George and Jim point to the Telegraph’s list of 50 greatest cover versions ever recorded. Both George and Jim note that the list (with a few exceptions) is pretty good, in that it’s not overly weighted towards contemporary songs, and many of the covers do a great job of reinterpreting the original song (Devo’s cover of “Satisfaction” and Hendrix’s reworking of “All Along the Watchtower” are two good examples).
Like George, I would have preferred Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” to his cover of U2’s “One,” although the latter is not really a bad choice. Also a good call by George: the Sundays’ reowrking of the Stone’s “Wild Horses” should have been on the list. Cassie (in George’s comments) suggests the Indigo Girls’ “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and I’m inclined to agree. It’s a great treatment of an underrated song. I would have liked to see Lyle Lovett’s cover of “Stand by Your Man,” if only because of how the song works so well in The Crying Game. Nirvana’s “Man Who Sold the World” should have also been mentioned. And if it’s accurate that Janis Joplin covered Kris Kristofferson’s “Me And Bobby McGee,” there’s no question that should be on the list.
What other cover songs would you add to the list? What are the worst cover songs ever made?