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"