Following the prior So Much Great Music post covering historically great covers – which you can see here, but spoiler alert: Joe Cocker was awarded the title for The Greatest Cover Version Ever for his epic take of The Beatles’ ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ – a lot of friends of this blog submitted some outstanding nominees for other possible foremost cover versions (in addition to a gratifying number who enthusiastically agreed with our top pick). So as a follow-up, I’ve created a top 40 playlist of top covers, aptly titled “Cover Me.”
First a few notes, regarding the accumulated feedback as well as the tunes to follow:
- Notwithstanding Cocker’s deserved coronation, please rest assured: yes, I have heard that Jimi Hendrix did a version of Bob Dylan‘s ‘All Along The Watchtower.’ It’s just that, I don’t know, I’ve actually heard it too many hundreds of damn times, and at this point it just doesn’t quite do it for me. But now given the opportunity for reflection presented by this supplemental playlist, I did the only sensible thing: I am, in fact, including the ‘Watchtower’ cover…by Dave Mason (which is arguably superior anyway). Sorry, Jimi.
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are the single greatest cover band of all time (as long declared by themselves, as well as So Much Great Music). Listen to track 5 then try to prove either of us wrong.
- Though numerous other top-notch possibilities exist, I chose not to double-up on Joe Cocker songs, and simply let his prior selection reign supreme.
- Similarly, I did not include numerous great covers that have been covered previously in SMGM. But you can feel free to visit some directly, for instance here, here and here.
- Springsteen’s 1984 song ‘Cover Me’ is an original, so despite the obvious temptation, no sale here.
- Among the top 40 selections: I’ve got a seriously rocking version of ‘Dancing Queen,’ a seriously chill ‘Sweet Jane,’ Joey Ramone punking up Louis Armstrong, and an all-time disco anthem done as funky alt-rock.
- In addition to rock and pop, you’ll find tastes of zydeco, reggae, country and blues.
- Stevie Wonder covers The Beatles and the Chili Peppers cover Stevie Wonder; Gregg Allman covers Jackson Browne while Jackson Browne covers The Eagles; John Fogerty & Bruce Springsteen combine to cover the Everly Brothers; Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet double up for Neil Young; Steely Dan is done by both Wilco and The Minutemen; and, yeah, there’s even a Frank Sinatra classic by the Sex Pistols (that should be familiar to anyone who’s stuck around for the closing credits of Goodfellas).
So, here’s the brand new So Much Great Music playlist “Cover Me” – a playlist you can actually enjoy listening to from cover to cover.
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