Cover songs have always been a huge part of the music industry. Artists will choose to cover songs that they love, that inspired them, and maybe even were one of the reasons they decided to become a musician. Covers in my opinion are either a hit or a miss; the cover is either really good, or it’s just absolutely terrible. Nevertheless, its always interesting to hear another artists take on a certain song, and so below I have complied a list of some of my favorite covers that I’ve come across. Hope you enjoy!
Sleeping With Sirens – Iris (Originally performed by the Goo Goo Dolls)
My freshman year of high school, I came across Sleeping With Sirens for the very first time. My brother played a song of theirs in the car one day, and I really liked what I heard. So later that day, I came home and went on YouTube, typing in “Sleeping With Sirens” to listen to some more of their songs. When I hit search, one of the top results was for their cover of “Iris,” so I clicked on it. As cheesy and totally cliche as this is going to sound, this cover genuinely moved me. It just emitted such pure, deep emotion, and I get the same effect every single time I listen to it. Kellin Quinn gets a lot of criticism for the way his voice sounds, but in this song, it is absolute perfection. There are certain songs that you come across, that just make you feel a certain way when you listen to it. When I listen to this song, on the worst days, it’s almost like a reminder that everything is going to be okay, no matter what’s going on. I will always love this cover.
Panic! At The Disco – Bohemian Rhapsody (Originally performed by Queen)
Freddy Mercury is undoubtedly one of the greatest performers that has ever lived, and to this day, it is still an awful tragedy that he left us so young. He was such a talent, very few other singers in the world could match what he was able to do on stage. A song as iconic as “Bohemian Rhapsody” is incredibly difficult to recreate, because Mercury was just that talented. Brendon Urie, however, manages to do it. Urie is an incredibly talented individual, and much like Mercury, he is able to manipulate his voice in so many different ways, hitting notes that are so high, and that many female singers can’t even hit. I think that’s why he is able to do this cover so well, because he is able to perform in the way Mercury did. His voice is just so incredible, he is actually able to do the song justice, and perform it very well. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing this cover live, and it really is spectacular to experience and sing along to. (SIDE NOTE: Panic! At The Disco recorded their cover of Bohemian Rhapsody for the “Suicide Squad” movie soundtrack, but the recording is not as good as the live version, which is why I posted that version below.)
Shinedown – Simple Man (Originally performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
One of the reasons I like this cover so much is because Shinedown really made this song their own, covering it acoustically. The simplicity of it is really just satisfying to listen to. Brent Smith has such a distinct, powerful voice, and it just sounds so raw in this rendition. His vocals paired with just an acoustic truly makes for a great sound. Not to mention that this song was already good to begin with, I’ve always loved the lyrics, and I think I might like them even more when they’re sung by Smith. There is just such a driving power behind his vocals, it really makes an impact when you’re listening, and its even more emphasized by the fact that its just an acoustic guitar accompanying him. I’ve also had the pleasure of hearing this cover live, and it may just be better than the original.
Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal (Originally performed by Micheal Jackson)
This cover makes me so happy. Lets first just acknowledge this bands name. What is an Alien Ant Farm? I’m not really sure, but I like it. Secondly, they took a Micheal Jackson song and turned it into something you can headbang to. It shouldn’t work for so many reason, but it does, and it’s so awesome. Its amazing how rock and roll you can make a song when you add some electric guitars to it. This song truly is a masterpiece, whenever I hear this song on the radio (which is actually pretty often) I turn into the weird person who everyone laughs at for using their steering wheel as a drum kit. You might not take my word for how good this cover is, but to put it into perspective, this cover has more views on YouTube than the original Michael Jackson song, so I think I’m right in saying this cover is a smash.
Johnny Cash – Hurt (Originally performed by Nine Inch Nails)
This is one cover that is infinitely better than the original, and I think that anyone who has listened to this song can attest to that. It is also one of the best covers that I think has ever been done. I don’t even like the original version of this song, but damn, Johnny Cash made this song into something truly spectacular. This is such a sad song, and Cash just puts such raw emotion into it. He makes the song kind of hauntingly beautiful, but in a way that’s almost tragic. Not just the song itself, but the music video as well, is enough to reduce someone to tears, especially those who are fans of Cash and his other music. He died only seven months after this video was shot, but regardless of his poor health, Cash was still able to put so much into this song.