What is your favorite cover?

There are many great covers, such as Mr. Tambourine Man,by the Byrds.  I'm curious about everyone's favorite.


I agree with Tim Buckley's performance of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Utterly gorgeous. Packed with emotion.

Late to the show…just listened to Joan Baez’ version of The Dire Straights Brothers in Arms from the same album.  It can be described in two words (three if you count the and):

Beautiful and Haunting

Joe Cocker, The Letter, originally a hit by the Box Tops

Grateful Dead, Turn on Your Love Light. Bobby "Blue" Bland first recorded

Another vote for Eva Cassidy’s, Over The Rainbow (don’t remember who wrote the Judy Garland original)

Thankyouforlettingmebemyselfagain, Magazines’ cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s terrific original

Oye Como Va, Santanas’ version of the Tito Puente original.

Laura Nyro’s version of "God Bless the Child" originally performed by Billie Holiday, Al Kooper did a passable version too with the original Blood Sweat and Tears.

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A couple of bluegrass covers:

Someone mentioned Gin and Juice-The Gourds

The Thrill is Gone - Garcia and Grisman

Atlantic City - The Wooks

Dear Prudence - The Wooks

I’m on Fire - Town Mountain

Mary Jane’s Last Breakdown - Keller Williams

Oh Atlanta - Alison Krauss

Shine- Dolly Parton






Sturgill Simpson's cover of In Bloom



Sara Barielles cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Satisfaction by Devo is up there. I saw The Melvins live and they did an incredible cover of Deuce by Kiss. Ella Guru by XTC. 

Man From Utopia

Court Of The Crimson King

Waka Jawaka

We're Only In For The Money

YardBirds..Eric Clapton; Jimmy Page; Jeff Beck

Reuben And The Jets

Europe '72

Stand Up

Best Of New Riders Of The Purple Sage

Overnite Sensation

Just to name a few.... ☢

@tony1954 + 1 on the Johnny Winter track, it just shreds

One more;

Heroes - Peter Gabriel (amazing version and beautifully recorded)

Joan Jett’s cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by Iggy & The Stooges.  She’s at her snarliest, makes the song totally her own, and somehow it seems even more transgressive than Iggy’s version, which is saying something

@hanfrac - one of my very fave covers is the Ramones doing ’SURFIN’ BIRD’!!!!

Pa Pa Pa Pa Pa Mow Mow, Pa Pa Oo Mow Mow Mow

THAT always got a mosh pit going!!!!

Here’s a Bowie cover I like (my wife discovered/purchased the CD).





Not my personal favorite, but surprised that no one has thrown out the obvious “Respect” by Aretha.  

i think the Ramones are the greatest cover band and there are many to choose from.  How about Let’s Dance. Or Substitute?


Really glad builder3 gave some love to Amy’s version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”  With so many great versions of the Goffin/King classic, that version stunned me and caused me to consider it equal (or superior) to the Shirelles’ original, or Ms. King’s very-different-but-equally-great version off her masterpiece, “Tapestry.”

This is a really tough one, but one of my favorite music questions.

I try to think of covers that trounce the originals.

This may be nit-picky, but I don’t really consider songs from the ‘20s-‘40s covers.  Standards that are meant to be recorded again and again by the greats: Arlen, Gershwins, Berlin, Cahn, Porter, Carmichael, Youmans etc.  I don’t count traditional arr. as a cover, either.

Jimi’s “Watchtower” is obvious but really makes the OG seem almost irrelevant, which is no easy task with the great Dylan.

When Harry Nilsson does Randy Newman’s “Living Without You,” I’m putty in Harry’s hands  

Another obvious one is the exhaustively overplayed “Hallelujah” by Buckley, but like Jimi’s cover, it makes the cheap-Casio-garish-‘80s-nightmare that is the great Cohen’s original seem, again, almost irrelevant.  It’s not Leonard’s nor Jeff’s fault that this masterpiece is so overplayed.

As fine as Otis’ original of “Respect” is, not sure it really compares to Aretha’s.

Scott Walker completely obliterated ”The Big Hurt” by Toni Fisher

Marvin Gaye’s version of “Yesterday” is astounding

Stevie Wonder’s cover of “We Can Work it Out” is even more astounding.







