It’s a commonly held view that covers suck. They can be lame, unimaginative and tantamount to stealing someone else’s thoughts. Just ask Prince, who apparently wants to make covering songs illegal! Or at least his own songs…
“Why do we need to hear another cover of a song that someone else did?” he wondered aloud during an interview with Billboard. “Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there.” But that’s not always the case. Every now and then you get a version that rethinks the tune from the ground up, and totally breathes new life into an old classic. Just check out these 10 amazing covers that came totally out of left field and shocked us with their awesomeness!
Adele Covering The Strokes’ “Last Nite”
Huge props to BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge program, which delivers seriously awesome (and often off the wall) covers on the reg. This one of a pre-megafame Adele ripping the stuffing out of the Stokes’ stomper is a personal fave.
Demi Lovato Covering Lil Wayne’s “How To Love”
Not to brag, but we were lucky enough to see the lovely Miss Lovato do this one live and in person at VH1 HQ in NYC back in 2011! She definitely stole the song from Weezy, in our opinion…
Scissor Sisters Covering Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”
Replacing Pink Floyd’s doom and gloom with disco and funk, the glam band of sisters turned this rock anthem into a club anthem. And amazingly, we don’t hate them for it!
Solange Covering The Dirty Projector’s “Stillness Is The Move”
Bey’s little sis works those Indie harmonies for all they’re worth!
Cake Covering Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”
Disco and alt-rock aren’t exactly easy bed-fellows, but John McCrea’s scorned vocals and Vince DiFiore’s trumpet melodies make it not too distant from the original.
Ben Folds Covering The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”
The always innovative piano man used some unorthodox percussion on this cut, including a towel-covered box being played with a wooden spoon, a wineglass, and a rubber-band.
The Flaming Lips Covering Madonna’s “Borderline”
It’s a slow burner, but this indie-fied version of Madonna’s dance classic turns into a full-blown epic by the end.
The Gourds Covering Snoop Dog’s “Gin And Juice”
Sure, it’s kind of close to a novelty song, but this blue grass ho-down is pretty damn catchy.
Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua Covering The Cure’s “Love Cats”
Never recorded in the studio, this version of the Cure deep-cut was performed during the 2004 BRIT Awards. No stranger to jazzy versions of rock songs, Jamie also did a version of “High and Dry” by this next band…
Radiohead Covering Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better”
Although it teeters dangerously close to being straight up bad, something about Thom Yorke’s breathy-yet-manic vocals on this Bond theme really makes us believe he’s in love with a spy. Jonny Greenwood’s crunchy guitar-work seals the deal.
[Photo: Getty Images]