Sep 232019
 

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

bruce springsteen covers

To quote a Bruce song, this list has been a long time comin’. After all, twelve years ago we borrowed one of his song titles to name this site (a song that, surprisingly, doesn’t actually get covered very often). And over those twelve years, we’ve posted hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bruce covers: “Full Albums” tributes to Born in the U.S.A., Darkness at the Edge of Town, and Tunnel of Love; tributes to the tributes, honoring several classic Boss tribute records; a spotlight on the best “Born to Run” covers; and a million news posts. It’s time to pull it all together.

Appropriately enough for a man whose concerts routinely top three hours, this list is long. Fifty covers long, and even then we still found ourselves left with dozens of killer bonus tracks for our Patreon supporters. The hits are all here, of course, but Bruce’s catalog runs deep. This list includes many covers of lesser-known cuts and more recent songs – even one from his just-released solo album Western Stars. Though he turns 70 today, the man is not slowing down, and neither are the artists paying tribute to him. As Bruce famously sang, he learned more from a three-minute record than ever learned in school. Well, here are fifty artists who learned something from his three-minute records.

The list starts on Page 2.

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  21 Responses to “The Best Bruce Springsteen Covers Ever”

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  1. What about Dave Edmunds’ “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)”? It’s a great cover and in my opinion, a far better version than Bruce’s own.

    • We excluded covers that were released before Bruce’s own recordings. That took out Patti Smith’s “Because the Night,” several versions of “Fire,” and a bunch of others – including Dave Edmunds. Bruce gave away a lot of great songs!

  2. What about the Rage cover of “Ghost of Tom Joad”? Should have gone in the middle of this list somewhere.

  3. This list is a joke. Where’s Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s ‘Blinded by the Night?

  4. Normally I love your articles this one, missed the mark completely! So many horrible covers and you missed so many amazing ones! Thumbs down. Especially on his birthday.

  5. Reason to Believe by The Beat Farmers! A great cover off my favorite album of all time (Tales of the New West). Also agree with the Dave Edmunds suggestion mentioned earlier. These 2 omissions alone tank this list.

  6. Basia Bulat – Glory Days

  7. Downbound Train covered by The Smithereens ……Great band ……New Jersey covering New Jersey. Rocks harder than original.

  8. No The Clarks “The River” invalidates this list completely.

  9. John Wesley Harding doing Jackson Cage should be number 1. That it is not on the list is at all is unforgivable.

  10. Roger Meadows Taylor – Racing in the Street

  11. Glad to see the love for the Band’s version of Atlantic City. My Number 1 but 3 is close enough. Nice article. Plenty of stuff I hadn’t heard before.

  12. So I have a Springs Covers playlist and I believe the only overlap between this one and mine is The Band’s take on Atlantic City, though I scrolled through quickly so perhaps there are others.. Here is my list:

    Devils and Dusts – Doc Bones and the Rattlesnakes
    Johnny 99 – Mark Erelli and Jeffery Foucault
    NYC Serenade – Pete Yorn
    Atlantic City – The Band
    Born in the USA – Richard Shindell
    If I Should Fall Behind – Rose Cousins and Mark Erelli
    Darkness on the Edge of Town – The Winter Blankets
    Rosalita – The Rigbees
    Thunder Road – Hayward Williams
    The River – The Clarks
    Reason to Belive – Aimee Mann and Sean Penn
    State Trooper – Tony Lucca
    I’m on Fire – Harry Manx and Kevin Breit
    Tougher than the Rest – Shawn Colvin
    Born to Run – Something for Kate
    The Ghost of Tom Joad – Martyn Joseph
    Further on Up the Road – Johnny Cash

  13. Lucy Kaplansky’s Thunder Road

  14. Dave Alvin, Seeds

  15. Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s version of Born to Run is surprisingly good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g5lMRzPLZw

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