7 More Cover Songs That Were Better Than The Original (Rock & Metal)

As you remember, I while back I made a list of cover songs, in the rock and metal category that were better than the original. However, due to Gag regulations, I could only limit my selection to 7 songs. Well since then, I've also learned of a few new songs that I didn't realize were covers, so I decided to include them on this list, along with a few I left out last time. So, without further adieu, here are 7 more cover songs that were better than the originals.

7. PAINT IT BLACK

Written By: Rolling Stones

Covered By: Los Salvajes

I decided to put this one first, as it is very different from the other covers on this list. I know what you're thinking, "There's a cover of "Paint It Black" and it's better than the original? How come I've never heard it before?" Well, probably because it's in another language. Don't worry, you're not alone. Had it not been for the "Mayans M.C." trailer, I wouldn't have known about it either. At first I thought a Spanish version was recorded specifically for the show, but it turns out the Spanish version has been around just as long as the English version. It was recorded by the Barcelona rock band, Los Salvajes in 1966 under the name "Todo Negro", shortly after it was first released by the Stones. The song was featured in a Spanish movie in the 60s, but was virtually unknown to the English speaking world, until the release of Mayans M.C. in 2018. The lyrics are a rough translation of the original English lyrics, and although the song is shorter than the original, there is simply something catchier about the Spanish version.



6. HOUND DOG

Written By: Big Mama Thornton

Covered By: Elvis Presley

"What the hell? This is a cover?" I know. I only found out like two weeks ago. I always thought this was an Elvis Presley song, but it turns out the song was first recoded in 1952, by Oakland Blues musician, Big Mama Thornton. It also turns out that the song has been covered by over 250 artists. The best and most famous version is of course the Elvis Presley one, which was recorded by the King of Rock n Roll in 1956. The song is ranked number 19 on "Rolling Stones" list of 500 greatest songs of all time. That should be saying enough.



5. I JUST WANNA MAKE LOVE TO YOU

Written By: Willie Dixon (Recorded By Muddy Waters)

Covered By: Foghat

Okay, I don't know what it is with rock bands covering old blues songs, but here's another song you probably didn't know was a cover. The song was originally written in 1954 by Delta Blues musician, Willie Dixon, but was first recorded by his friend, fellow Delta Blues musician, Muddy Waters. Like "Hound Dog", this is another song that has literally been covered by dozens of artists, but once again, the rock n roll version wins out, both in terms of greatness and popularity. The British blues rock band Foghat, recorded a cover of the song in 1971, adding a killer guitar riff, which quickly shot it into the Top 100 in the British charts.



4. EVIL WOMAN

Written By: Crow

Covered By: Black Sabbath

This is one song I wanted to include the first time, but was unable to because of video limits, so I'm posting it this time. And no, I'm not talking about ELO's "Evil Woman". Unlike the other songs on this list, this is one song where neither the original nor the cover were very popular, but it's still worth mentioning, simply because, well.... it's fucking Sabbath! The song was originally written in 1969 by Minneapolis rock band Crow, and was covered by Sabbath the following year. Despite being released as the band's first single in the U.K., it was excluded from their debut album in the U.S., which is probably why it never became a hit in the states. That being said, we all know that anything Sabbath covers is going to be better than the original, especially if you add Ozzy's screeching vocals, and replace the horn line with Tony Iommi kickass guitar riffs.



3. GONE AWAY

Written By: Offspring

Covered By: Five Finger Death Punch

As with my last list, I wanted to include at least one song by a newer band, and Five Finger Death Punch's cover of Offspring's "Gone Away" is pretty sweet. The Los Angeles punk band Offspring, first released the song in 1997, and it quickly earned the title of one of the greatest "new rock" songs of all time. The music video and lyrics for the Offspring version suggest the song was written about a loved one being taken before their time. 20 years later in 2017, Five Finger Death Punch released their own version and video of the song, reinterpreting the lyrics to symbolize young American soldiers, heading off to war. Although much sadder and more of a ballad than the original, the Five Finger Death Punch version features heavier riffs, as well as a wider range of vocals and guitar pitches. It's not often that a metal band covers a punk song, but I'm glad Five Finger Death Punch didn't buy into that whole bullshit notion of, "You either like one genre or the other."



2. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

Written By: Bob Dylan

Covered By: Jimi Hendrix

I was so sad that I couldn't fit this one onto my previous list, so I had to include it this time around. This is another iconic tune that people are unaware is a cover. The Jimi Hendrix version is the most famous and the one that's played on the radio most frequently. The Dave Mason version is the second most popular and is also occasionally played on the radio. It's also been covered by other iconic artists such as U2, Neil Young, Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews Band. However, it was folk rock icon Bob Dylan who first recorded the song in 1967, yet this version is virtually unknown. Hendrix released his version in 1968, just a few months after Bob Dylan released his. The single quickly soared to number 5 in the British charts, and is currently ranked number 47 on "Rolling Stones" 500 greatest songs of all time. That shouldn't come as a surprise, as Jimi's version certainly rocks the hardest. Even Bob Dylan himself admitted that his version doesn't even come close to Jimi's.



1. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS

Written By: Kansas Joe McCoy & Memphis Minnie

Covered By: Led Zeppelin

This is yet another song you probably didn't know was a cover, unless you were born in 1920. That's right. This song was first recorded in 1929 by county blues musicians, Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie. Its lyrics recall the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. The song was covered by rock legends Led Zeppelin in 1971. Singer Robert Plant said he identified with the lyrics, and credited the original artists upon releasing the song. The band kept most of the original lyrics, but added their own guitar riffs and drumlines to give the song a rock n roll twist. I can't even find the words to describe how epic this song is. It's safe to say, they knocked it out of the park.



THANKS FOR READING. AND REMEMBER TO "KEEP ON ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD"


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Most Helpful Girls

  • ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER by Bob Dylan was better than Jimi Hendrix's version? Are you serious? Dylan had the lyrics down, but Hendrix was connected to the universe when it came to musical sound. No one will ever get close to Jimi Hendrix!!!

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  • 7. Thought I wouldn't agree with you but that Spanish version is killer I have to admit
    6. Disagree, never liked Elvis that much and Big Mamma Thornton's voice is stellarH
    2. I think both songs have their merits and are fundamentally very different in feel so I can't say one is better than another
    1. Yes, I like it more but I believe the Zeppelin version is so far removed sonically from the original the only real connection is the lyrics.

    My contribution - Creedence's I Heard it Through the Grapevine.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93S_l0qZrXA

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    • I won't argue. When I first heard it, my initial thought was, it sounds SO different it shouldn't even be considered a cover.

Most Helpful Guys

  • Nice honestly I probably would have used many different covers one of which definitely would have been Disturbed's version of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" I really like your list though, and actually was interesting and kept me occupied for more than thirty seconds because I just had to watch the videos lol.

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What Girls Said 13

  • Just like you, I also thought Hound Dog was an Elvis original. Then, back when I was in high school, my older brother asked dad for a copy of that song. My brothers & I were flabbergasted when we heard the Big Mama Thornton version and thought our dad was playing a trick on us.

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  • Nice take. Speaking of Five Finger Death Punch, they do a great remake of Bad Company’s Bad Company song.
    https://youtu.be/ww5GXbk58R0https://youtu.be/u_VsvZmIWxY

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  • I think the original paint it back was a lot better. I used to be a big fan of the rolling stones though so I'm a bit biased lol

    Nice take though!