King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King


My favorite cover was by an art teacher

from the twin cities playing a small venue

in central Wisconsin. He played his version

of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that blows away

any artist that ever did that song hands down.

He started playing it right after a break so the crowd

was still a little noisy but they quickly quieted down

to the point you could hear a pin drop. It was actually

quiet for a few seconds after he was done because

the audience was just stunned. I have never heard

anything better.


This is a great, albeit somewhat ambiguous, thread.  I was int the process of laying my record jackets out on the floor(and had some real contenders) before I realized that it is about cover songs and not album covers. Corrected and contrite, I submit:  Marianne Faithful's cover of "Madame George" as my very favorites.

@notlistening - Indeed! Most of those covers on those Rick Rubin- produced Johnny Cash albums sound like they were written for him! My favorite might be 'The Mercy Seat', which is great whether Nick or Johnny sang it. That would be a good cover, 'Only Happy...'. 

@ozzy - Cool! I hope you really enjoy it! There was another one that Kingdom Come did called 'Galactic Zoo Dossier' that is well worth a listen. A number of years ago, there was a live performance of the Pretty Things' 'SF Sorrow' at Royal Albert Hall or someplace, and Arthur did the narration....

Slightly off-topic is a never recorded fantasy cover of the Garbage tune "I'm Only Happy When It Rains".

I can hear Johnny Cash sing it like it was written for him.

I really like the Chet Faker interpretation of Blackstreet's (ft. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen) - "No Diggity"


Slayer covering black sabbath's electric funeral and iron butterfly 's inna gadda da vida are both excellent. 

The Melvins cover “I get around” change the lyrics to “I f*** around”


@ozzy - actually, Arthur Brown had quite a good career with his prog-rock band, Kingdom Come and he's done a bit since then, too. Kingdom Come's 'Journey' is a progressive rock masterpiece.... 


Arthur Brown. I thought I was the only to remember him. Great album, great performer. Too bad he went crazy and started believing he was the god of hell fire..


Come Together - Aerosmith

I also really like the album "Cover Girl" by Shawn Colvin, which are all covers.

I Put a Spell on You - Crazy World of Arthur Brown

plus many of the aforementioned; particularly Janis, Jimi, Johnny Cash, Allman Bros. etc.

Leonid & Friends doing any of Chicago's catalogue. Check them out on youtube - out - frickin - standing!!!  All songs note for note identical & perfect even though they may not even really know what the songs mean. Funny. They're all Russians but simply great artist citizens - nothing to do w/ crazy man Putin. 

And to follow up on @bigtwin 's comment, it is interesting to consider what makes a good cover. So much of music history had a separation of composer and performer. I always think of a good cover as one I want to listen to as much or more than the original. Sometimes a new performance shows something else magical about the composition itself that the original doesn't capture for lots of reasons. Thanks again to the OP for generating this offering of performances!

I love covers. Thanks for this post so I can find some new gems! I like so many, but one I always return to is Shawn Colvin’s cover of "Some Day" by Steve Earle. But my latest love is a cover of an early Elton John ballad, "Love Song" by Melody Gardot — an audiophile treat to boot.


Diana Krall's spin on the stunningly beautiful Joni Mitchell tune A Case Of You. 

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails (Roy Rogers & Dale Evans)

Tomita - Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussosky/Various Artists)

The Force - Star Wars Disco (John Williams)

Manfred Mann - Blinded by the Light (Bruce Springsteen)

Honorable Mention:

Fraternity of Man - Don't Bogart that Joint (Okay, maybe there wasn't an earlier version, but the chances of these lyrics being sang, hummed, slurred, or st-st-st-studdered by the Flower People in the Bay Area after a couple of "hits" in the 60's was a certainty)

Doobie Brothers - Black Water (First sang by Bob Winnebago in 1966 as he was dumping the sewage tank on his first RV)

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Been bingeing on this album off and on for several months -- all fantastic covers of excellent songs, very fine sound. Can't stop playing it.

The Bros. Landreth -- Undercover Bros. (Paul Yee Remix)


@berner99 Her name is Toni Lindgren. Fabulous guitar player,

My favorites change frequently.

Currently enjoy Katie Pruitt's cover of After the Gold Rush.

Katie Pruitt - After the Gold Rush (Official Audio) - YouTube

Good quality recording, 24/96 on Amazon Ultra HD.