Bored with the same everyday songs? Bridget Fitzsimons brings you the cover versions that are even better than the real thing
‘Perfect Day’ – Various Artists
Some might consider it cheesy, but I personally think there’s nothing better than a song that combines opera, reggae and Boyzone. The Lou Reed version is a classic, but he is still on this one too, so it’s even better.
‘Ice Ice Baby’ – Jedward
Love them or hate them, you cannot deny the vertiginously-haired duo made an impression when they covered Vanilla Ice. What’s even better is the added dance routine.
‘I Want You’ – Fiona Apple
The key to an excellent cover is to make it your own. Apple does this in imbuing such raw and animalistic emotion into the Elvis Costello classic that you can tell how important and relevant the song is to her. It hasn’t been officially released, but a high quality version exists on YouTube.
‘One’ – Cast of Glee
The fact remains that most of the songs that Glee cover will end up being better than the original, but ‘One’ is one of the cast’s triumphs. This update of the U2 song shows Glee haters that the show really is capable of more than second-rate cover versions.
‘One’ – Aimee Mann
It could be because it’s on the soundtrack to one of the best films in recent memory, Magnolia, but Aimee Mann’s cover of ‘One’ comfortably outshines the original (by Harry Nilsson).
‘To Love Somebody’ – Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice
Another YouTube classic, Ireland’s own Damien Rice duets beautifully and soulfully with Ray LaMontagne to provide a rendition that is so longing and soulful that the Bee Gees could not possibly compete.
‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ – Sinead O’Connor
O’Connor’s poignant lament tugs at even the coldest of heartstrings, especially when you watch the video in which she sheds genuine tears for her recently deceased mother.
‘I Will Always Love You’ – Whitney Huston
Who knew that Whitney’s megahit was originally by pneumatic country warbler Dolly Parton? Either way, Dolly’s version doesn’t have Whitney’s crazy riffs or Kevin Costner in the video. No contest.
‘You’ve Got the Love’ – Florence and the Machine
Florence Welch leads a storming rendition of the Candi Staton number and blows the original out of the water. This song was a real key to Welch’s transition from indie darling to mainstream pop princess.
‘Cloudbusting’ – Gemma Hayes
Hayes’ stripped down version of Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbusting’ is further proof that cover versions which deviate from the original often add so much more than those that stay rigidly faithful.