Cover songs that are just as good or better than the original

analogue

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Michael Jackson - Come Together (Original by The Beatles)
a-ha - Crying In The Rain (Original by The Everly Brothers)
Phil Collins - You Can't Hurry Love (Original by The Supremes)
Laura Branigan - Self Control (Original by Raf)
Whitney Housten - I Will Always Love You (Original by Dolly Parton)
 
Aretha Franklin ~ Respect (Otis Redding)
Aretha Franklin ~ Skylark (Anita O'Day)
Sam Cooke ~ Cousin Of Mine (Bert Williams)
Etta James ~ At Last (Glenn Miller and His Orchestra)
Chris Stapleton ~ Tennessee Whiskey (David Allan Coe)
Brand New Heavies ~ I Don't Know Why (Stevie Wonder)
Minnie Riperton feat. Jose Feliciano ~ Light My Fire (The Doors)
Wham! ~ Where Did Your Heart Go? (Was (Not Was))
Al Green ~ For The Good Times (Bill Nash)
Al Green ~ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (Bee Gees)
George Benson ~ This Masquerade (Leon Russell)
New Birth ~ It's Impossible (original titled
Somos Novios by Armando Manzanero / 1st English version by Perry Como)
A Taste Of Honey ~ Sukiyaki (Kyu Sakamoto / original has Japanese lyrics)
Donny Hathaway ~ Magdalena (Danny O'Keefe)
The Temptations ~ A Song For You (Leon Russell)
The Temptations ~ Slient Night (1980 version / traditonal)
B.B. King ~ The Thrill Is Gone (Roy Hawkins)
Mötley Crüe ~ Smokin' In The Boys Room (Brownsville Station)
Roberta Flack ~ Killing Me Softly With His Song (Lori Lieberman)
Run-DMC ~ Walk This Way (Aerosmith)
Johnny Mathis ~ Stardust (original is instrumental by Hoagy Carmichael & His Pals, 1st version with lyrics is by Louis Armstrong)
Johnnie Taylor ~ Lady In Red (Chris de Burgh)
Rolling Stones ~ Harlem Shuffle (Bob & Earl)
Jackson 5 ~ Who's Lovin' You (The Miracles)
Jermaine Jackson ~ Daddy's Home (The Heartbeats - original titled A Thousand Miles Away)
The Jacksons ~ Blame It On The Boogie (Mick Jackson)
Whitney Houston ~ Saving All My Love For You (Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.)
Gladys Knight And The Pips ~ Midnight Train To Georgia (Jim Weatherly - original version titled Midnight Plane To Houston)
Isley Brothers ~ Lay Lady Lay (Bob Dylan)
Isley Brothers ~ Ohio / Machine Gun (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young / Jimi Hendrix - the Isleys combined 2 separate songs into 1)
Earth Wind & Fire ~ Got To Get You Into My Life (The Beatles)
Lakeside ~ I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)
Power Station ~ Bang A Gong (T. Rex)
 
No Secrets - "Kids In America" (Kim Wilde)
 
Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John, Stevie Wonder ~ That's What Friends Are For (Rod Stewart)
Brothers Johnson ~ Strawberry Letter 22 (Shuggie Otis)
George Harrison ~ Got My Mind Set On You (James Ray)
John Coltrane ~ My Favorite Things (1959 Broadway cast for The Sound Of Music)
Jose Feliciano ~ Flight Of The Bumblebee (from opera
The Tale Of Tsar Saltan)
George Benson ~ Breezin' (Gabor Szabo & Bobby Womack)
Soft Cell ~ Tainted Love (Gloria Jones
)
Sun Ra and His Arkestra ~ Pink Elephants On Parade (original in 1941 Dumbo movie)
 
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
 
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)

Kinda cruel, because Hendrix recorded his version only a few months after Dylan released his. ;)
 
Guns N' Roses - Live and Let Die (Wings) and Knockin' on Heavens Door (Bob Dylan)
 
En Vogue ~ Yesterday (The Beatles)
Glen Campbell ~ Southern Nights (
Allen Toussaint)
Quiet Riot ~ Cum On Feel The Noize (Slade)
 
Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie)
 
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)

Kinda cruel, because Hendrix recorded his version only a few months after Dylan released his. ;)
I feel these are impossible to compare. I’ve settled with thinking they are just as good both of them.
 
Aretha Franklin ~ Respect (Otis Redding)
Aretha Franklin ~ Skylark (Anita O'Day)
Sam Cooke ~ Cousin Of Mine (Bert Williams)
Etta James ~ At Last (Glenn Miller and His Orchestra)
Chris Stapleton ~ Tennessee Whiskey (David Allan Coe)
Brand New Heavies ~ I Don't Know Why (Stevie Wonder)
Minnie Riperton feat. Jose Feliciano ~ Light My Fire (The Doors)
Wham! ~ Where Did Your Heart Go? (Was (Not Was))
Al Green ~ For The Good Times (Bill Nash)
Al Green ~ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (Bee Gees)
George Benson ~ This Masquerade (Leon Russell)
New Birth ~ It's Impossible (original titled Somos Novios by Armando Manzanero / 1st English version by Perry Como)
A Taste Of Honey ~ Sukiyaki (Kyu Sakamoto / original has Japanese lyrics)
Donny Hathaway ~ Magdalena (Danny O'Keefe)
The Temptations ~ A Song For You (Leon Russell)
The Temptations ~ Slient Night (1980 version / traditonal)
B.B. King ~ The Thrill Is Gone (Roy Hawkins)
Mötley Crüe ~ Smokin' In The Boys Room (Brownsville Station)
Roberta Flack ~ Killing Me Softly With His Song (Lori Lieberman)
Run-DMC ~ Walk This Way (Aerosmith)
Johnny Mathis ~ Stardust (original is instrumental by Hoagy Carmichael & His Pals, 1st version with lyrics is by Louis Armstrong)
Johnnie Taylor ~ Lady In Red (Chris de Burgh)
Rolling Stones ~ Harlem Shuffle (Bob & Earl)
Jackson 5 ~ Who's Lovin' You (The Miracles)
Jermaine Jackson ~ Daddy's Home (The Heartbeats - original titled A Thousand Miles Away)
The Jacksons ~ Blame It On The Boogie (Mick Jackson)
Whitney Houston ~ Saving All My Love For You (Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.)
Gladys Knight And The Pips ~ Midnight Train To Georgia (Jim Weatherly - original version titled Midnight Plane To Houston)
Isley Brothers ~ Lay Lady Lay (Bob Dylan)
Isley Brothers ~ Ohio / Machine Gun (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young / Jimi Hendrix - the Isleys combined 2 separate songs into 1)
Earth Wind & Fire ~ Got To Get You Into My Life (The Beatles)
Lakeside ~ I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)
Power Station ~ Bang A Gong (T. Rex)
First of all: Great list.

