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This Is Mine Now – When Cover Songs Outshine the Originals

Man in business suit and large blue curly wig and funny glases. He is holding a microphone and pretending to sing with wide eyes and open mouth

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and every once in a while, it outshines the inspiration. Usually a cover is an homage or a version of a shout-out by one performer to those who have influenced their art. Sometimes the song is different enough, or special enough that it becomes much more than that.

The story is retold, but through different eyes, a different voice, or a different mindset. This results in the cover being so beloved and impactful that it almost can’t be called a cover, because it becomes it’s own powerful piece of art. Check out some of our favorites below and let us know yours in the comments!

Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor and Prince

Sinead O’Connor is famous for many reasons: being bald, ripping up a picture of the Pope while singing Bob Marley’s War on SNL, and telling Miley Cyrus to stop acting like a ho. But this song is what put her in the spotlight initially, and rightfully so. Not many people can say they did something better than Prince, and she did just that. She took a song written and recorded by the Purple One, and made it bigger than he could. That is no small feat.

Sukiyaki – Selena and Kyu Sakamoto

Sukiyaki, originally by Kyu Sakamoto, has been covered many times, and it’s melody is extremely recognizable. A Taste of Honey covered it, which worked it’s way into Slick Rick’s La Di Da DI, which then made it into Snoops cover of that, Lodi Dodi. However our favorite version is by Selena, from her self-titled album.

Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon – Urge Overkill and Neil Diamond

When you hear Urge Overkill’s Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon, one can’t help but be reminded of the infamous heroine overdose scene from Pulp Fiction. This cover became famous due to the film, and while not too different than Neil Diamond’s original, the context this song was presented in helped it outshine its predecessor by miles and miles.

Renegades of Funk – Rage Against the Machine and Afrika Bambaataa with Soulsonic Force

Rage Against The Machine, we miss you. The band’s songs helped the youth turn their attention towards important situations that were shaping the U.S. and other countries. They put the spotlight on the victims of government enacted atrocities throughout the world, and inspired kids and young adults to take action for what they believe is right. The cover of Renegades of Funk by Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force was a great punctuation to the end of their musical journey. We applaud the band for reinventing this powerful song into something wholly original. Bravo.

Toxic – Britney Spears and Mark Ronson

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! Unless you want to cover her music. Some might think that the pop queen’s music doesn’t have much depth, but you might be surprised. Toxic has inspired many, many covers, so musicians obviously hear something special there. Our favorite is Mark Ronson, Tiggers, and ODB’s rendition from Ronson’s album Version.

Congratulations – Superorganism, Post Malone, and MGMT

This one is pretty special. Post Malone and MGMT each have a song called Congratulations. Superorganism decided to combine those two into a very different sounding, possibly greater than the sum of its parts one of a kind jam.

The Man Who Sold the World – Nirvana and David Bowie

We’ll close this out with an emotional one. Recorded four months before the death of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana performed The Man Who Sold The World on MTV’s Unplugged. This became one of the most famous songs from a legendary set, but many still don’t know that this is a David Bowie cover. The lyrics sound like something Cobain would have written, and the delivery is undeniably his.


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