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Greatest Cover Songs

Updated on December 15, 2015

Best Cover Songs of the Decade (2000-2010)

I love when one artist remakes a cover version of another artists songs. Usually they remake the song in a unique way and it provides a completely new perspective on the original song. Sometimes these cover songs are even better than the original version.

In this lens, I have compiled some of the great cover songs of the past decade with Youtube videos of the song for your listening pleasure. Many of these best song remakes are not available for purchase so you will have to enjoy them through the videos. In some cases the song covers are available on iTunes or Amazon and I have highlighted those for you.

I had two rules for inclusion on this list of great cover songs; first, the artist had to change the song in a way that made it completely unique from the original version and second, it had to be crazy good.

Don't forget to vote on the top cover songs at the end of the article.

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9. Why Georgia Performed by Jess Delgado on Rawsessions - Great Song Remake of an Original John Mayer Song

John Mayer is an excellent songwriter and phenomenal guitarist. He has been invited to play with legends such as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy. However, I think he would be the first to admit that his vocals are only average. His voice is unique so it works on his songs but it is not a particularly powerful or beautiful voice.

However, Jess Delgado has a beautiful, powerful voice and that is what really makes this song cover shine. Jess Delgado and her band infuse a bit of salsa stylings into this classic Mayer song and with Jess' vocals it really takes off. It compares favorably with John Mayer's original to create one of the best cover songs of the decade.

Get one of the greatest song remakes on Amazon

This Jess Delgado remake of John Mayer's Why Georgia is available for immediate download on Amazon.

8. Whatever You Like by Rome - Song Cover of a T.I. Song

T.I.'s original rap version of Whatever You Like is a melodic rap song with raw lyrics. It is enjoyed both by hardcore rap fans as well as hip-hop fans. Rome Ramirez (known as Rome) started out remaking popular songs with his own blend of reggae, folk and rap. He has now joined the surviving members of Sublime to create a new group Sublime Rome.

In this cover song, Rome has infused reggae and jazzy stylings on this original T.I. classic to create a very good cover version of Whatever You Like.

Warning: There are a few explicit lyrics in the song.

7. California Gurls Performed by ortoPilot - Great Song Cover of a Katy Perry Song

ortoPilot is a talented musician who has used his Youtube channel to showcase his remakes of songs with his own unique stylings. Rarely do his cover songs similar to the original. He changes the tempo, infuses his own unique styling and creates a unique cover version of the song.

California Gurls is one of my favorite cover versions that he has created. Whether you like pop music or not, the original California Gurls was a great summer song. It combines a catchy melody with fun lyrics to create one of the great summer anthems.

However, ortoPilot has really remade the song his own by combining a funky acoustic guitar styling with his own gritty, bluesy voice. I really like this cover version of a fun summer song.

6. Baba O'Riley Performed by Guitarist Dirk Quinn - OMG, this great song cover will blow you away!!

Baba O'Riley is one of the greatest rock ballads of all time. It is a teenage anthem about breaking out, gaining independence and expressing yourself. When you hear The Who's original version you want to stand up and scream the lyrics as loud as you can.

So you wouldn't think that type of rock anthem would translate well to an instrumental remake with an acoustic guitar. Well that's where we are all wrong. You have to see this version of Baba O'Riley by guitarist Dirk Quinn. With one acoustic guitar and a multitude of foot pedals for looping and effects, Dirk creates a rich musical cover version of Baba O'Riley that is both beautiful and powerful at the same time. He is able to layer sounds that simulate vocals, drums, bass and electric guitars.

It truly is an amazing display of guitar playing ability and a great song remake.

5. Big Yellow Taxi Performed by Counting Crows - Cover Version of a Joni Mitchell Song

Joni Mitchell was a legendary singer songwriters from the 60s and 70s. She wrote beautiful lyrics that were usually about political issues or love. She sang with a bit of a haunting folk rock sound. Big Yellow Taxi is one of my favorite of her songs. It is a very simple folk ballad with a catchy melody. It is extremely unique that its lyrics combine both an environmental message about urban sprawl with social statement about appreciating what you have before it is gone.

While I love this song, Joni Mitchell's true strength was in songwriting. The Counting Crows strength is performance. The Crows have created a more upbeat tempo for the song with a richer fuller band sound. They infuse a bit of reggae and a bit of country into all of their songs and it is this unique style that really takes this song to new heights. For me, this version is much better than the original and we are lucky that these two artists found each other to create this outstanding song.

The Crows actually published this song on their Hard Candy album so it is available for download both at Amazon and iTunes.

4. Use Somebody Performed by Paramore - Cover Song of a Kings of Leon Song

One of Nashville's best musical groups, Kings of Leon, burst onto the scene in 2010 with their hit Use Somebody. It is a great rock anthem with a mix of blues and country infused. Nathan Followill's gritty voice and strong vocal stylings made this rock anthem a number #1 hit across the US.

However, by combining an acoustic version with Hayley Williams beautiful raw vocals, Paramore has created a cover version that is every bit as powerful as the original. I love Hayley's voice on this song. It is much more raw and real than their studio versions song and it gets inside you and really rocks your world.

This is one of my favorite cover sings of all time.

