There’s a lot to be said about cover songs and the love-hate relationship people have with them. When they’re hated, they’re often used as filler music, offering nothing new or changing it in a way that fans hate. When they’re loved, a band has made that song their own, added something awesome to it that people love, and in many cases, shows a connection with both the band performing it and the original band who played it for them.
The reason many bands do them is often two-fold: First, as most bands form, songs by other musicians are what they have to start with – each musician bringing their favorite songs together and hoping everything gels into a solid song. Second, it’s tribute to the bands that inspired to grab that guitar, drum kit, DJ table or microphone.
I love cover songs, because it tells a lot about the bands playing them and bands that inspired them. Sometimes it opens me to an original I hadn’t heard before; other times it gives a new personality on a song I already love. Because of this, this list is a two-a-day listing of 10 of my favorites. Some of them are favorites of the fans; some have caused controversy and hatred. All of them demonstrate the qualities above.
(And before you ask: This has nothing to do with America, Patriotism or the 4th of July – it’s not that I’m unpatriotic, it’s that I have something else in mind for that day.)
Thoughtless, covered by Evanescence, originally by Korn
Why I like this version: Amy Lee is one of my favorite vocalists, Korn is one of my favorite bands. The moment I heard the ivories of the piano starting out where a guitar was expected, my curiosity for the song was piqued – by the time the song had reached the first chorus I was hitting “repeat 1.” Amy’s vocals and piano playing on this track alone gives this song new life and definition, and the way they blended the song into their style gives the song a different sort of depth that the original didn’t have. It’s probably the rare instance where the cover outdoes the original while not displacing it in any way.
Rolling In the Deep, covered by Linkin Park, originally by Adele
Why I like this version: This was one of those songs that raised my eyebrows when I first heard it, because typically if someone covers a song, the singer usually is the same gender as the original artist or the female is covering a male’s song. This goes double for songs written in the female perspective: most of the time, a man singing it does not sound right. This is one of those times where the cover band nails, and one of the rarer times that such a gender swap worked, proving that a perspective that could be considered unique to a specific group of people can sometimes be universal for everyone.