Best Covers of Great Songs

May 5, 2017

Great songs are timeless, they transcend generations and remain cool. However, even rarer, is the cover which eclipses the original score. They can appear in TV shows, musicals, youtube and more. So we pay tribute to the artists who have done the impossible and performed powerful covers of famous songs.

 

 

Louise Marshall - Keep On Running  

"Keep On Running"  written and originally recorded by Jackie Edwards, became a UK number one with The Spencer Davis Group in 1965. With its powerful intro beat, it became the go-to for any film/tv show with crooks on the run as a theme.  

It was then covered by Louise Marshall for the BBC film The Great Train Robbery - A Robbers' Tale, with many viewers asking who this great cover was by! 

 

Even when used as a backing soundtrack, it powers through the actors dialogue and gets your pulse racing and encapsulates the films themes brilliantly. Powerful, exciting and brilliantly performed! Sadly not available as a track, we can only hope it is released.

 

 

 

Hothouse Flowers - I Can See Clearly Now 

“I Can See Clearly Now” was written, composed, and originally recorded by Johnny Nash in 1972, it has since been covered well over 30 times and various styles. From R&B legends to Willie Nelson having a bash at cracking a No.1 Cover. 

 

It's legendary Irish group the Hothouse Flowers back in 1990 that pip the others to the post with a totally new and very upbeat arrangement. Ditching the dower tone many use and hitting the music hard with every instrument possible. The cover recently hit iTunes No.1 again in 2017 when it was used for the £3m opening of Amazons Grand Tour. 

 

 

Gary Jules - ‘Mad World'

“Mad World” was the first big hit for British duo Tears for Fears when it was released in 1982 and the synth-heavy song was reportedly written in part as an answer to Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film.” But it was reintroduced to the world by American singer-songwriter Gary Jules and composer Michael Andrews when they covered the piece as a much slower, more somber piano ballad for the 2001 cult classic, Donnie Darko. Jules’ version is the definition of plaintive with only light touches of piano and mellotron behind the vocals, creating an unmistakeable sense of drama and melancholy that was missing from the original.


 

Jeff Buckley - ‘Hallelujah’ 

 The 2nd most covered song in history after "Somewhere over the rainbow", “Hallelujah” didn’t create many waves when it was originally released on 1984 album, Various Positions. It wasn’t until Welsh musician John Cale covered it in 1991 that the song received widespread acclaim, inspiring troubadour Jeff Buckley to create his own version that appears on his 1994 album, Grace. While Cohen sang the song like a dirge, Buckley turned it into a delicate but soaring proclamation of beauty.

 

The White Stripes - ‘Jolene’

 

Jack White is no stranger to covers: the White Stripes‘ 1999 debut featured versions of songs by Bob Dylan and bluesman Robert Johnson among others and we were this close to including his cover of U2‘s “Love Is Blindness” in this list. But the White Stripes’ version of Dolly Parton‘s “Jolene” just took the winners medal. Stripping the original (released in 1973) down to its emotional base, he proves that a man can still sing a song written from a distinctly feminine point of view as long as he brings passion to the subject matter. The Stripes released a studio version in 2000 as a B-side to the single “Hello Operator,” but the live version released in 2004 captures the pure ferocity in all its glory.
 

 

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