. His voice is haunting. His music is unique. His lyrics are simple yet beautiful. Same could be said about Joni Mitchell the original writer of A Case Of You.
9. Heartless (Kanye West) covered by The Fray
Kanye’s synth heavy track Heartless gets an acoustic make-over compliments of The Fray. The results are surprisingly good. Maybe Kanye should write all their tunes?
8. No Diggity (BlackStreet) covered by Klaxons
Back in 1996 No Diggity was a huge hit for R&B group BlackStreet and producer Dr Dre. It’s an unusual pairing, but Klaxon’s do a wonderful job of adding new flavour into the Grammy winning 90s song.
7. Whatever You Like (T.I.) covered by Anya Marina
It’s a beautiful thing when good vocalists take on Hip Hop songs. Whatever You Like never sounded better!
6. Hey Ya (Outkast) covered by Obidiah Parker
Hey Ya is a song that probably didn’t need a remake, the original is a classic and great fun, but Obidiah Parker does a wonderful job of making it sound more mellow.
5. Hot in Herre (Nelly) covered by Jenny Owen Youngs
I had to laugh when I first heard this rendition of Hot in Herre. Not only is it funny, but it’s really well put together. Clever!
4. Baby Got Back (Sir-Mix-A-Lot) covered by Jonathan Coulton
This was another track that made me laugh out loud. Who would have thought that Baby Got Back could sound this good?
3. Single Ladies (Beyonce) covered by Sara Bareilles
“All the single ladies, all the single ladies, put your hands up!” It’s a song that’s has been covered dozens of times by dozens of different artists from around the world. Sara Bareilles’ version, however, is better than most and well worth a listen.
2. Look At Me Now (Chris Brown) covered by Karmin
The pop duo Karmin became famous by assaulting the songs of others, performing highly stylized YouTube covers that inadvertently doubled as sketch comedy. Look At Me Now is both funny and interesting at the same time.
1. Sledge Hammer (Peter Gabriel) covered by Gavin Castleton
Portland musician Gavin Castleton has tremendous talent. Using a loop pedal he manages to recreate the Peter Gabriel classic, blending piano, organ, clapping, synth, beatboxing, and a backing chorus with his singing.