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Forget the Original: Four of the Best Cover Songs

Posted on October 12 2017

Ever since the New Yorker detailed the history of DEVO’s thrilling cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” (babybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybabybaby), we've been thinking about some of our favorite covers. In our view, a cover isn’t worth listening to unless the artist manages to twist the song into something new. Otherwise, just go listen to the original version, right? Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t going to skip the Talking Heads’ “Take Me To The River” because it isn’t revolutionary, we just aren’t going to exalt it over other covers (or put it on a list of great covers 😎 ).

It’s our belief that a good cover should provide a new perspective on a familiar song, should imbue it with new meaning, or feeling. A good test for this rule is, “Can this cover be played back to back with the original song and not feel redundant?” If yes, you’ve got a great cover on your hands!

Here are four covers we believe stand up to the test.

Christina Bottego