Classic Cover Versions That Surpass the Originals
posted by October 22 at 2:42 PMon
Hearing LCD Soundsystem’s rendition of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” on KEXP this morning prompted me to ponder the phenomenon of covers that may be better than the originals (totally subjective, of course, but it’s fun to play). As fantastic as Nilsson’s “Jump” is, I think James Murphy & Co. just may have nudged out the blueprint.
Off the top of my head, I give you a few more examples:
Aretha Franklin topping Otis Redding’s “Respect”
Spacemen 3 over the Red Krayola’s “Transparent Radiation”
Bauhaus surprisingly besting T.Rex’s “Telegram Sam”
Anything the Byrds did from the Bob Dylan songbook
Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” over Dylan’s
Mercury Rev soaring over David Bowie’s “Memory of a Free Festival”
Skylab triumphing over Kim Fowley’s “The Trip”
Loop edging out the Pop Group’s “Thief of Fire”
Stevie Wonder beating by a nose the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out”
And some days I think Devo’s version of “Satisfaction” is better than the Rolling Stones’ and Primal Scream’s “Slip Inside This House” is superior to the Thirteenth Floor Elevators’.
What are your picks?
Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire”