In conjecture with the title of today's blog I'd like to point out that narrowing down a mere twenty favorite cover songs is almost impossible, but i've done my best. To help, I went through all the music on my lap top and made a playlist of every (well...most. I didn't include the crappy ones) cover in my music library. See below.
1. "When the Ship comes in." By Bob Dylan--covered by Robbie O'Connell
2. "Midnight Train to Georgia," by Gladys Knight and the Pips--covered by The Indigo Girls
3. "I've just seen a face", by The Beatles--covered by Jim Sturgess
4. "What's going on" by Marvin Gaye--covered by A Perfect Circle
5. "Sunday Morning comin' down" by Kris Kristofferson--made famous by Johnny Cash--covered by Shawn Mullins
6. "Sanitarium" by Metallica--covered by Apocolyptica
7. "Good Lovin" by The Rascals--covered by The Grateful Dead
8. "Leavin on a Jetplane" by John Denver--covered by Peter, Paul & Mary
9. "Day Tripper" by The Beatles--covered by Jimi Hendrix
10. "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John--covered by The Beastie Boys
11. "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers--covered by U2
12. "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway--covered by Big Bad Voodoo Daddies
13. "Garden Party" by Rick Nelson--covered by John Fogerty
14. "Lay Lady Lay" by Bob Dylan--covered by The Byrds
15. "Love minus zero/no limit" by Bob Dylan--covered by Joan Baez
16. "Follow you, follow me" by Genesis--covered by Red House Painters
17. "Sweet Jane" by Velvet Underground--covered by Cowboy Junkies
18. "Chelsea Hotel #2" by Leonard Cohen--covered by Rufus Wainwright
19. "Creep" by Radiohead--covered by Damien Rice
20. "Boyz in the hood" by Eazy E--covered by Dynamite Hack
21. "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg--covered by The Gourds
22. "Take on Me" by Aha--covered by Reel Big Fish
23. "Build me up Buttercup" by The Foundations--covered by Save Ferris
24. "Come Sail Away" by Styx--covered by Eric Cartman
25. "The Boys are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy--covered by Everclear
26. "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent--covered by Pantera
27. "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC--covered by Marilyn Manson
28. "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan--covered by Jimi Hendrix
29. "Across the Universe" by The Beatles--covered by Fiona Apple
30. "Angel From Montgomery" by John Prine--covered by Dave Matthews
31. "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners--covered by Save Ferris
32. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" by The Beatles--covered by Jimi Hendrix
33. "Imagine," by John Lennon--covered by A Perfect Circle
34. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell--covered by Marilyn Manson
35. "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry--covered by Jimi Hendrix
36. "Sliver" by Nirvana--covered by The Assylum Street Spankers
37. "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode--covered by Johnny Cash
38. "Fields of Gold" by Sting--covered by Eva Cassidy
39. "The Man in the Long Black Coat" by Bob Dylan--covered by Joan Osborne
40. "Hey Jude" by The Beatles--covered by The Flys
41. "The Star Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key--covered by James Marshal Hendrix
42. "Goin to Aculpoco" by Bob Dylan--covered by Jim James and Calexico
43. "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones--covered by Guns n Roses
44. "All along the watchtower" by Bob Dylan--covered by Eddie Vedder
45. "Heigh Ho" from Disney's SNOW WHITE--covered by Tom Waits
46. "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes--covered by The Allman Brothers
47. "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones--covered by Bjork & P.J. Harvey
48. "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John--covered by Ben Folds
49. "Gimme some Truth" by John Lennon--covered by Dhani Harrison & Jakob Dylan
50. "Redemption song" by Bob Marley--covered by Ziggy Marley
51. "Hotel California" by The Eagles--covered by The Gypsy Kings
52. "Message in a Bottle" by The Police--covered by Matisyahu
53. "Real Love" by John Lennon--covered by Regina Spektor
54. "Row Row your boat" traditional children's song--covered by Dr. John
55. "Scarlet Begonias" by The Grateful Dead--covered by Jimmy Buffett
56. "Jolene" by Dolly Parton--covered by The White Stripes
57. "Fiddle and the Drum" by Joni Mitchell--covered by A Perfect Circle
58. "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave--covered by The Blues Brothers
59. "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney--covered by Guns n Roses
60. "What is Life" by George Harrison--covered by Shawn Mullins
61. "Changes" by David Bowie--covered by Shawn Mullins
62. "Uncle John's Band" by The Grateful Dead--covered by Jimmy Buffett
63. "Mama Kin" by Aerosmith--covered by Guns n Roses
64. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen--covered by Willie Nelson
65. "Me and Bobby McGee" by Kris Kristofferson, made famous by Janis Joplin--covered by The Grateful Dead
66. "Johnny B. Good" by Chuck Berry--covered by The Grateful Dead
67. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond--covered by Jimmy Buffett
68. "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills, & Nash--covered by Jimmy Buffett