There are a few entries that I find puzzling, though. I Don’t Know Why, for instance, while I enjoy Brand New Heavies, their version doesn’t come close to Stevie’s. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Bee Gees’ version is superior. Killing Me Softly seems to me like a bit of a stretch, since, if I recall correctly, they were released pretty close to one another?
 
Michael Jackson - Come Together (Original by The Beatles)
a-ha - Crying In The Rain (Original by The Everly Brothers)
Phil Collins - You Can't Hurry Love (Original by The Supremes)
Laura Branigan - Self Control (Original by Raf)
Whitney Housten - I Will Always Love You (Original by Dolly Parton)
Agree except for Phil Collins. I really dig his version, but Supremes’ is on another level.
 
First of all: Great list.

There are a few entries that I find puzzling, though. I Don’t Know Why, for instance, while I enjoy Brand New Heavies, their version doesn’t come close to Stevie’s. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Bee Gees’ version is superior. Killing Me Softly seems to me like a bit of a stretch, since, if I recall correctly, they were released pretty close to one another?
I like the Heavies version better than Stevie's and any other remake such as John Mellencamp & The Jackson 5. The other 2 I didn't even know they were covers until much later, the internet era in the case of Roberta Flack's song or it might have been on Pop Up Video on VH1. Same for the Isley Brothers, Minnie Riperton, & a few others. I had never heard Otis Redding's Respect either, I don't think his was a single. I think people in general tend to like the version they heard first. I don't really dig the Bee Gees version that much, it's alright. My relatives played Al Green records all the time, they didn't have Bee Gees records other than the Saturday Night Fever era ones. So Al is who I'm more familiar with. I never heard of Bob Dylan until We Are The World. But I heard a lot of Isley Brothers. Like Burt Reynolds said to Sally Field in Smokey & The Bandit "When you tell somebody somethin', it depends on what part of the United States you're standin' in - as to just how dumb you are." 🤣 They had been talking about the entertainment they were into. Carrie asked Bandit if he liked A Chorus Line & Elton John. He said no, then Bandit asked her if she liked NASCAR driver Richard Petty & country singer Waylon Jennings. She hadn't heard of them.
 
I had never heard Otis Redding's Respect either, I don't think his was a single.
Otis did release his version as a single, it just didn't do as well as Aretha's version. The Otis version came out in 1965, got to No. 35 in the Billboard chart, No. 4 in the R&B chart. Aretha's version came out in 1967 and did loads better, chart-wise, which I think is why it has a higher profile.

I think people in general tend to like the version they heard first.
I think it really is as simple as that.
 
I think it really is as simple as that.
Yes, that’s the gist of it.
It's like I mentioned in another thread, many people on this site grew up with HIStory and not The Jacksons/J5 or Off The Wall/Thriller. So they know the music artists & sounds that were out at the same time as HIStory, and so they are less likely to identify with the sounds of those older albums. Some here ask why The Girl Is Mine was the first single instead of something else. It wasn't just because of Paul McCartney. The entire sound of it was popular in the USA at the time. They call it "yacht rock" today, but it was called "soft/light rock" or "Westcoast" at the time. There were a lot of songs at the time that were like The Girl Is Mine and were also hit singles.

Also people in general tend to have more music by their own race and/or ethnicity. Such as Salsa & Tejano records are more likely to be bought by Latinos than white people or Bollywood music is more likely to be bought by Indians than Japanese. That's also why white artists are the majority of the biggest sellers, because white people in general bought more records than other races. White people are gonna buy Elvis Presley over Chuck Berry & Led Zeppelin/Eric Clapton over the black blues artists they copied. This is also why black artists who got a lot of crossover (Mike, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, MC Hammer, etc) got bigger sales than the ones who had a primarily black R&B audience. People in countries that don't have English as the main language are more likely to buy records in English than vice-versa. That's why a lot of USA acts are popular in Japan & South America. But few if any Japanese artists have any mainstream popularity in the USA regardless of what language they sing in. Recently some K-pop, BTS in particular, has had mainstream success in the USA.
 
Michael Jackson - With A Child’s Heart (Stevie Wonder)
Michael Jackson - Girlfriend (Paul McCartney)
Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon (Dionne Warwick)
The Jackson 5 - La La Means I Love You (Delfonics)
Michael Jackson - Too Young (Nat King Cole)

It is not that I’m a fan boy but … yeah maybe I am
 
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