101 Favorite Cover Songs

The list focuses on pop, rock, R&B, country, and folk. I excluded classical, jazz, and blues covers, except in few cases where pop, rock or country artists covered a jazz standard or blues song.  The list is presented in chronological order.

  1.  That’s All Right (1954) – Elvis Presley.
    Original: Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1946).


2. Mystery Train
(1955) – Elvis Presley.
    Original: Junior Parker (1953).

 

3.  Hound Dog (1956) – Elvis Presley.
Original: Big Mama Thornton (1953).


4.  Twist and Shout
(1963) – The Beatles.
Originals: Top Notes (1961); The Isley Brothers (1962).


5.  Long Tall Sally
(1964) – The Beatles.
Original: Little Richard (1956).


6.  Not Fade Away
(1964) – The Rolling Stones.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


7.  It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
(1966) – Them.
Original: Bob Dylan (1965).


8.  Try a Little Tenderness
(1966) – Otis Redding
Originals: Ray Noble & His Orchestra (1932); Bing Crosby (1933).


9.  Respect
(1967) – Aretha Franklin.
Original: Otis Redding (1965).


10.  Alabama Song
(1967) – The Doors.
Original: Lotte Lenya (1930).


11.  All Along the Watchtower
(1968) – Jimi Hendrix.
Original: Bob Dylan (1967).


12.  I Put a Spell on You
(1968) – Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Original: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1956).


13. I Ain’t Superstitious
(1968) – Jeff Beck Group (w/ Rod Stewart).
Original: Howlin’ Wolf (1961).


14. With a Little Help From My Friends
(1969) – Joe Cocker.
Original: The Beatles (1967).


15. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
(1970) – Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Originals: Gladys Knight & the Pips (1967); Marvin Gaye (1968).


16. Proud Mary
(1970) – Ike & Tina Turner.
Original: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969).


17. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
(1971) – Carole King.
Original: The Shirelles (1960).


18.  (I Know) I’m Losing You
(1971) – Rod Stewart.
Original: The Temptations (1966).


19.  One Way Out
(1972) – The Allman Brothers.
Originals: Elmore James (1960); Sonny Boy Williamson II (1961).


20.  Baby Don’t You Do It
(as Don’t Do It) (1972) – The Band.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1964).


21.  Baby Don’t You Do It
(1972) – The Who.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1964).


22. America
(1972) – Yes.
Original: Simon & Garfunkel (1968).


23. Take Me Home, Country Roads
(1973) – Toots and the Maytals.
Original: John Denver (1971).


24.  Willin’
(1974) – Linda Ronstadt.
Original: Little Feat (1971).


25. Angel from Montgomery
(1974) – Bonnie Raitt.
Original: John Prine (1971).


26.  Love Hurts
(1974) – Gram Parsons (w/ Emmylou Harris).
Original: The Everly Brothers (1960).


27.  I Shot the Sheriff
(1974)– Eric Clapton.
Original: Bob Marley & the Wailers (1973).


28.  When Will I Be Loved
(1975) – Linda Ronstadt.
Original: The Everly Brothers (1960).


29.  Stand by Me
(1975) – John Lennon.
Original: Ben E. King (1961).


30.  The Acid Queen
(1975) – Tina Turner.
Original: The Who (1969).


31.  Gloria
(1975) – Patti Smith.
Original: Them (1964).


32.  Runaway
(1977) – Bonnie Raitt.
Original: Del Shannon (1961).


33.  She’s Not There
(1977) – Santana.
Original: The Zombies (1964).


34.  Cocaine
(1977) – Eric Clapton.
Original: J.J. Cale (1976).


35.  (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
(1978) – Devo.
Original: The Rolling Stones (1965).


36.  Take Me to the River
(1978) – Talking Heads.
Original: Al Green (1974).


37.  I’m Gonna Love You Too
(1978) – Blondie.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


38.  Money
(1979) – The Flying Lizards.
Original: Barrett Strong (1959).


39.  I Want You Back
(1979) – Graham Parker.
Original: The Jackson Five (1969).


40.  Downtown
(1979) – The B-52’s.
Original: Petula Clark (1964).


41.  I Fought the Law
(1979) – The Clash
Originals: The Crickets (1960); Bobby Fuller Four (1965).


42.  Stop Your Sobbing
(1979) – Pretenders.
Original: The Kinks (1964).


43.  Tears of a Clown
(1979) – The English Beat.
Original: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (1967).


44.  In the Midnight Hour
(1980) – Roxy Music.
Original: Wilson Pickett (1965).


45.  It’s Bad For Me
(1980) – The Roches.
Original: Ray Noble and His Orchestra (1933).


46.  Jealous Guy
(1981) – Roxy Music.
Original: John Lennon (1971).


47.  Absolutely Sweet Marie
(1983) – Jason and the Scorchers.
Original: Bob Dylan (1966).


48.  Baby It’s You
(1984) – Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe.
Original: The Shirelles (1961).


49.  Jersey Girl
(1984) – Bruce Springsteen
Original: Tom Waits (1980).


50.  I Got You Babe
(1985) – UB40 with Chrissie Hynde.
Original: Sonny & Cher (1965).


51.  Jump
(1985) – Aztec Camera.
Original: Van Halen (1984).


52.  Suspicious Minds
(1986) – Fine Young Cannibals.
Originals: Mark James (1968); Elvis Presley (1969).


53.  Venus
(1986) – Bananarama.
Original: Shocking Blue (1969).


54.  Peace Train
(1987) – 10,000 Maniacs.
Original: Cat Stevens (1971).


55.  Cupid
(1988) – Graham Parker.
Original: Sam Cooke (1961).


56.  Sweet Thing
(1988) – The Waterboys.
Original: Van Morrison (1968).                          


57.  I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
(1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: Hank Williams (1949).