69. "In my Room" by the Beach Boys--covered by Jimmy Buffett
70. "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie--covered by Bruce Springsteen
71. "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley--covered by Jimmy Buffett
72. "Scary Boat Ride from Willy Wonka" done originally by Gene Wilder--covered by Marilyn Manson
73. "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode--covered by Marilyn Manson
74. "Wonderwall" by Oasis--covered by Ryan Adams
75. "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison--covered by Jimmy Buffett
76. "Everybody's Talkin at Me" by Harry Nilson--covered by Jimmy Buffett
77. "Under Pressure" by Queen & David Bowie--covered by My Chemical Romance
78. "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson--covered by Alien Ant Farm
79. "I drove all night" by Roy Orbison--covered by Cyndi Lauper
80. "Blame it on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli (sort of)--covered by Sam Moore
81. "We Shall be Free" by Garth Brooks--covered by Sam Moore
82. "Bleeker Street" by Simon and Garfunkel--covered by Jonatha Brooke
83. "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley--covered by Blues Traveler
84. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osborne--covered by Yonder Mountain String Band
85. "Jersey Girl" by Bruce Springsteen--covered by Tom Waits
86. "Just Like a Woman" by Bob Dylan--covered by Jeff Buckley
87. "Ballad of a thin man" by Bob Dylan--covered by The Grateful Dead
88. "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan--covered by Rod Stewart
89. "Subterranean homesick blues" by Bob Dylan--covered by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
90. "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna--covered by The Gypsy Kings
91. "Bring the Pain" by Method Man--covered by Mindless Self Indulgence
92. "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince, made famous by Sinead O'Connor--covered by some Hawaiian dude
93. "Scarlet Begonias" by The Grateful Dead--covered by Sublime
94. "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley--covered by Matisyahu
95. "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straights--covered by The Killers
96. "Stand by Your Man" by Tammy Wynette--covered by The Blues Brothers
97. "Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles--covered by Dave Matthews
98. "Broken Arrow" by Rod Stewart--covered by The Grateful Dead
99. "Downtown Train" by Tom Waits--covered by Rod Stewart
100. "The Van Lear Rose" by Loretta Lynn--covered by Jack White
101. "Knockin on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan--covered by Guns n Roses
102. "Bitches Ain't Shit" by Dr. Dre--covered by Ben Folds
103. "I wanna be like you" from Disney's JUNGLE BOOK--covered by Big Bad Voodoo Daddies
104. "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells--covered by Dolly Parton
105. "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen--covered by Robert Plant
106. "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan--covered by William Shatner
107. "Never My Love" by The Associaton--covered by Adam Green
108. "One more cup of coffee" by Bob Dylan--covered by The White Stripes
109. "Time" by Tom Waits--covered by Tori Amos
110. "Chimes of Freedom" by Bob Dylan--covered by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, and Youssou N'Do
And so, how can I pick just twenty of these one hundred and ten miraculous songs to share in tonight's blog?
Well, in my opinion; a good cover should do one, or both, of two things. 1. It should completely revamp the song in question--taking it through a grand metamorphosis and sculpting it into something new and exciting. 2. It should totally, completely, absolutely, monumentally, fundamentally, unequivically, and genuinely wollop your heart and blow your mind. So, in light of those two factors, I shall now pick my top twenty. :)
1. Midnight Train to Georgia--by Gladys Knight and the Pips--covered by The Indigo Girls
It is a soulful, lovely song no matter who does. The only band that could mess this up is probably Puddle of Mud. I stumbled across this cover somewhere in college and it has been living with me ever since.
2. Bennie and the Jets--by Elton John--covered by The Beastie Boys
A totally bizarre and quirky cover. The boys sound like their drunk or something. I give it seven thumbs up!
3. Chelsea Hotel #2--by Leonard Cohen--covered by Rufus Wainwright
Dare I say I like this cover more than Cohen's original? Yes...slander me if you wish...but I do dare! ..................lol.........."do-dare." This is an example of a good cover thoroughly wolloping me to pieces. Also I love the way Rufus will randomly gesture and sway towards the audience in this video. :)
4. Come Sail Away--by Styx--covered by Eric Cartman via Trey Parker
I really want to hang out with Trey Parker one time.
5. Heigh Ho--from Disney's SNOW WHITE--covered by Tom Waits
This is an example of a song being completely reborn. A little backstory here: This song was part of a collection that was realease (I think) in the 1980's called "Stay Awake." It featured other classic Disney songs covered by well known artists including Los Lobos, Michael Stipe, Natalie Merchant, Bonnie Rait, Ringo Starr, Sinead O'Connor, The Replacements and James Taylor. This is pretty difficult to find these days, but if you can locate a copy--more power to you.
