Everybody loves cover songs. Some put an interesting new age spin on old classics, while others butcher hits that should have never been touched. Here is a list of my top five covers that blow the originals out of the water. If you want to see for yourself, check out our account at http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Top+5+Cover+Songs/36870030 . Listen in and make the decision for yourself whether or not these covers own the originals.
1. Higher Ground by Red Hot Chili Peppers
It is hard to think that anybody could ever top one of Stevie Wonder’s original tracks. After listening to the Chili Peppers’ version of Higher Ground, however, you’ll be likely to rethink that. From the second you hear the opening bass line your mind will likely be blown. While Stevie may have mastered the 70’s funk feel, it’s 2010 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers make it impossible to stand still when this comes over the speakers.
2. B******Ain’t Sh** by Ben Folds
Who ever thought that a track off Dr. Dre’s The Chronic could make you shed a tear? Ben Folds take on the gangsta rap classic sounds like it came straight off the soundtrack of The Notebook. Probably one of the most original and funniest covers I’ve ever come across, Ben Folds struck gold with this song. This song will make even the most adamant feminists realize that “b***** ain’t sh** but hoes and tricks”.
3. All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
Do I really even have to explain this pick? Most people are shocked when they find out this song isn’t written by Jimi Hendrix. That’s because it kicks the crap out of Bob Dylan’s original. While I love Bob Dylan’s whiney, melancholy voice as much as the next guy, let’s be serious. Hendrix can make his guitar sing better than Bob Dylan’s voice. I do miss the harmonica from Dylan’s version but I’m sure if Hendrix wanted to he could have done that better too.
4. Over the Rainbow/ What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Combining Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole puts a relaxing Hawaiian spin on both of them. The 1930s sucked and so does Judy Garland’s version of this song. So get with the times and realize this version reigns supreme.
5. Dancing in the Street by Van Halen
At least one good thing came out of the 80’s and that was Van Halen’s cover of the 1964 classic by Martha and the Vandellas. The upbeat drumming and synthesizers in the 80s remake actually make the songs title much more fitting. I personally can’t help but drop everything I’m doing and dance wherever I may be when this song comes on. Aside from the mullets and crazy neon spandex Van Halen was doing it right when they made this song.
Josh Steinberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.