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.)
Gold Dust Woman, covered by Hole, original by Fleetwood Mac
Why I like this version: This is probably the most hated cover on this list, as I have yet to meet anyone that really likes it. The movie it was attached to, the first sequel to “The Crow,” was a big disappointment for many fans (myself included, though I’ve grown to like it over the years,) and this was one of the first songs Courtney Love released after her husband Kurt Cobain killed himself. What I love about the song is how different it is from the original, throwing in the anger and heartache that was quiet in the original. Sad to say, this was her best song for me so far.
Heroes, covered by The Wallflowers, originally by David Bowie
Why I like this version: This song had so many negatives going against it that you can’t blame fans for hating it: it was attached to a movie that was stirring controversy for another song on it, as well as the movie itself becoming much hated for turning a fan-favorite monster into an overgrown lizard. Fans were already ticked with how much they changed Godzilla, so having the lead single from the soundtrack be a cover of a fan-favorite song didn’t help it much. Unlike most of the songs on this list, this wasn’t changed too drastically from the original, with only the vocals and the difference in instruments being the significant factor. However, it was those elements, along with a cleaner, more fluid sound, that help this rise for me. While it won’t replace Bowie’s original, it does give enough merits to exist, and opened an “okay” soundtrack.