Ah, the cover song. A staple for any new band. It’s how you begin to mesh with your fellow band mates. You pick a song or two that you mutually love, learn it, and then play the crap out of it until you hate it.
What can be really exciting is when one of your favorite bands do a cover of a song by one of their favorite bands! … Unless it’s terrible of course. That’s why I find covers to be so fascinating. Bands can take great songs and make them terrible, or take a horrible tune and make it your favorite jam. Some bands/singers will go as far as to come out with entire albums of cover songs, giving their own artistic spin on established classics.
Then there’s the rare occurrence of a song being so popular, you weren’t even aware it was a cover to begin with! Like with Softcell’s classic “Tainted Love.” Bet you didn’t know that it was originally performed by Gloria Jones way back in 1976. Or how about Quiet Riot’s claim to fame “Cum On Feel the Noize” which was first done by the band Slade an entire decade prior? Exactly.
So, what I’ve decided to do was compile a list of my personal favorite covers! Hooray!!….. Alright, alright, I’ll get on with it:
(In no particular order)
1. “Satellite of Love” by Morrissey. Originally performed by Loy Reed (RIP)
2. Smoothe Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm. Originally performed by Michael Jackson (also RIP)
3. “Roll to Me” by Four Year Strong. Originally performed by Del Amitri
4. “Come on Eileen” by Save Ferris. Originally performed by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
5. “Geek USA” by Between the Buried and Me. Originally performed by The Smashing Punpkins
6. “China Girl” by David Bowie. Originally performed by Iggy Pop*
7. “Holy Diver” by Killswitch Engage. Originally performed by Dio.
8. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. Originally performed by Nine Inch Nails.
9. “Superstar” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Originally perfomed by The Carpenters.
10. “Detroit Rock City” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Originally performed by KISS.
There you have it, my top ten favorite cover songs and the bands that play them. What are some of your favorites? I’d love to know.
Until next time, happy listenings!
*= Editor’s note: “China Girl” was actually co-written by both David Bowie and Iggy Pop, however Pop was the first to record it for his album “The Idiot” in 1977. Bowie later released his version of the song on 1983’s “Let’s Dance.”