Everyone knows I love rock & roll. However, I also love cover songs. I’ve acquired quite a collection over the years. All kinds – the great, the bad and the ugly. Both respectful and irreverent. At the moment, I have 1340 cover songs in my digital collection. The nature of the cover song makes for an unpredictable ride. That’s why I call cover songs the audio version of a costume party. In addition to the fun, they can also provide some musical education.
Choosing only 11 songs for this list was a challenge next to impossible. There is simply too much criteria to consider overall. Therefore, I applied a overly simple formula to help navigate the ocean of covers songs in my collection. The formula is this, all of my choices are songs that I consider to be great (not just the cover version) and the act performing the cover version must be great also (meaning that I like many of their songs, not just this song).
Therefore, under that criteria, I have compiled my top 11 cover songs. 11 essential versions of songs that no rock & roll collection should be without.
1. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (covering Bob Dylan)
2. Stray Cat Blues – Soundgarden (covering the Rolling Stones)
3. Where Have All The Good Times Gone? – David Bowie (covering the Kinks)
4. Got To Give It Up – The Dirtbombs (covering Marvin Gaye)
5. Emma – Urge Overkill (covering Hot Chocolate)
6. I Fought The Law – The Clash (covering the Bobby Fuller Four)
7. You Really Got Me – Van Halen (covering the The Kinks)
8. Live With Me – The Twilight Singers w/Mark Lanegan (covering Massive Attack)
9. Mandocello – Concrete Blonde (covering Cheap Trick)
10. Heart Full Of Soul – Chris Isaak (covering the Yardbirds)
11. Cold Turkey – The Godfathers (covering John Lennon)