Best cover of a song

Several months ago I posted what I thought was the worst cover of a song ever well now I feel is the time for a more positive outlook so what do you reckon is the best cover version of a song by another artist:
My nominations go to :
Joe Cocker - With a little help from my friends
Melanie - Ruby Tuesday
Kate Bush - Rocket Man
IMO each brought something new and different to the song they covered.

XTC - All Along The Watchtower
Because it’s so unlike the original or the Hendrix version, and because it’s XTC.

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As there is a current Beatles cover song thread, maybe they are best left out of here?

Three contributions for now, all of which I think improved on the original:

The Anti Nowhwere League’s cover of Streets of London (Ralph McTell) - made it sound like someone with real experience of living on the streets.

Sex Pistols’ version of My Way (Frank Sinatra). The epitome of “once more with feeling”.

Deep Purple’s Hey Joe (jimi Hendrix): to my ears gave the song itself more emphasis, making me listen to the words rather than the sound.

And Jimi’s version was itself a cover, there had been a few recordings before that, I think both Love and the Byrds released theirs before his.

Four Strong Winds - Neil Young from the album Comes a Time.

I think Camphuw beat you to it…

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knockin’ on heaven’s door - Guns and Roses.

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This Springsteen cover is rather good. :sunglasses:

Patti Smith and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit is pretty impressive IMHO.



Tainted Love - Coil
Hurt - Johnny Cash
The Day Before You Came - Steven Wilson
The sound of Silence - Disturbed
Guitar Man - Jesus and Mary Chain
Hey Joe - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Kiss - Age of Chance
Telegram Sam - Bauhaus
Song of the Siren - This Mortal Coil
Twentieth Century Boy - The Three Johns

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Bert Jansch: Angie.

Womack & Womack - Angie. Linda Womack’s vocal in the second half of the track is just so good.

Chet Baker’s version of Cole Porter’s Love for Sale.

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Talking Heads - Take Me to the River (Stop Making Sense)


Michael Hutchence- Spill the Wine
From Barton Cummings and War

Matt Corby covers Lonely Boy (The Black Keys)

Listening to this Daniel Lanois’ Acadie today and was reminded of this hidden gem recorded with the Neville Brothers…

The Human League-You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
The Wonder Stuff-That’s Entertainment

Two possibly contentious contenders:

Always on my Mind (Pet Shop Boys, 1987). OK, Elvis’s singing on the original isn’t bad - how could it be? - but the PSB arrangement is so much more fun.

California Dreaming (Beach Boys, 1986). The overblown 80s production shows what a great song was hiding under the dreary Mamas & Papas original, where even the flute soloist sounds like s/he’s on the verge of a coma.

Feel very free to disagree as vociferously as you like. That’s my mind - try to change it!


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No complaints from me I’d probably agree. :grin: