R&P- can you recall an album where the best song on it was a cover song (hard one, I know)?

BQ 2. What is it in your opinion that makes a song coverable (i think i made that term uo just now) :)

BQ. How do you feel when one of your favourite artists do a cover of someone else's song?

20 Answers

  • 5 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I tried to make myself easier by trying to recall albums where more than one best song were covers. That narrows the choice. 

    Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard - (at least) 2 best

    Motherless Children (trad)

    I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley) 

    imo Clapton's own "Let It Grow" is No.3 with another cover - Willie and the Hand Jive (Johnny Otis) - 4th best,

    Joan Jett - I Love Rock 'N' Roll - 2 best songs

    Crimson and Clover (Tommy James & The Shondells )

    I Love Rock 'N' Roll (The Arrows)

    exactly in this order, I never particularly liked the latter but it was unavoidable in 1980s.

    Santana - Abraxas - 2 best songs are covers

    Black Magic Woman (Peter Green)

    Oye Como Va (Tito Puente)

    Bonnie Raitt - Streetlights - (at least) 3 best songs are covers

    That Song About The Midway (Joni Mitchell)

    What Is Success (Allen Toussaint)

    Angel from Montgomery (John Prine)

    actually I learned about this album only recently when I followed a lead from the Toussaint's original (I love that piano riff). I went from Dr.John⇒ Professor Longhair⇒ Toussaint⇒ this album.

    UB40 - Labour of Love - a virtually whole album

    Red, Red Wine (Neil Diamond)

    Please Don't Make Me Cry (Winston "Groovy" Tucker)

    Cherry Oh Baby (Eric Donaldson)

    Many Rivers To Cross (Jimmy Cliff)

    Keep on Moving (Bob Marley)

    and so on........

    a nice cover album actually, not exactly my cup of tea but it brings me back nicely

    and now, the dessert 🥞

    Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session - 2½ best

    Sweet Jane (Lou Reed)

    I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)

    tied in 3rd place:

    Mining for Gold (trad) and Misguided Angel (Cowboys' original)


    About being surprised, I could make a list of songs I thought were originals, but that would be off topic. This one is to all the kids who think Metallica's "Whiskey in the Jar" is the original. You googled a little and found about Thin Lizzy, right? That places the song well in this topic because it is arguably one of the best songs from "Garage, Inc. " album and it is a cover.

    Well, Thin Lizzy (1972 single) version is actually a cover of Irish traditional. I was therefore not much surprised when I heard The Dubliners version (1967). Tracing back I learned that the first known recording was by Lena Bourne Fish in 1941. Lena was an elderly lady then, who died in 1945 and the song is released posthumously in 1951. You can find her version on YT titled Gilgarrah Mountain. And the biggest surprise for me was yet to follow because I stumbled upon a version by Joe Dassin titled "Mâche ta chique" (1965). It is 7 years before Thin Lizzy and in French 😮.


    BQ2 - Coverable song. Difficult question.

    Sometimes it's obvious - good catchy songs that laid forgotten for some time. Think instrumentals like Green Onions or Egyptian Reggae.

    Sometimes it's exactly the opposite - musicians that rely on improvisation, like in jazz - they like to cover tunes everybody knows because the twist they bring in is more obvious than in an unknown tune. It's like when somebody makes a witty remark referring to a line from a popular movie. It's pointless if those who listen haven't seen a movie.

    Sometimes a good coverable song is the one seemingly uncoverable. A sing-along song nobody can sing. But we would like we can. How many times we heard "no one can sing (play) that like...". Yet some people try and succeed. Or fail.

    Example: Little Wing, Hendrix. A song we all know, few can play and sing. A dreamlike atmosphere. And dreams can be happy dreams or nightmares. Ambiguous psychedelic lyrics. Who is Little Wing? We only know from Hendrix it's "she". And there you have space for various interpretations - Clapton (painful), Sting (jazzy), Vaughan (instrumental blues)... Currently, my favorite version is a piano instrumental by Wayne Kelso (YT).

    BQ - I don't mind. It's up to them.

  • 5 months ago

    I generally prefer Stevie Ray Vaughan's Hendrix covers to his originals so for example Couldn't Stand The Weather, which had his cover of Voodoo Chile (Straight Return).

    I do like his originals Lenny and Riviera Paradise a lot though. Shame he never did anything like that with vocals.

  • 5 months ago

    This is a hard one to answer simply, so bear with me.

    Main question (best song on album):

    Album: AWAKEN THE FIRE by Like A Storm cover of "Gangsta's Paradise" originally by Coolio

    And, not sure if this counts, but here we go:


    "Running Up That Hill"  covered by Placebo (originally done by Kate Bush)

    BQ2:The song either has to be SO amazing you could listen to it done a 100 different ways.

    Example: David Bowie's "Heroes"


    The song falls just short /leaves you wanting more - so someone adds a twist, amps it up/tempo change - and you're like "YES! That's what that song needed all along."

    Example: "Lose You To Love Me by Selena Gomez (not a fan of her - don't hate her - just not for me), but when I heard this song, I'm like "great potential, but not quite there." Since then, come across some faster and heavier covers that I'm like "Yes. That is so much better."

    HURT by Nine Inch Nails is another that has had some great/better covers.

    BQ: Actually, one of my used-to-be favorite bands (30 Seconds To Mars - don't laugh at me - loved their punk/alt rock) covered several songs and they gave me a spectrum of feelings. So, depends on the composition of the song and how it's remastered ; also, whether an artist should cover said song (just because an artist can sing/perform music and love a song, doesn't mean it's a song THEY should cover - they need to choose WISELY for their style/vocal capabilities.)

    The covers I'm picking are:

    MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by the Police - nearly hated their cover - tolerated it, but didn't really enjoy it.

    WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME by U2 - I thought they did the song justice - NO ONE will ever do it as well as U2, but 30STM certainly didn't ruin it or (in my opinion) insult the original version.

    STAY by Rihanna - I actually strongly preferred 30STM's version.

  • 5 months ago

    Aloha Livin’!

    Libertad by Velvet Revolver.

    Their cover of ELO’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” is easily the best song on the album.

    BQ1:  I don’t know.  I like it best when I hear a cover of a song that I wouldn’t have expected any artist to cover.

    BQ2:  I usually like it when my favorite artists do cover songs.  A few of my favorite bands have done entire albums of covers...Deftones, Rush, Guns N’ Roses.  I enjoy those albums.

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  • James
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    About the only artist I know who can do cover versions which were better than, or as good as, the original, though many have tried, is Bryan Ferry.

    I would check out Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry albums for good cover versions.

  • Binks
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Hey Livin', another cover of a King Crimson song, and definitely the best song on the album.

    April Wine - 21st Century Schizoid Man


  • Petter
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Easy, this one. =)

    Mariah Carey - Fantasy


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    I like it when the cover really add something new, give it new angle, a twist, change of genre or whatever. Just like for example Mariahs version of Tom Tom Clubs song, or Gary Jules version of Tears for Fears Mad World.

    BA: Well, I don't mind as long as it makes good music.

    BA 2: Any song is coverable, imho, but like I said. I really like when they add something new to it.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Very hard.

    Evoken - Rotting Misery 7inch


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  • 5 months ago

    Decidedly "Mad World" by Tears for Fears, coverized by Gary Jules in "Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets"


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    BQ2: basically, me too think that any song is coverable, however a couple of precautions that I don't mind are: that the chosen song is not too well known and famous, and that there are not too many degrees of separation between the covered artist and the interpreter (the same "Mad World" proposed by Harakiri for the Sky, is not bad, but it surprises me and I like it much less, to give a clear example)

    BQ: I feel calm, normal, I'm happy for them :)

    I may be intrigued by the fact that in this way they reveal a particular openness towards a particular artist, or a particular cheekiness, depending on the meaning that the cover has for them.

  • 5 months ago

    More detailed criteria would help. Also there are plenty of albums that are exclusively cover tunes. Hearing a favorite guitar player covering a Hendrix original is common. What they do with it matters. The Hendrix cover of "All Along the Watchtower" is prime example. Devo's covering "Satisfaction" was the first song I heard from that band.

    I’ll wait to see what others say.

  • 5 months ago

    That’s too easy. Basically every album by Michael Bolton. Has he ever sung a song that wasn’t a cover. 

    When a man lives a woman - Percy sledge

    Sitting on the dock of the bay - Otis Redding

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