Blasphemy. That’s the word that shows up most often in the comment section of any list of cover songs deemed better than the original versions (right alongside the ubiquitous phrase, “you forgot about…”).
What is it about the subject that causes people to go from zero to cyberbully in 6.2 seconds? Is it the implication that the original song – the one that’s obviously beloved enough for someone to cover it and for most listeners to instantly recognize it – is somehow diminished by one writer’s opinion? Is it that we live in a culture that embraces cover songs, nostalgia and movie franchise reboots more than anything entirely original? Or is it just that arguing about cover songs doubles the amount of fans (those of the original band and the cover band) who can be outraged?
Whatever the reason, it hasn’t stopped us from assembling our own list of songs that take well-known source material and spin it into something amazing in its own right.
One ground rule here: Diffuser is an alternative music site, so we’re only focusing on artists we actually cover. That means no Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower” and no Metallica version of “Turn the Page,” whether or not you believe a list like this can legally exist without them.
Read More: 17 Cover Songs Better Than the Originals