Courageous and contentious cover songs

Posted on December 5th, 2011 by Sonos Staff in Infographics, Music In Culture

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Case in point: the cover song. We rounded up some of the best known covers and graphed them according to faithfulness to the original and their overall quality. Which songs would you move around on the chart? What songs would you add and where would you plot them?

Cover Songs Cartesian

Posted on December 5th, 2011 by Sonos Staff in Infographics, Music In Culture

  • Todd Libasci

    You could have done an entire graphic on just Hallelujah covers.

  • Michael Dahlstrom

    One glaring omission is “Sweet Jane” by Cowboy Junkies.  And I would put that as a departure, but certainly high on the Sonic Bliss axis.  There aren’t many songs performed in quite so lush a vibe.

  • Barry

    Hill St. Soul’s cover of Aretha’s “Until You Come Back to Me.”

  • Ian Robinson

    Are the Manic Street Preachers hiding behind Kid Rock with their latest?

  • Nan Palmero

    You’re the One That I Want by The Lennings – I'd say it’s a big departure and awesome.

  • Wolfgang Suttner

    John Martyns cover of Glory Box (Portishead)
    Awesome, departure average…

  • Tom Clark

    Are you crazy??? Jimi’s All Along the Watchtower doesn’t sound even a little bit like the original. You guys realize that it is a Dylan tune, right? And you think Aretha’s version is basically “OK”?

    • Sonos

      Hi Tom – This one is definitely highly subjective! That’s why we encouraged lots of feedback. :)

  • Rolofrie

    Gabe Dixon Band cover jimi Hendrix “Hey Joe”. Piano instead of electric guitar is an interesting interpretation.

  • Joseph

    Sinatra doing The Beatles’ Something in the Way She Moves
    Love Sinatra
    Just not his thing though

  • Michael Conzelmann

    speaking of Hallelujah – John Cale rather than JB
    And, speaking of covers superior to the original:
    Metallica’s ‘Turn the page’ waaay better than Bob Seger’s (which itself is already pretty darn good)
    Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Chimes of Freedom’ over Bob Dylan’s

  • Mike

    Disturbed’s “Land of Confusion” (Genesis) is definitely an upper right-hand cover.

  • Stephen Scott

    Where to start?

    I for one prefer k.d. Lang’s version of Hallelujah over Jeff Buckleys, and I really don’t think Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” should be on the “most faithful” side of the covers.

    Notable ommisions: “Twist & Shout” by The Beatles (original by Top Notes), “A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker (original by The Beatles), “Stand by Me” by John Lennon (original by Ben E King), “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers (original by Todd Duncan), “Mrs Robinson” by The Lemonheads (original by Simon & Garfunkel), “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner (original by Creedence Clearwater Revival), “Venus” by Bananarama (original by Shocking Blue), “Mickey” by Toni Basil (original called “Kitty” by Racey), “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Conner (original by The Family), “Common People” by William Shatner (original by Blur), “Jealous Guy” by Roxy Music” (original by John Lennon), “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding (Original by Ray Noble/Bing Crosby), “Take Me TO The River” by Talking Heads (original by Al Green), “Always on my Mind” by Pet Shop Boys (original by Brenda Lee), “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill (original by Neil Diamond), “Money” by The Flying Lizards (original by The Beatles), “American Woman” by Lenny Dravitz (original by Guess Who), “Everytime You Go Away” by Paul Young (original by Hall & Oates), “Everybody’s Talkin'” by Harry Nilsson (original by Fred Neil), “Kiss” by Art of Noise feat Tom Jones (original by Prince), “Higher Ground” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers (original by Stevie Wonder), “Killing Me Softly With His Song by The Fugees (original by Lori Lieberman), “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red (original by Harold Melvin & Blue Notes), “Got My Mind Set on You” by George Harrison (original by James Ray), “Suspicious Minds” by Fine Young Cannibals (original by Mark James), “Everybody Knows” by Concrete Blonde (original by Leonard Cohen), “Live And Let Die” by Guns N’ Roses (Original by Paul McCartney & Wings), “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” by Iggy Pop (original by Johnny O’Keefe), “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants (original by The Four Lads), “Red Red Wine” by UB40 (original by Tony Tribe), “Gone Daddy Gone” by Gnarls Barkley (original by The Violent Femmes), “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” by The White Stripes (original by Dusty Springfield), “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles (original by Simon & Garfunkel), “I Feel for You” by Chaka Khan (original by Prince), “Billy Jean” by Chris Cornell (original by Michael Jackson).

    And the worst?”My Generation” by Hilary Duff (original by The Who), “Our Lips Are Sealed” by Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff (original by The Go-Go’s), “These Boots are made for Walkin'” by Jessica Simpson (original by Nancy Sinatra), “I Love Rock & Roll” by Britney Spears (original by The Arrows), “True Faith” by George Michael (original by New Order), “It’s my Life” by No Doubt (original by Talk Talk), “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth (original by The Monkeys).

    • Sonos

      Wow – awesome list!

  • Johnbuck

    I thought Nick Lowe Wrote “whats so funny bout peace love and understanding”

  • Chris Williams

    What about Gloria Estefans “Turn the Beat Around” (original by Vicki Sue Robinson)? High upper right.

  • vsolanoy

    Also missing Sheryl Crow covering “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns & Roses.

  • Dee Gee

    Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah = spot on. My personal favorite is Lake of Fire by Nirvana (originally done by The Meat Puppets).

  • Justin Blecher

    One that should be near the top-center of the chart is Stevie Wonder doing “We Can Work it Out” by The Beatles.