6. Under Pressure--by Queen & David Bowie--covered by My Chemical Romance & The Used.
I know what you're thinking. "My Chemical Romance? Really?" Well, YES....REALLY. I was dubious too, I assure you--when my good friend Bear said, "Dude...you gotta listen to this." In fact, i'm pretty sure my exact words were, "My Chemical Romance? Really?" But to my delight and surprise this turned out to be a really well done, enthusiatic, and honorable cover. And for the record, My Chemical Romance also does a pretty unique cover of "Desolation Row." Check it out.
7. Crazy Train--by Ozzy Osborne--covered by Yonder Mountain String Band
Ozzy done bluegrass style. YES. I was fortunate enough to be at this particular show. Its a crazy cover.
8. Bring the Pain--by Method Man--covered by Mindless Self Indulgence
BAT. SHIT. CRAZY. That is all
9. Scarlet Begonias--by The Grateful Dead--covered by Sublime
I love this song, with all my heart. No matter WHO is singing it. When Jerry sings it I feel like I should be sitting on a dock at sunset in summertime, barefoot with a bamboo fishing pole and my girl. When Jimmy Buffet sings it, I feel like I should be in a seaful of geeky hippies at a festivul--cause that is in fact where I was when I saw him perform this song. And when Bradley Knowles of Sublime sings it, I feel like I should be with my best friends out underneath the start on a warm July evening, just shooting the shit and enjoying each other's company. This song is about love. No matter which way you slice it--no matter who sings it.
10. Romeo and Juliet--by Dire Straights--covered by The Killers
I didn't discover this one until just recently. The cover, that is...not the original. I was sitting around at work one morning before we opened listening to Dire Straights songs on Youtube when I stumbled across this one, and i've been listening to it now three or four times a week ever since.
11. Bitches Ain't Shit--by Dr. Dre--covered by Ben Folds
When a nerdy white guy who specializes in piano successfully covers a Dr. Dre song; I feel like we as a people have come a long way. It's a really cool cover as it is; but this particular performance is even cooler. Enjoy :)
12. Never My Love--by The Association--covered by Adam Green
Both versions are beautiful. But the cover holds a special place in my heart. It's...one of those songs ;). Also, this song is featured on the soundtrack for the movie "Whip It." Excellent film. Excellent sound track.
13. Time--by Tom Waits--covered by Tori Amos
This is a special song. Whether it is sung by Tom Waits, in his gruff, heart-broke, burlesque voice--or in Tori's ethereal, fluid, provacative voice--it is a perfect song. PERFECT.
14. No Woman No Cry--by Bob Marley--covered by Blues Traveler and Ziggy Marley
Another of my favorite songs. The original I mean. I found this cover much the same way I found the Romeo and Juliet cover...simply by stumbling across it one day. It's hard to make this song much more kick ass than it already is--but epic harmonica solos and Bob Marley's own son do just that.
15. Johnny B. Goode--by Chuck Berry--covered by Jimi Hendrix
I can still remember the first time I ever heard this. I had just gotten the Jimi Hendrix box set and was riding around in my truck listening to it, when this track came on. And my jaw fell to the floor. I like this cover better than the original. Most covers...I like on the same level as originals...but I think this one is better. Jimi just RIPS it up.
16. Hurt--by Nine Inch Nails--covered by Johnny Cash
I don't think I need to explain myself here.
17. Stand by Your Man--by Tammy Wynette--covered by The Blues Brothers
18. In My Room--by The Beach Boys--covered by Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy is known for his outstanding covers; "Uncle John's Band," "Everybody's Talking at me," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Souther Cross," "Scarlet Begonias," "Mexico" etc. etc. So I basically just picked on at random--because they are all just really really really good. And this one is a good make out song ;)
19. Bad Romance--by Lady Gaga--covered by Lissie
Lissie, a scruffy young new comer to the singer-songwriter scene takes Lady Gaga's pop masterpiece and makes it GRUNGE. Sexy grunge. This is the coolest thing i've seen or heard in yeeeeeears.
20. Chimes of Freedom--by Bob Dylan--covered by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, and Youssou N'Dour
Some things need no explanation. This is one of them. I almost cry everytime I listen to this.
Honorable Mention: Whip My Hair--by Willow Smith--covered by Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young, and 1977 era Bruce Springsteen
Woof....ok. It's been a day. Gonna go home now, eat a sammich, and watch South Park. Cheers :)
Next week's blog: A list of songs to play at my funeral. EEP!