Many people would argue that there can be no musical cover which is better than the original. We’re here to tell those people that, bluntly put, they’re wrong.
Songs are created to be sung to, to be experimented with, and to last the test of time – which is why new takes on old classics can be both comforting and exciting. What’s more, cover songs can sometimes even be better and become more famous, than the original. Some cover songs may even become more known than the original and with the low streaming revenue on Spotify, that’s why you’ll never get rich making music.
Here are 5 covers which, in our entirely subjective opinion, are way better than the original versions. Do you agree with us? Read on to see!
Valerie – Amy Winehouse
Valerie was originally recorded by The Zutons in 2006, yet Mark Ronson’s and Amy Winehouse’s more upbeat version is sure to be the one you’re singing in your head already.
Amy Winehouse’s version of the song came out just a year after The Zutons released their original track, yet Amy’s voice and Ronson’s jazzy cover managed to spend 19 straight weeks in the Top 20 chart.
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
Hallelujah is one of those songs that will be covered forever more. Whether its X Factor contestants at Christmas time or in the credits of Shrek, the song is so ingrained into pop culture that it practically invites itself to be sung by everyone and anyone.
However, there is much debate around whether or not Jeff Buckley’s version of the song is better than the original by Lenard Cohen. Bring this up in the pub and we’re sure a long conversation will ensue.
In our eyes, Buckley’s vocals bring to life Cohen’s words – which seems like the fairest way to sit on the fence about this one!
Respect – Aretha Franklin
As we mentioned in the introduction, sometimes a cover version of a song can become way more successful and popular than the original version. This is the case with Respect, which many people would believe to be by Aretha Franklin.
In actual fact, the original version of the song was actually released by Otis Redding two years earlier. However, by changing a few phrases and adding the iconic ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me’ refrain, Aretha not only made the song her own, but made it a rallying cry for women everywhere.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
I Will Always Love You was first released by Dolly Parton in 1974, and it was by no means a flop. The song topped the Billboard Country Songs chart twice and was widely loved by all.
However, when Whitney Houston recorded her version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard, I Will Always Love You was cemented as an instant classic.
What’s more, Houston’s version contains one of the most impressive vocal performances of any singer ever, and it still holds the record for the best-selling single by a female artist in the world.
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
If there’s one thing which has been made quite obvious in this list, it’s that everyone loves to cover a well-written love song. And who can write a better love song than Bob Dylan?
Almost all of Bob Dylan’s songs have been covered at some point, but none stand out as more impressive than Adele’s rousing version of Make You Feel My Love.
Adele’s powerful cover was released in 2008, eleven years after the original, yet it now feels inseparable from the London singer, who managed to make it her own when she was just 19 years of age.