10 Best Cover Songs Of All The Time

Some cover version of the songs have truly reinvent a song and made it a standard.
Some cover version of the songs have truly reinvent a song and made it a standard.( Source : worldwidetune )

The best cover songs of all time must be 1. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston 2. Twist and Shout by The Beatles 3. Respect by Aretha Franklin, and more.

Have ever come across a situation where you discover that your favorite song may not be originally performed by your favorite music artist or band? This speaks volumes about how the best covers can truly reinvent a song.

These covers can sometimes garner so much mainstream attention that they start appearing as definitive recordings. For instance: Whitney Houston's rendition of I Will Always Love You, and more.

Music artists released their renditions of the songs with subtle rearrangements that create a different version of the original song. 

In the list underneath, we haven't mentioned the non-original songs written for artists to sing but a song that already had cemented its notability peaking on several charts.

Best Cover Songs Of All The Time

I Will Always Love YouWhitney Houston
Twist and ShoutThe Beatles
RespectAretha Franklin
Tomorrow Is a Long TimeElvis Presly
The Man Who Sold The WorldNirvana
HallelujahJeff Buckley
Me and Bobby McGeeJanis Joplin
Knockin' On Heaven's DoorGuns N' Roses
ValerieMark Ronson & Amy Winehouse
All Along the WatchtowerJimi Hendrix

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1. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston

Original Singer:Dolly Parton
Spotify Streams:574,080,603

One of the best cover songs of all time is I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. It is originally sung by songwriter Dolly Parton.

This cover version is undoubtedly one of the best covers that transcend generations. It has amassed 573,784,290 streams on Spotify until this day.

Whereas, the original song by Dolly Parton was released as the second single from her thirteenth solo album titled Jolene on March 18, 1974.

Parton penned this song as a farewell song to Porter Wagoner, her business partner, and mentor, indicating her decision to pursue a solo career.

The song garnered mainstream attention after Houston released the soul-ballad arrangement of the song for the film The Bodyguard in 1992.

Houston's version of the song peaked on several charts including the US Billboard Hot 100 at number one. Likewise, RIAA certified the song with Diamond certification.

2. Twist and Shout by The Beatles

Original Singer:The Top Notes
Spotify Streams:365,663,993

One of the best rock covers of all time is surely Twist and Shout by The Beatles. The song was originally performed by a R&B vocal group The Top Notes.

Originally penned by Phil Medley and Bert Berns, The Top Notes released the song in August 1961. It was recorded by the R&B vocal group on February 23, 1961.

The Beatles' rendition of the song was dropped on March 22, 1963, in their UK album Please Please Me. It was later released later in the United States on March 2, 1964, via Vee-Jay Records.

The cover version of the song by the English rock bands is dubbed as the most famous single take in rock history. It peaked on the Billboard chart at number 2 on April 4.

After over four decades of the Beatles' recording, the song debuted on the UK Singles Chart in November 2010 at number 48. Their new availability on iTunes was the prime reason behind the re-entering of the song on the chart.

3. Respect by Aretha Franklin

Original Singer:Otis Redding
Spotify Streams:487,581,822

One of the top cover songs of all time is Respect by Aretha Franklin. The original version of the song is penned and recorded by Otis Redding.

Franklin's rendition of the song is so definite that it feels like Otis Redding penned the song, especially for her. The singer released the cover version in 1967.

The American singer's cover of the song resulted in garnering mainstream attention. With a subtle rearrangement of the song, Aretha's version ended up being a feminist anthem in the 1970s for second-wave feminism.

Franklin's version is considered one of the best R&B songs of its era, racking her two Grammy Awards for the category of Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance in 1968.

The Library of Congress honored Aretha's version by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2002. Likewise, it was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987.

4. Tomorrow Is a Long Time by Elvis Presley

Original Singer:Bob Dylan
Spotify Streams:2,119,879

Elvis Presley officially dropped the cover version of Tomorrow Is a Long Time on April 12, 1963, during a concert at New York's Town Hall.

The original singer, Dylan, had previously recorded the song as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons in December 1962. It was later featured in the finale of the first season of the series The Walking Dead.

Correspondingly, the song also made a cut to the film The Vanishing of Sidney Hall in 2017. It was once sung by Bob Dylan in the closing scene and Logan Lerman.

Speaking of Presley's version of the song, it was dropped on May 26, 1966. Lauded with positive reviews, Dylan stated that Elvis' cover of the song is the one recording he treasures the most.

5. The Man Who Sold The World by Nirvana

Original Singer:David Bowie
Spotify Streams:352,977,352

Nirvana live rendition of The Man Who Sold The World during their MTV Unplugged appearance at Sony Music Studios was released on November 18, 1993.

