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Manfred Mann celebrates a birthday today (October 21), and obviously, this brings up one of the best debate topics ever:  Original vs. cover.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is responsible for one of the greatest covers of all time with “Blinded By The Light,” which is a track originally by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.  In honor of Mann’s birthday, we gathered ten covers that we think are better than the original.  Enjoy…and debate if you disagree.


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.


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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.

Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends

Music video by Joe Cocker performing With A Little Help From My Friends.

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.

I Love Rock 'N Roll

Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment I Love Rock 'N Roll · Joan Jett & The Blackhearts I Love Rock 'N' Roll (Expanded Edition) ℗ 1981 Blackheart Records Group Composer, Lyricist: Jane Hooker Composer, Lyricist: Alan Merrill Guitar, Vocal: Joan Jett Drums: Lee Crystal Bass, Vocal: Gary Ryan Guitar, Vocal: Ricky Byrd Producer: Kenny Laguna Producer: Ritchie Cordell Auto-generated by YouTube.


Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

(See explanation for “I Love Rock N Roll.”)

Aretha Franklin - Respect [1967] (Original Version)

Aretha Franklin - Respect Song written by Otis Redding Album: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You [1967] _________________________ RESPECT (oo) What you want (oo) Baby, I got (oo) What you need (oo) Do you know I got it?


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.

Janis Joplin - Me And Bobby McGee (Audio)

Janis Joplin's official audio for 'Me And Bobby McGee'. Click to listen to Janis Joplin on Spotify: As featured on Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits.



Soft Cell – “Tainted Love”

Gloria Jones originally released “Tainted Love” in 1965, while Soft Cell’s version came out in 1981.

Soft Cell - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go

No frills, no remix, just the song as originally released by Soft Cell with a jpg of the album art


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 Beatles - Twist & Shout - Performed Live On The Ed Sullivan Show 2/23/64

The Beatles - Twist & Shout - Performed Live On The Ed Sullivan Show 2/23/64 The Beatles Now Streaming. Listen to the Come Together Playlist here: Download 1+ Buy 1+ For the many who witnessed The Beatles' early appearances on British television, this song is synonymous with those exciting era-defining times.


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 Clash - I Fought the Law (Official Video)

The Clash - I Fought The Law (Official Video) Listen On Spotify - Listen On Apple Music - Amazon - Follow The Clash Website: Facebook: Twitter: Lyrics Breakin' rocks in the hot sun I fought the law and the law won [x2] I needed money 'cause I

The Byrds – “Mr. Tambourine Man”

The Byrds’ cover was released the same year Bob Dylan released the original in 1965.  Talk about guts!

The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man (Audio)

Music video by The Byrds performing Mr. Tambourine Man (Audio). Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

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.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower (Official Audio)

Click to subscribe: Taken from the album 'Experience Hendrix': Listen to Jimi Hendrix on Spotify: Album's from Jimi Hendrix's: Experience Hendrix: Click here to buy iTunes: Google Play: People, Hell and Angels: Click here to buy Amazon: iTunes: Google Play:

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.