Original vs. cover: It’s the ultimate debate topic. However, we think there’s no debating that these ten covers are better than the original.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Blinded By The Light”
All due respect to The Boss, but Manfred Mann’s arrangement is just leaps and bounds better.
Joe Cocker – “With A Little Help From My Friends”
Speaking of arrangement changes, it takes a lot of guts to cover The Beatles, but Joe Cocker’s cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends” never fails to move a room.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Want to know the best way to tell a cover is better than the original? When people often don’t realize a cover is a cover. That’s how amazing “I Love Rock N Roll” is.
Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
(See explanation for “I Love Rock N Roll.”)
Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee”
This song was originally recorded by Roger Miller and was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, but sweet Pearl’s rendition is obviously the best.
Soft Cell – “Tainted Love”
Gloria Jones originally released “Tainted Love” in 1965, while Soft Cell’s version came out in 1981.
The Beatles – “Twist and Shout”
“Twist and Shout” was originally recorded in 1961 by a group called The Top Notes. It then became a hit for the Isley Brothers in 1962, and then The Beatles and John Lennon’s iconic vocals happened in 1963, and you know the rest.
The Clash – “I Fought The Law”
Arguably the edgiest cover on the list. “I Fought The Law” was originally recorded by The Crickets in 1960 and then covered by the Bobby Fuller Four in 1965. The Clash’s rendition, however, is the only cover that matters.
The Byrds – “Mr. Tambourine Man”
The Byrds’ cover was released the same year Bob Dylan released the original in 1965. Talk about guts!
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “All Along The Watchtower”
Man! When’s Bob Dylan going to catch a break? “All Along The Watchtower” was released on the Dylan album John Wesley Harding in December 1967. Hendrix dropped his cover in September 1968.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles. (She received an A.)