58.  Walking After Midnight (1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: Patsy Cline (1957).

 

59.  Sweet Jane (1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: The Velvet Underground (1970).

 

60.  Lock, Stock & Teardrops (1988) – k.d. lang.
Original: Roger Miller (1963).


61.  Stand By Your Man
(1989) – Lyle Lovett.
Original: Tammy Wynette (1968).


62.  On Broadway
(1989) – Neil Young.
Original: The Drifters (1963).


63.  Just Like Heaven
(1989) – Dinosaur Jr.
Original: The Cure (1987).


64.  I Can See Clearly Now
(1990) Hothouse Flowers.
Original: Johnny Nash (1971).


65.  All Come True
(1990) – Rosanne Cash.   
Original: World Party (1986).


66.  Hey, Good Lookin’
(1990) – Buckwheat Zydeco (w/ Dwight Yoakum)
Original: Hank Williams (1951).


67.  Nothing Compares 2 U
(1990) – Sinead O’Connor
Original: Prince (1985).


68.  Androgynous
(1991) – Crash Test Dummies.
Original: The Replacements (1984).


69.  Mama Told Me Not to Come
(1991) – The Wolfgang Press.
Originals: Eric Burdon (1966); Three Dog Night (1970).


70.  Wild Horses
(1992) – The Sundays.
Original: The Rolling Stones (1971).


71.  Truckin’
(1992) – Dwight Yoakum.
Original: Grateful Dead (1970).


72.  Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon
(1992) – Urge Overkill.
Original: Neil Diamond (1967).


73.  Tenderness on the Block
(1992) – Shawn Colvin.
Original: Warren Zevon (1978).


74.  Something in the Air
(1993) – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Original: Thunderclap Newman (1969).


75.  Hallelujah
(1994) – Jeff Buckley.
Original: Leonard Cohen (1984).


76.  The Man Who Sold the World
(1994) – Nirvana.
Original: David Bowie (1970).


77.  Baby, Now That I’ve Found You
(1995) – Alison Krauss.
Original: The Foundations (1967).


78.  Our Little Angel
(1995) – Rosanne Cash.
Original: Elvis Costello (1986).


79.  Wrecking Ball
(1995) – Emmylou Harris.
Original: Neil Young (1989).


80.  Black Hole Sun
(1997) – Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme.
Original: Soundgarden (1993).


81.  Sleep Walk
(1998) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Original: Santo and Johnny (1959).


82.  One
(1999) – Aimee Mann.
Originals: Harry Nilsson (1968); Three Dog Night (1968).


83.  Burning Down the House
(1999) – Tom Jones and the Cardigans.
Original: Talking Heads (1983).


84.  Travelin’ Prayer
(1999) – Dolly Parton.
Original: Billy Joel (1973).


85.  I Want You to Want Me
(2000) – Dwight Yoakum.
Original: Cheap Trick (1977).


86.  One
(2000) – Johnny Cash.
Original: U2 (1991).


87.  I Won’t Back Down
(2000) – Johnny Cash.
Original: Tom Petty (1989).

88.  Trouble Man (2000) – Rickie Lee Jones.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1972).


89.  Barrytown
(2000) – Ben Folds Five.
Original: Steely Dan (1974).


90.  Wish You Were Here
(2000) – Wyclef Jean.
Original: Pink Floyd (1975).


91.  Take Care
(2003) – Yo La Tengo.
Original: Big Star (1978).


92.  I’m So Excited
(2004) – Le Tigre.
Original: The Pointer Sisters (1982).


93.  Bird on a Wire
(2004) – k.d. lang.
Original: Leonard Cohen (1969).


94.  Sunrise
(2005) – Petra Haden.
Original: The Who (1967).


95.  Handle with Care
(2006) – Jenny Lewis, et al.
Original: The Traveling Wilburys (1987).


96.  Killing the Blues
(2007) – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Original: John Prine (1979).


97.  Come On Up to the House
(2009) – Sarah Jarosz,
Original: Tom Waits (1999).


98.  Ring Them Bells
(2011) – Sarah Jarosz.
Original: Bob Dylan (1989).


99.  Words of Love
(2011) – Patti Smith.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


100.  The Great Curve
(2018) – Angelique Kidjo.
Original: Talking Heads (1980).


101.  Go Where You Wanna Go
(2018) – Jakob Dylan and Jade Castrinos
Original: The Mamas and the Papas (1965).

What are your favorite cover songs? Please share in the comments!

6 thoughts on “101 Favorite Cover Songs

  1. Noel Cross

    Great list! There’s only Talking Heads’ cover of Al Green’s Take Me to the River that I’d add. I think Jealous Guy by Roxy Music was out in 1981 (just after John Lennon died).

    Reply
    1. beckchris Post author

      Thanks for the feedback, Noel! Take Me to the River is at No. 38. And I fixed the date on the Roxy Music cover of Jealous Guy. Appreciate the close read.

      Reply
    1. beckchris Post author

      Good one, James! I almost added another Nick Lowe song, “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding”, covered by Elvis Costello. If I did a list of 102, that would be there.

      Reply
  2. jameswharris

    By the way, does it really count as a cover when you wrote the song for the original performers, as in “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1971)? Carole King and her husband wrote the song for the Shirelles in 1960. – Just a technical question.

    Reply
    1. beckchris Post author

      James: I did think about this a bit. I ended up deciding it was a cover song, as Goffin & King didn’t record the song, they just wrote it. So in a way, Carole King was just recording a song she wrote, but she was also recording a song that the Shirelles had a hit with. Another interesting example is Neil Sedaka’s covering his own hit, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” many years later.

      Reply

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