Throughout the history of modern music, musicians have been keen on playing other people‘s music. Sometimes they adjust the sound and the feeling of the song to their own sound and thus making it their own. Some bands however just take a song and do a copy/paste with it, adding nothing to it and just repeat it in the exact same way as the original was.
We all have our opinion on cover songs. Sometimes the covers are better than the original, sometimes they‘re just plain terrible. Some songs, or even the whole catalogue from some bands, should not be covered in the opinion of some. However, musicians have and will continue to do covers of what they feel like, no matter what we, the audience and fans, say about it. Therefore I thought I‘d make a list of the top five songs where I prefer the cover over the original. Here‘s the list in no special order.
HAM – Voulez-Vous (ABBA cover)
Words can barely describe my distaste for ABBA. It‘s not that I hate pop music, there‘s just something about ABBA that I can‘t stand. It might have something to do with the fact that when I was a kid, I‘d always get an ABBA song stuck on my mind when I was angry. Being pissed off and having your mind go „money, money, money, must be funny...“ did not help making me any happier. With that being said, I can appreciate their songs when performed by other bands. HAM‘s cover of Voulez-Vouz is outstanding. They take a pop song, slow it down and make it way heavier than it is and get away with it. Not everyone can do that well, but HAM managed to with this one. The difference between how vocalists Sigurjón Kjartansson and Óttarr Proppé use their voices is also a fun contrast.
Ghost – Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles cover)
Much like with ABBA, I can barely stand The Beatles. They do have a few songs that I think are okay, but like with this cover, I usually think they sound better when someone else plays them. Here, Papa Emeritus and his band of Nameless Ghouls manage to take a rather cheerful song and give it a rather eerie undertone which implies that the hope that the lyrics bring is lost. Good job, Ghost!
Type O Negative – Summer Breeze (Seals and Crofts cover)
Needless to say, everything that Peter Steele and Type O Negative touched was pure gold. Even their less fun songs are pretty effin‘ awesome! Type O Negative did some covers during their carreer but sometimes I didn‘t even realize that it was a cover and not written by Type O Negative until afterwards because they made the songs fit their sound and atmo so perfectly. Summer Breeze was one of those songs. It wasn‘t until I saw Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell that I heard the original version. I thought to myself „wait, is this the original Summer Breeze? It IS the original Summer Breeze! Man, Type O sure own that track!“ and that‘s still what I think. The original isn‘t boring or bad or anything, but Type O Negative made the song their own so to speak.
Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics cover)
The original song by Eurythmics is a good one. It‘s a nice, catchy 80‘s pop song. Marilyn Manson takes that cheerful and catchy tune and turns it into something completely different. Their version is dark, creepy and ugly. In a good way of course. Say what you will about Marilyn Manson, but one can not deny that they treat their covers with respect while completey making them their own.
Type O Negative – Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath cover)
To do a cover of a song by one of the founding bands of heavy metal and is responsible for doom metal and has somehow influenced a huge amount of today‘s rock and metal bands, be it stylistically or otherwise, takes balls. To pull it off is simply amazing. Type O Negative are therefore amazing and posess all the balls because this cover is too fucking good! It‘s heavy, it‘s dark and looms over you like the Dark Lord himself is there.