Cover Songs

Every Saturday I will post a blog or article for some weekend reading!

When you search for a song on YouTube, apart from possibly the top 3 searches, the rest will be covers by known and unknown musicians…Many famous songs in musical history were in fact originally written or performed by someone else – an example being Dancing in the Moonlight which I’m sure you know. That song was written by Sherman Kelly, the keyboardist of the band King Harvest! It’s worth a listen just to hear the comparison of the two and see what Toploader did to it. I could spend all day listing incredibly popular songs that are actually covers but here I’ll only be posting lesser known ones. I was going to include Disturbed’s Sound of Silence because it is a must-hear, but I’m pretty sure most people have heard it by now!

I always love to hear covers that almost totally change the song in one way or another too. It gives new appreciation for the original as well as it being fascinating to see how someone else changed it to suit them. Sessions such as the Maida Vale Sessions and Live Lounge (which come up with a simple YouTube search) are brilliant places to look for these, and I’ll mention a few below.

I wanted to share a list of song covers I’ve discovered over the years and give a short explanation with it – some being serious and some a little more amusing to watch and hear.

  • Ásgeir- Heart Shaped Box – this is a complete reinvention of the 1993 Nirvana song, yet it still manages to keep the essence of the original, of sadness and raw emotion, but with etherial vocals and roland keyboards instead of a fender guitar! This is one of my all-time favourite covers even though I’m not a huge Nirvana or Ásgeir fan!
  • Jacob Collier- Eleanor Rigby – I was blown away by Jacob Collier when watching him on YouTube. Over the summer I managed to see him supporting Jamie Cullum at his GMT concert and was even more blown away by his talent. He was on stage alone and performed every instrument on stage and did it incredibly well. This cover of Eleanor Rigby is almost totally unrecognisable but so clever.
  • Jamie Cullum- Don’t Stop The Music – I didn’t know Jamie Cullum’s version until about 2 years ago – before then I only knew the version by the singer Rhianna. When I was introduced to Jamie’s version I was confused as to why he’d done a slow, serenading jazz version of it but I quickly came round to it and really do love and listen to this version. Jamie Cullum is a genius and a quick YouTube search will pop up all his other covers which I urge you to listen to as well.
  • Two Cellos- Thunderstruck – not sure if this quite counts but I’ll add this in because Two Cellos do a brilliant job of combining humour and incredible talent in creating a powerful classical arrangement of an AC/DC song
  • No Diggity – Chet Faker – an excellent reinvention of the 90s rap song No Diggity. This cover is slow and gentle and Chet’s tone of voice and style of singing is comforting.

The Piano Guys and Walk Off The Earth – these 2 groups deserve a mention however their covers aren’t too dissimilar from the original songs they perform.

Give these covers a listen and tweet me your favourite cover versions of songs!


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