7 famous covers that are better than the originals

famous covers

We all love listening to music and have our favourites! But have you ever been curious whether those songs which have been playing in your playlist are original releases of the bands playing them? Have you ever thought that a popular song that is the staple of a certain band may in fact be a cover? Well, this article will reveal to you 7 famous songs you would have never guessed were actually covers. Let’s jump into it!

1. The Man Who Sold the World – Nirvana (originally by David Bowie)

Nirvana’s music is famous all over the world, and some of their most popular tracks are actually covers. I bet you have listened to The Man Who Sold the World many times already, but did you know it is not originally theirs, but David Bowie’s? Funny, I know, because this became one of Nirvana’s signature songs after they played it during the live performance of MTV Unplugged in New York. Other iconic covers of the bands are Love Buzz (by Shocking Blue), Where Did You Sleep Last Night (by Lead Belly) or Lake of Fire (by Meat Puppets). 

2. Turn the Page – Metallica (originally by Bob Seger)

Metallica has an entire album of covers, Garage Inc., and I think it’s one of their greatest. All the songs on this album sound incredibly well, and we love to hear Metallica’s stamp that is audible on all the covered tracks. Bob Seger’s Turn the Page is one of the most popular Metallica’s cover, but for the fans Whiskey in the Jar (by Thin Lizzy), Am I Evil (by Diamond Head), or Die, Die My Darling (by Misfits) sound equally familiar.

3. Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You – Led Zeppelin (originally by Anne Brendon)

Another record that will make your jaw drop when you hear it’s a cover is Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You, performed by Led Zeppelins. Although this is one of the quintessential tracks of the band, it was originally written by the folk singer Anne Bredon in 1959. In the late 1960s, Led Zeppelin took the song and created their own version, by adapting it to their hard rock style. Yet the band’s take on the song is radically different from the original variant, which makes it hard to believe they are related in any way. But we are glad that Led Zeppelin revived this song and turned it into one of the best songs we have ever heard!

4. All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (originally by Bob Dylan)

Yes, Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower is a cover! The song was initially written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1967, and it was, indeed, a great song. But Jimi Hendrix put his stamp on his cover, so much so that the listeners can’t detach All Along the Watchtower from Hendrix. His version wrote history, receiving numerous awards over the years and becoming unforgettable for whoever heard it.

5. The Sound of Silence – Disturbed (originally by Simon & Garfunkel)

A more recent cover that has rapidly become popular among fans of rock and not only is The Sound of Silence, which Disturbed released in 2015. Yet the original variant by Simon & Garfunkel is also widely appreciated, many consider Disturbed’s variant more evocative for the message of the song, due to David’s low, powerful and raspy voice, as well as the atmosphere the band has created for their cover.

6. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Marilyn Manson (originally by Eurythmics)

I know that most of us have discovered Marilyn Manson through the song Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), so the surprise at finding out that this is actually a cover is understandable. The song, first released in the early 80s by the new wave band Eurythmics, already had a dark vibe to it, but Manson added even more layers of dread, mystery and weirdness. Well, no wonder we fell for it!

7. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers (originally by Stevie Wonder)

The outstanding singing and playing abilities of the members of Red Hot Chili Peppers have established the band as one of the best funk rock bands of all times. They have mostly original releases, which have, of course, won over their audience, but they also covered some tracks, among which Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground. Though it was already a good track, Red Hot Chili Peppers pushed it to another level. Their version of the song simply screams funk!


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