Apr 302024
best cover songs
The Dirty Nil — Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler cover)

I’m honestly surprised there weren’t more “Total Eclipse” covers during this month’s total eclipse. Perhaps because our total eclipse was of the sun, rather than the heart. Or, more likely, because this song is hard as hell to sing. Best of the bunch came this garage-rocking version from Ontario trio The Dirty Nil. Gritty and raw, and singer Luke Bentham sells the hell out of it. Continue reading »

Apr 122024
ashley monroe i like trains cover

Fred Eaglesmith is an acclaimed and prolific Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter who is basically unknown in the United States. In Canada, his fans have their own name: Fredheads. But he has only 18 songs is covers database SecondHandSongs – despite releasing 17 studio albums over the last 40 years – and we’ve noted exactly one cover of a song of his, all the way back in 2010, by fellow alt country Canadians Cowboy Junkies. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t been discovered by Americans despite the heavy Americana of his lyrics.

Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe wants to change that. She recently covered Eaglesmith’s “I like Trains” from his 7th album, 1996’s Drive-In Movie, a song which explicitly references the American South. (As well as, um, trains.) Continue reading »

Jun 242022
ashley monroe silver springs

“Silver Springs” started life as a little-known Rumours outtake, but, since its inclusion on 1997 blockbuster live album The Dance, has become a certified Fleetwood Mac classic. Lykke Li’s cover landed at number two on our Best Fleetwood Mac Covers Ever list, and everyone from Tori Amos to Florence and the Machine has taken a crack at it too. The latest comes from country star Ashley Monroe, who in addition to her own solo music makes up one-third of Pistol Annies alongside Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley. Continue reading »

May 312018
best cover songs may

The usual disclaimer: Our monthly “Best Cover Songs” aren’t ranked, and the “Honorable Mentions” aren’t necessarily worse than the others.

Update: Hear me discuss this list, along with our Best Pink Floyd Covers ranking, on SiriusXM Volume:

Angus and Julia Stone – Passionfruit (Drake cover)

Three prominent indie artists covered Drake’s “Passionfruit” this month: Franz Ferdinand, Cornelius, and, the best of the bunch, Angus and Julia Stone. Covering a rap song is easier, I suppose, when there’s no actual rapping. Few political or racial minefields in the lyrics for artists to navigate help too (for a counterexample: this month’s worst cover). For Triple J’s great series “Like a Version,” Angus and Julia Stone brought their beautiful harmonies to a smooth soul bed. It floats like Gram and Emmylou singing a Marvin Gaye song. Continue reading »

Dec 152017

Follow all our Best of 2017 coverage (along with previous year-end lists) here.

best covers 2017

Year-end lists are a time to look back. That’s something we’ve been doing a lot of this year.

See, we turned ten years old in 2017 – practically ancient in internet-blog terms – so we’ve indulged in what we feel is well-earned nostalgia. At the beginning of the year, each of our writers picked the ten most important covers in their life (see them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We even listed the ten most important covers in Cover Me‘s life, from the song that inspired the site to our very first Best of the Year winner.

Then, to cap things off, in October we commissioned a 25-track tribute to the cover song itself – which you can still download for free. We love the covers everyone contributed so much, incidentally, that we didn’t consider them for this list. It’d be like picking favorite children – if you had 25 of ’em.

Oh, and have I mentioned I wrote a book? … What’s that you say? I mentioned that constantly? Well, I’m quite proud of it. It’s called Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time and it makes a great Christmas gift and – ok, ok, I’ll stop. You can find plenty more about it elsewhere.

Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of looking back this year. And we hope you’ll indulge us this one last glance rearward before we leap into 2018. Because if it’s been a hell of a year for us, it’s certainly also been a hell of a year for the cover song in general. Some of this year’s list ranks among the best covers we’ve ever heard, period. So dig in, and thanks for your support this past decade.

– Ray Padgett