Cool Albums of Great Cover Songs - Great Artists doing Great Song Covers

Between The Covers
Between The Covers

Check out some of the cool song covers including:

Lenny Kravitz doing American Woman

Sheryl Crow doing The First Cut is the Deepest

Madonna doing American Pie

 

3. Viva La Vida Performed by The Dirtyheads on Rawsessions - Reggae Cover Version of a Coldplay Song

The Dirtyheads have a very unique musical styling that blends reggae, rock and rap genres. I am a fan of their original music so I was pleased to find this Rawsessions song remake of Viva La Vida by The Dirtyheads.

Make no mistake, the original Coldplay version of Viva La Vida is beautiful and clearly a masterpiece. However, this reggae infused cover version of the song by The Dirtyheads is also excellent. I couldn't say it is better than the original because the original is so amazing, but it is right up there as a classic and one of the best cover songs of this past decade.

A Tribute to Led Zeppelin by a range of bands

Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Stone Temple Pilots, Hootie and the Blowfish, Sheryl Crow, Cracker and many more cover great Zeppelin Songs

 

2. I Want You Back Performed by KT Tunstall - Cover Song of a Jackson 5 Song

There are a few people in the world that are just more talented than everyone else and KT Tunstall is one of them. This amazing song remake of the original song by the Jackson 5 is outstanding. While we all loved Michael's young voice belting out the lyrics on the original version of I Want You Back, KT has taken this song to a whole other level.

Her beautiful vocals infused with jazzy acoustic melodies are fantastic. Even more amazing is that there is no accompanying band, she creates this rich sound all alone on stage. It is even more engaging because we get to watch her create accompanying sounds with her acoustic guitar as she lays down the intrumental beat at the beginning of the song.

The live audience adds an electric atmosphere to make this one of the truly great cover songs.

1. Sunday Bloody Sunday Performed by Radiohead - Cover Version of a U2 Original Song

The original Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 is an incredibly powerful song about the conflict between Ireland and England and the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. However, as powerful as the original song is, Radiohead has made this classic song even more powerful in their acoustic cover song of Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Powerful lyrics infused with an acoustic styling and a live audience take this song to new heights and definitely makes this one of the greatest cover songs ever made.

Vote for the Greatest Cover Songs

Which of these Best Cover Songs of the Decade is Your Favorite?

See results

Let us know what you think about this Song Covers lens.

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    • lmm-uk profile image

      Last Minute Musicians 

      4 years ago from London, UK

      No Wonderwall cover?

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I'll bet you had a hard time deciding which songs went and which songs stayed, didn't you? There are so many. Even though I usually prefer the original, I hace heard some covers that I liked better than the original.'Cause they were done better that's usually why.

      TonyB

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      Hmm.................so many good cover songs. Can't decide on a favorite.

    • MrMojo01 profile image

      MrMojo01 

      5 years ago

      Pretty good lens, like most of the songs.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I am not familiar with most of these songs, but I like some older ones. Blondie, Oyster Band and Metallica all made great covers. But maybe I am prejudiced. After all, this was the music of my youth:)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      It was hard to pick a favorite. I really liked Dirk Quinn as he sounded so like one of my favorite artists Isaac Hayes' Band. I really liked Counting Crows "Big Yellow Taxi.

      REALLY, I enjoyed all of your picks! I love U2 also. Great lens! Angel blessings!

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 

      6 years ago

      It's always interesting to hear another performer's take on someone else's song.

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 

      6 years ago

      i am familiar with Big Yellow Taxi and i like it since they made a duet with Vanessa Carlton.

      nice lens, thanks for the share.

    • profile image

      wecomparebooks 

      6 years ago

      Another kick a** lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Nice list of songs!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 

      6 years ago

      Well researched and fun lens!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      The Grateful Dead did their fair share of covers; I loved when the covered a song, it spiced things up (they covered a lot of Beatles songs).

    • profile image

      Pangionedevelopers 

      6 years ago

      i liked this so much, I " liked" you 5x :)....return the favor would be appreciated

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      I think I prefer the originals, especially with I Want You Back.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 

      6 years ago

      I like the KT Tunstall cover. I thought this would be more songs covered by known modern artists I haven't heard of 75% of them.

    • profile image

      ernad18 

      6 years ago

      great lens... nice to meet you...

    • jwill88 profile image

      jwill88 

      6 years ago

      Nice! Love it!

    • profile image

      blogadin 

      6 years ago

      great lense

    • Michael-Legge profile image

      Michael-Legge 

      6 years ago

      A few eye openers in this lens. Thanks!

    • CanadaREVIEW profile image

      CanadaREVIEW 

      6 years ago

      fun lens...!

    • elliotaaron profile image

      elliotaaron 

      6 years ago

      How about Hey Joe

    • Tonto Murray profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonto Murray 

      6 years ago

      @Anthony Altorenna: I agree that guy sickly talented. It is amazing how he fills up the track with so much sound. Really cool.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Dirk Quinn's version of Baba O'Reilly is simply amazing! Seldom do I watch a Youtube video all of the way through, but I watched this one twice!

    • Sabre1000 profile image

      Sabre1000 

      6 years ago

      I loves me some KT Tunstall!

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