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  • I love The Rolling Stones and that cover was amazing

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  • 7. I mean, everything is better in Spanish :) it just flows like honey. Also, big achievement in studying languages. I like this cover (bc Spanish) but noticed it didn't sound like my favorite Spanish accent and then kept listening and they did that tongue thing and I was like... where is this band from? Lo and behold, Spain! Yassss able to differentiate between Mexican Spanish and the hunch, Spain Spanish.
    6. I like the flow/beat of the original better
    4. Yes, it just feels like their song first :)
    3. not a massive fan of either, but original wins it out for me
    2. agree! Jimi is <3
    1. LZ has been very shady in the past with their 'appreciation' of other artist's work. I can't lie and say my liking of their music has diminished after learning of their legal troubles. I do like this song though.

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  • Good take

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  • Interesting

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  • Noce take

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  • Nice take

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  • Nice take

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What Guys Said 27

  • Some of these don't actually qualify as rock - Hound Dog and Foghat are more blues, Rolling Stones is Rock&Roll. Evil Woman's original wasn't rock, Sabbath is obviously metal, so that's alrigth. The rest are actually rock/metal, so they are fine.

    I don't agree about Paint it Black, I think it was about even.
    The rest are so radically different that I think they are not comparable. They give interesting twists on the originals, and I honestly don't feel that either is superior. For example, the Offspring one feels angsty and powerful. The FFDP one is slow and all-consuming. Both are great songs.
    Crow's Evil Woman is jolly and upbeat. Sabbath's Evil Woman is, characteristic to early metal, hard and cool. Again, both are great.

    I really like the Foghat cover, that's totally sick.

    I lead towards agreeing about All Along the Watchtower. Jimi did a better job here. But that could be because once again, Dylan is more of a blues guy, and I'm not.

    And I mean, When the Levee Breaks... Come on. It's Led Zeppelin. It's not a fair comparison.

    Anyway nice list, thanks for showing me a few songs I didn't necessarily know. I am especially happy about FFDP, I am not too familiar with them, but I heard good stuff about them. Now I might check them out.

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  • Some great picks in there - In most I would quite happily listen to both versions - I love the "Hound Dog" original, never knew about her at all - Poor old Bob Dylan, brilliant song writer but a crap singer if he had Johnny Cash's vocals he probably would have been 50 times more famous

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  • "When the Levee Breaks" is maybe my 2nd favorite LZ song. Led Zeppelin 4 is also probably my second favorite album of all time.

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  • 7. Nope. Original is much better.
    6. Elvis wins.
    5. Eh. I guess. Neither is all that good.
    4. You lost all credibility with that choice. Crow's version>Sabbath's.
    3. They both suck.
    2. Okay. I wouldm't argue anyone's opinion either way.
    1. Neither one stands up to repeated listening. Weakest song on LZ IV.

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  • Big Mama Thornton was the first to record Hound Dog, but she didn't write it. A song she did write that had a more famous cover was Ball and Chain, later made famous by Janis Joplin.

    That's a good cover of Pain it black. I haven't heard that one before.

    I like Crow's version of Evil Woman better. That was a one hit wonder that a lot of older folks will remember, but maybe hadn't head in a long time. It actually did make the charts in the US at #19.

    All Along the Watchtower. Yea, the Hendrix version is much better. It was also one of the early songs to show off stereo effects. Most people then only had mono radios. So it was really cool hearing the sound go back and forth between speakers. It seems like a lot of Dylan covers are better than his. He was a much better song writer than performer.

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  • Life On Mars was originally done by David Bowie, but the Anggun cover is better.
    https://youtu.be/cugscYQESwU

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  • I thought Hound Dog and When The Levee Breaks were originals from Elvis and Led Zeppelin.
    Ever heard Dave Matthews cover All Along The Watchtower? Its awesome

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  • Agreed sometimes cover are better than the original. I like Zeppelin's cover but both versions of watchtower.

    ratm's renegades album would make a whole list by itself. Some good covers there.

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  • I prefer Hidden Citizen's cover of Paint It Black.

    https://youtu.be/Xg4Cp5dsSVo

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  • Hillary duff. My generation?
    https://youtu.be/eG44kachNpI

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