Thursday, October 28

Lists: Good and Bad Covers

In most cases, the song in question has to be one with some intrinsic merit to be considered. Thus, "Venus" by Bananarama, while atrocious, doesn't make the "Bad Covers" list, because the Beatles could record it and it would still bite the curb. Conversely, in very rare cases, a great cover can salvage an otherwise pointless song, such as Van Halen's "Jump." I've also left out most Beatles covers, including Sinatra's hilarious "Something" and the entire "Sgt Pepper" soundtrack, because just about all Beatle covers (except the too-obscure-for-inclusion "Strawberry Fields" by Peter Gabriel, from the out-of-print vinyl soundtrack "All This and WWII") suck.
In no particular order:

Good Covers Bad Covers
I Fought the Law - the Clash Train in Vain - Annie Lennox
Georgia - Ray Charles Downtown Train - Rod Stewart
What the World Needs Now - Aimee Mann I Saw Him Standing There - Tiffany
Anything by Cassandra Wilson Anything by William Shatner
Anything by Bill Frissell Anything by Michael Bolton
Jump - Aztec Camera California Girls - David Lee Roth
Day Tripper - Brasil 66 Day Tripper - Brasil 66 (simultaneously great and awful)
Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go - Soft CellMony Mony - Billy Idol
Dear God - Sarah McLachlan Pretty Woman - Van Halen
Stop Your Sobbin' - The Pretenders You Really Got Me - Van Halen
Take Me to the River - Talking Heads Heaven - Simply Red
Young Man Blues - The Who Behind Blue Eyes - Limp Bizkit
Crazy - Patsy Cline Fever - Anyone but Peggy Lee (including Madonna and Paul Weller)
Susie Q - Creedence Clearwater Revival American Pie - Madonna
Time is On My Side - Rolling Stones Dancing in the Street - Bowie & Jagger
Twist and Shout - Beatles With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker
Stepping Stone - Sex Pistols My Way - Syd Vicious

Please, won't you help me fill out this list in the comments?

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