In this lens I listed my top ten rock covers. I’m a big music fan and I love to listen to all kind of music (except some folk music). They like to say, that original is always better then cover, but is some cases this is not true. A love all the songs listed bellow in original version too, but I like that edgy sound they get in rock version.
I would love if you would share your opinion on which version is better for you.
#1 Joey Ramone – What a wonderful world (Louis Armstrong)
This song featured on Joey Ramone’s (real name Jeffry Ross Hyman) posthumous album “Don’t worry about me”. This is cover of “What a wonderful world” by jazz legend Louis Armstrong. This is my all time favorite cover and one of my favorite songs in general.
Original version performed by jazz legend Luis Armstrong is also one of my favorite jazz song ever. Song is full of positive vibrations and can’t help myself feeling good every time I hear it. Same is with cover version. Joey’s edgy punk rock melody and voice pump me up with energy.
#2 Alien ant farm – Smooth criminal (Michael Jackson)
In 2001 Alien ant farm released cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth criminal”. This was there first big hit and it even made it to #1in Australia and New Zealand. Song featured on their first studio album, Anthology. I always liked Michael Jackson’s music, so this song was easy to love it. And after 10 years after release, this is still one of my favorite covers.
Original was released as 7th single on Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad album. Smooth criminal is one of the Jackson’s signature songs and was featuring on several “best off” albums. Funny fact – Smooth criminal barely made it on “Bad” album. Song was re-worked several times and was originally named “Al Capone”.
#3 H-blockX – Ring of fire (Johnny Cash)
In 2000 H-blockX released cover of rock and roll legend Johnny Cash’s hit “Ring of fire”. Cover never really made it big on charts, but it made it high on my personal favorite rock cover chart as #3. This German band also made another cover I like. It was cover of song “The power” originally performed by Snap!.
John Cash released “Ring of fire” in 1963 on his best hit compilation “Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash”. Song was originally co-written by Johnny’s wife June Carter and recorded by her sister Anita Carter for her album “Folk Songs Old and New”. This song was Johnny’s biggest hit.
#4 Guns n’ Roses – Knocking on heaven’s door (Bob Dylan)
Guns n’ roses was one of my favorite band growing up. And is no surprise that “Knocking on heaven’s door” made it on my top 10 rock covers list. Song was originally recorded by legend Bob Dylan in 1973 for “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” movie soundtrack.
Guns n’ roses included this cover on “Use Your Illusion II” album in 1991. Interesting fact is that they were including this cover in there live sets since 1987. First studio version was recorded in 1990 for “Days of Thunder” movie soundtrack and was later modified for “Use Your Illusion II” album.
#5 Guano Apes – Big In Japan (Alphaville)
Guano apes is another German rock band that made it on my top 10 rock covers list. They recorded cover of “Big in Japan” originally performed by another German band called Alphaville. Big in Japan was Alphaville’s debut single in 1984’s album “Forever young”.
Guano apes released this cover in 2000 on there second studio album “Don’t Give Me Names”. First single from this album was “Big in Japan”.
#6 Metallica – Whiskey in the Jar (The Dubliners / Irish traditional song)
Metallica released this cover in 1998. This is actually traditional Irish song that gained wide exposure when the Irish folk band “The Dubliners” performed it internationally as a signature song, and recorded it for the first time on there 1967’s album “More of the Hard Stuff”. Because The Dubliners made this song famous, I will consider them as an original in this case.
Metallica had big success with this cover and win on 42nd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2000.
#7 Hinder – Born to be wild (Mars Bonfire)
“Born to be wild” is one of the biggest rock singles of all times. Song was originally written by Mars Bonfire and made famous by rock band Steppenwolf (version most of you know). This song featured on many albums and soundtrack. Most well known was probably “Easy riders”.
In 2007 Oklahoma City band Hinder made one of the best covers of this song (by mine opinion).
#8 Mr. Ed jumps the gun – Wild thang (The Troggs)
Mr. Ed jumps the gun is a little less known German band from mid 90’s. I really love this song, even original version by “The Troggs”. I like what “Mr. Ed jumps the gun” made with this song. There sound is totally fresh and much different then most of the version of this song.
Mr. Ed jumps the gun released this song as an single and latter add it to their 1995’s album “Boom! Boom!”.
#9 Marilyn Manson – Tainted love (Gloria Jones)
This is another song on my list that most of the people don’t know who was original performaner. Tainted love was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965. Song become famous in 1981 when band called “Soft Cell” made cover of his song and become number one on many international charts.
In 2001, Marilyn Manson released this cover as a single from the “Not Another Teen Movie” soundtrackand and was later included on his following album “The Golden Age of Grotesque” as a bonus track.
#10 Gun – Word up! (Cameo)
In 1994, Scottish band “Gun” made a cover of this song for there “Swagger” album. This song was originally performed by funk/hip-hop 80’s group “Cameo”, which was there biggest hit ever.
This song was also covered by many other artists, like Melanie B (ex Spice girls), Korn, The BossHoss and others. Cover from “Gun” is still my favorite one.