what’s a song cover that you think is better than the original?

The first ones to come to mind are Whitney’s version of I Will Always Love You and Allen Stone’s Georgia On My Mind but I would love to hear other contributions as well! I feel like there are a lot of songs where a covered version gets more popular than the original and people end up not realizing that it is a cover (ex. i had a friend that genuinely believed the Jonas Brothers wrote Year 3000). so, what‘a a song that was written by one artist but (figuratively) owned by another?


"All Along The Watchtower" covered by Jimi Hendrix could be the consensus pick which is tough to argue. My pick could upset some "Boomers"... House Of Lords cover of "Can't Find My Way Home". From a technical aspect everything is better vocals and musicianship/production even the emotional aspect is at least its equal. James Christian"s voice soars and Lanny Cordola's guitar solo electrifies this great song.

Peter Paul Mary cover of "Blowing in the Wind"

Simon/Garfunkle cover of "Peggy O"

JOHN McDERMOTT - “Danny Boy” ( a capella version” )

( …there won’t be a dry eye in the pub on St Paddy’s Day ..,.)


My most recent favorite cover of a song that I never really cared for.




Beth Hart: Stairway to Heaven

Hanne Boel: House of the Rising Sun

Laila Biali: Where Will I Be


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John Coltrane "My Favorite Things"

Nirvana "The Man Who Sold The World"

Talking Heads "Take Me To The River"

I've rarely read a post where I so strongly disagree with almost everyone!  The trend here seems to be a "prettier" version of songs, which completely lack the genuine quality of the original performer.  The outlier is All Along The Watchtower, where Jimi Hendrix really did create an equally valid version; I agree that's hard to argue with.  Another which comes to mind is Respect by Aretha Franklin.  Even Otis Redding had to agree that her version was much better!

What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding by Elvis Costello (written by Nick Lowe), and A Certain Girl by Warren Zevon (written by Allen Tousssaint, originally performed by the Ernie K-Doe, then The Yardbirds).

This one caused many a debate with my friends back in the day;

Jefferson Airplane's version of "Wooden Ships" 

I love the original, but JA's version for me just takes the song to another level. 

@painter24 - I much prefer the JA version of 'Wooden Ships', and Paul Kantner did co-write it with Crosby and Stills. But then, I like JA a whole lot more than I do CSNY anyway.

@larsman wow, I was not aware of that at all. Missed that bus! 😊

I'm with you with JA. For me, Graham Nash just doesn't/didn't gel with Crosby and Stills. Harmony-wise, yes of course, but if hypothetically, all songs that were  predominantly Nash were removed from the albums, I could quite happily live with it. Probably a blasphemous notion for some, but I just never liked the guy, or a lot of his writing

@painter24 - I'm so with you on the merits of Graham Nash. Nothing against the guy - I loved him in the Hollies and he's a fine photographer, but his CSN(Y) songs, to me, are about the most insipid things I've ever heard (and back then, I listened to a lot more insipid music than I do now! 🤣). Might as well listen to Air Supply or something! Crosby and Stills had some great ones, though.... 

Jamie Cullum - Frontin’ 

my Jazz reference song from my Jazz Reference album. 
verve 2004.



Happy Listening!

....and now for something entirely different:


...and fun to watch those do what you wouldn't dare.... ;)

Someone other than myself may have already noticed this (including Trent Reznor) but I'll mention it anyway - Johnny Cash made Hurt his own.

That Led Zep version of Taurus by the band Spirit.

Rolf Harris also covered LZ’s version but I think its probably best if that is not mentioned in polite company.

When the Levee Breaks - original was written and recorded circa 1929.

A couple dozen other Led Zep things.


I can't fault the musicianship of House of Lord's cover but as I perceive them, the two versions are very different in terms of the emotional aspect. There's an "epic",  "triumphant" quality to H. O. L's version that is very different from the original, as I hear them. Different generations are often drawn to different flavors of expression. 


Father of day, father of night-Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Port of Amsterdam-David Bowie

Hush-Billy Joe Royal (Deep Purple’s version nice too).

This is TOTAL HERESY, and I apologize to one of my favorite vocalists, but Linda Ronstadt's ARRANGEMENT of Smokey Robinson's "Ooo, Baby, Baby" is really good.

Her voice is spectacular, of course, and again, NOTHING against Mr. Robinson, who is one of the all-time greats, but her version is very smooth from beginning to end, and her voice is just the best...  Peter Asher produced hers, I think.

Anyway, you asked, so...



@richopp, I also like Linda Ronstadt's version of "Tracks of my Tears" better than Smokey Robinson's.

@dekay, love that version of "Smoke on the Water" that you sent.  Really cool!

Here's are few covers that come to my mind:

  • Come Together - Aerosmith
  • First Cut is the Deepest - Rod Stewart, and also Sheryl Crow
  • Big Yellow Taxi - Counting Crows

1. Paul Simon's "The Sound of Silence" covered by Disturbed. Please just take the time to listen to it once, you may be surprised.

2. Leonard Cohen's Manhattan by Monsieur Camembert.





SRV  Voodoo child

Diana Ankudinova  Wicked Game & Can't help falling in love

I don't know if it's better than the original, 'cause 'Billie Jean' was a pretty great song to begin with, but the late, great Chris Cornell slowed it down to almost a blues type of song, and he puts so much feeling into the lyrics; I really understood stuff about that song I hadn't realized, 'cause Chris forces you into the words; nobody's dancing to his version.

He did some pretty inspired cover versions; he's got a recording of 'A Day In The Life' that was recorded live at Royal Albert Hall, and I think John Lennon would have been mighty pleased. He even does those 'AHHHH's before the final verse in a way that sent chills down the ol' spine...  

Another vote for Eva Cassidy, jer version of Woodstock gives me chills.  I am of that generation, 73 now

This is another good cover of Stairway to Heaven.

Ann and Nancy Wilson


Many people have covered "Autumn Leaves" over many decades. Hearing Eva Cassidy sing it, was the first time I ever really heard the song.

Kudos Eva!


Lots of good responses. Pretty much anything Eva Cassidy sang. Mary Chain Carpenter's version of Lucinda Wiliam's Passionate Kisses. My version of Leonard Cohen's 'Dance Me To The End Of Love'. Arguably his best song besides 'Hallelujah', the original is done almost like a klezmer song, and Madeline Peyroux's version is a lightweight take on a very serious song, so I arranged it with a passionate, almost flameco sound. Works for me.

Geez,... so many great covers but I do agree with the original always being, well, the original! Chris Cornell doing Zep's "Thank You" is so good, I think Holly Cole does a great job with Elvis Costello's "Allison", there's also a great cover of Zepplin's "The Rover" by Blackberry Smoke, Aretha does a better job than Dionne Warwick with Bacharach' & Hal David's "Walk On By" could be a long list.... none necessarily better, just different and often equally satisfying. 

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