The original performer of the song David Bowie released it as the title track for his third studio album in November 1970 in the United States and eventually in the United Kingdom in April 1971.

The song wasn't noticed a lot until the release of Bowie's version, although, it appeared only as a B-side on the reissues of 'Space Oddity in the United States and Life on Mars in the United Kingdom.

Correspondingly, Nirvana also dropped the song as a promotional single for the album in 1995. It was the drummer Chad Channing who introduced the song to Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic.

The band's rendition was re-released on their self-titled 'Best of' compilation in 2002. The song didn't become a standard until Nirvana covered it, Douglas Wolk of Pitchfork stated about the rendition.

6. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

Original Singer:Leonard Cohen
Spotify Streams:316,663,681

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley is one of the most ubiquitous cover songs of all time. Canadian singer Leonard Cohen wrote and released this song in 1984. 

Cohen was at the lowest point of his career when he penned this song in the early Eighties; however, his record label had no interest in releasing the song which eventually released on the album titled Various Positions in December 1984.

Jeff's rendition of the song rendered further covers of the same song over the years. It has been performed by over 300 singers in several languages since 1991.

Reportedly, Welsh musician John Cale's cover of the song was the source of inspiration for Buckley to record one of the most celebrated cover versions.

His version of Hallelujah made it to the 259th position on the list of Rolling Stone's 'The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.' Likewise, the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry inducted the cover song on April 2, 2013.

7. Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin

Original Singer:Roger Miller
Spotify Streams:227,464,711

Janis Joplin rendition of Me and Bobby McGee originally by Roger Miller is one of the most acclaimed covers of all time. It was released in 1971.

The cover song was posthumously dropped on 12 January 1971. She had finished recording the song just three days prior to her demise on October 4, 1970.

Me and Bobby McGee was penned by Kris Kristofferson whereas, Fred Foster also boats the writing credit for the song for Krist started writing the song based on Foster's suggestion.

The posthumous cover version of Janis Joplin peaked on the US singles chart in 1971. Correspondingly, the song also reached on several charts including US Cash Box Top 100, and more.

Artists including Gordon Lightfoot, and Charley Pride recorded the cover version of the song; however, it was Janis's rendition that turned the song into a standard.

8. Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Guns N' Roses

Original Singer:Bob Dylan
Spotify Streams:574,093,182

Guns N' Roses's version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door originally by Bob Dylan boasts its notability as one of the most celebrated cover songs to date.

The American singer Dylan penned the track for the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in 1973. The live version of the global hit song was released by Guns N' Roses in 1987.

Correspondingly, the band also recorded and dropped the studio version of the song as a soundtrack for the film Days of Thunder in 1990. It peaked on the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart at number 18.

Eventually, the studio version was slightly changed and released as the second single for the band's 1991 album titled Use Your Illusion II. Later, it debuted on the UK Singles Chart at #2.

Likewise, Guns N' Roses' version of the song peaked at several coveted charts including #56 on Canada's Top Singles chart, number 18 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and more.

9. Valerie by Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse

Original Singer:Zutons
Spotify Streams:308,807,291

Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse cover of Valerie originally comes from the rock band Zutons' 2006 second album titled Tired of Hanging Around.

The inspiration behind the song's title was the band's frontman Dave McCabe's friend who was in trouble for driving under the influence. The subject of the song was later unveiled to be Valerie Star, a celebrity makeup artist.

English musicians, Mark and Amy, released the cover of the song as the third single for Ronson's second studio album titled Verison on October 15, 2007.

The single reached the UK Singles Chart at number 2 and successfully spent consecutive 19 weeks inside the top 20. Likewise, it made the record as the UK's 9th biggest-selling single of 2007 with recorded sales of 329,490.

10. All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

Original Singer:Bob Dylan
Spotify Streams:609,066,256

One of the best covers of all time is All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix. The original version of the song was dropped by Bob Dylan in 1967.

Hendrix's take on Bob Dylan's song was dropped six months following the appearance of Dylan's original on John Wesley Harding in 1967.

Jimi started recording the version of the song at Olympic Studios on January 21, 1968, in London. Initially, Hendrix intended to record I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine; however, ended up recording All Along the Watchtower.

The notable guitarist thoroughly re-arranged Bob's acoustic original. Hendrix can find things that no one would think of finding and vigorously develop them, Bob told the Fort-Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in 1995.

Dylan was so impressed by Hendrix's rendition of the song that he performed Hendrix's version more often than his own, after taking his license with him.

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