Top 89 Cover Songs

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This fall, we asked you to share your favorite covers, and you responded! Results for The Current's Top 89 Covers will post below as they are revealed on the air on Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. CT.

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  1. 1.
    Johnny Cash: Hurt


    Johnny Cash
    American IV: The Man Comes Around
    The best cover songs transform the original into a new work of art. Johnny Cash made "Hurt" so much his own that it's almost unthinkable that it was written by Trent Reznor. - Kevin in Princeton
  2. 2.
    Jimi Hendrix: All Along The Watchtower

    All Along The Watchtower

    Jimi Hendrix
    Electric Ladyland
    I think Hendrix' version pays wonderful tribute and interpretation to Dylan's masterful lyrical genius. - John in Eden Prairie
  3. 3.
    Jeff Buckley: Hallelujah


    Jeff Buckley
    Hands down, the best cover version of one of the most coveted songs of all time. - John in Chesapeake
  4. 4.
    Nirvana: The Man Who Sold the World

    The Man Who Sold the World

    MTV Unplugged in New York
    To this day, the guitar solo at the end gives me chills. I turn it up every time I hear it. - Stacia in St. Paul
  5. 5.
    Sinead O'Connor: Nothing Compares 2 U

    Nothing Compares 2 U

    Sinead O'Connor
    I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
    Tears. Every. Time. - Melissa in Portland
  6. 6.
    Devo: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

    Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
    Devo's decision to omit the "iconic" riff of the original until the arrival of the horns in the song's final moments reveals the chutzpah of this splendid cover. In multiple other respects, from musical arrangement to attitude, Devo improves on the Stones. Ultimately, Devo takes Jagger's lament of the hardships of fame with all the seriousness it deserves. None. - James in Minneapolis
  7. 7.
    Cowboy Junkies: Sweet Jane

    Sweet Jane

    Cowboy Junkies
    The Trinity Session
    I first heard this version before I had even heard of the Velvet Underground, and I thought it was a perfect song. Then I heard the original version, and after gathering the pieces of my exploded mind, I knew that one was perfect, too. So different, but the same, neither better nor worse; just existing in perfection together. - Jeremy in Bend
  8. 8.
    Aretha Franklin: Respect


    Aretha Franklin
    I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
    May this be an opportunity for people to learn this is a cover song. - Stasia in St. Paul
  9. 9.
    CAKE: I Will Survive

    I Will Survive

    Fashion Nugget
    To me, the best covers are the ones that take a song in a completely different direction. CAKE's "I Will Survive" is the perfect example — you can listen to both this and the Gloria Gaynor original and have two different experiences. It doesn't feel like you've listened to the same song twice. - Emily in Stillwater
  10. 10.
    Joe Cocker: With a Little Help From My Friends (Live at Fillmore East)

    With a Little Help From My Friends (Live at Fillmore East)

    Joe Cocker
    Mad Dogs and Englishmen
  11. 11.
    Soft Cell: Tainted Love

    Tainted Love

    Soft Cell
    Non-Stop Erotic Cabernet
  12. 12.
    Iron & Wine: Such Great Heights

    Such Great Heights

    Iron & Wine
    Garden State (Soundtrack)
    Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) captures the spirit and meaning of the song in an entirely new way from the original. Totally brilliant! - Jim in Edina
  13. 13.
    Talking Heads: Take Me to the River

    Take Me to the River

    Talking Heads
    More Songs About Buildings and Food
    I like covers that don't sound like the artist purchased a karaoke machine, but wherein they reinvent the song, making it something new. This song is the ultimate example of that. - Roger in Golden Valley
  14. 14.
    Nirvana: Where Did You Sleep Last Night

    Where Did You Sleep Last Night

    MTV Unplugged in New York
  15. 15.
    The Bangles: Hazy Shade of Winter

    Hazy Shade of Winter

    The Bangles
    Less Than Zero (Soundtrack)
  16. 16.
    The Clash: I Fought The Law

    I Fought The Law

    The Clash
    The Clash
  17. 17.
    Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You

    I Will Always Love You

    Whitney Houston
    The Bodyguard (Original Soundtrack Album)
    My dad was a huge fan of Dolly Parton. He passed on 3/29/20 due to ALS. I miss him greatly. This song is dedicated to him, because it's the greatest song, and he was the greatest. Love and miss you, Dad. - Jennifer in Brooklyn Park
  18. 18.
    The White Stripes: Jolene


    The White Stripes
    Hello Operator - Single
    I just love the idea of Jack White complaining about Jolene stealing his man. It's a fun one. - Jessica in Shafer, MN
  19. 19.
    Red Hot Chili Peppers: Higher Ground

    Higher Ground

    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Mother's Milk
  20. 20.
    Fugees: Killing Me Softly With His Song

    Killing Me Softly With His Song

    The Score
    Lauryn Hill made this song her own. To my mind, hers is the definitive version. - Kevin in Princeton
  21. 21.
    Social Distortion: Ring of Fire

    Ring of Fire

    Social Distortion
    Social Distortion
  22. 22.
    The Beatles: Twist and Shout

    Twist and Shout

    The Beatles
    Please Please Me (2009 Remaster)
  23. 23.
    Gary Jules: Mad World (feat. Michael Andrews)

    Mad World (feat. Michael Andrews)

    Gary Jules
    Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets
  24. 24.
    Janis Joplin: Me and Bobby McGee

    Me and Bobby McGee

    Janis Joplin
    Janis Joplin's interpretation of this much-covered song is filled with emotion and takes us on a journey. The other covers, both before hers and afterward, simply don't compare. She owns this one. - Angelique in Coon Rapids
  25. 25.
    Charles Bradley: Changes


    Charles Bradley
  26. 26.
    The Sundays: Wild Horses

    Wild Horses

    The Sundays
  27. 27.
    Hüsker Dü: Eight Miles High

    Eight Miles High

    Hüsker Dü
    Eight Miles High - Single
  28. 28.
    Bonnie Raitt: Angel from Montgomery

    Angel from Montgomery

    Bonnie Raitt
  29. 29.
    Sonic Youth: Superstar


    Sonic Youth
    If I Were a Carpenter
  30. 30.
    Elvis Costello: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

    (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

    Elvis Costello
    Armed Forces
    This song would have remained a pretty obscure album cut by Brinsley Schwarz, but Elvis Costello upped the decibels several years later and transformed the song into a true anthem, with the urgency it deserved. The bones of the song were always terrific, but Costello's version amplified a message that is timeless. It didn't hurt that Costello's song (and its album, 'Armed Forces') were produced by the song's writer, Nick Lowe. - Joel in St. Paul
  31. 31.
    Ike & Tina Turner: Proud Mary

    Proud Mary

    Ike & Tina Turner
    Workin' Together
  32. 32.
    The Smashing Pumpkins: Landslide


    The Smashing Pumpkins
    Pisces Iscariot
  33. 33.
    They Might Be Giants: Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

    Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

    They Might Be Giants
  34. 34.
    The Lemonheads: Mrs. Robinson

    Mrs. Robinson

    The Lemonheads
    It's A Shame About Ray
  35. 35.
    Mark Ronson: Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)

    Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)

    Mark Ronson
  36. 36.
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Blinded by the Light

    Blinded by the Light

    Manfred Mann's Earth Band
    The Roaring Silence
    This is one of the few covers that truly outdoes the original. If you listen to the original and then Manfred Mann's version back to back, you will be blown away. - Tony in Stillwater
  37. 37.
    Dinosaur Jr.: Just Like Heaven

    Just Like Heaven

    Dinosaur Jr.
    You're Living All Over Me
  38. 38.
    Van Halen: You Really Got Me

    You Really Got Me

    Van Halen
    Van Halen
    Guitar rock god heaven! - Steven in Minneapolis
  39. 39.
    Iron & Wine: Love Vigilantes

    Love Vigilantes

    Iron & Wine
    Around the Well
  40. 40.
    Cyndi Lauper: When You Were Mine

    When You Were Mine

    Cyndi Lauper
    She's So Unusual
  41. 41.
    Rufus Wainwright: Hallelujah


    Rufus Wainwright
    Hallelujah - Single
  42. 42.
    Pearl Jam: Last Kiss

    Last Kiss

    Pearl Jam
    Last Kiss - Single
    Lead singer Eddie Vedder came across this song when he found the record in an antique store in Seattle before a show. He bought it and stayed up all night listening to it. He took it to the band and they played it throughout the summer of their 1998 tour. - Ryan in Minneapolis
  43. 43.
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: I Love Rock N' Roll

    I Love Rock N' Roll

    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    I Love Rock N' Roll
    This song initiated me to my own "brand" of rock 'n' roll. Not classic rock my parents listened to: Stones, Zeppelin, et al. I was 12 years old, and hearing a woman rock like that was a revelation. I listened to Casey Kasem's weekly Top 40 every Sunday, and for seven weeks, this was #1. Blew my mind! - Melissa in Portland
  44. 44.
    Johnny Cash: Rusty Cage

    Rusty Cage

    Johnny Cash
    The Legend of Johnny Cash
  45. 45.
    Foo Fighters: Darling Nikki

    Darling Nikki

    Foo Fighters
    Have It All (Single)
  46. 46.
    Tori Amos: Smells Like Teen Spirit

    Smells Like Teen Spirit

    Tori Amos
    Crucify EP
    There's something special about an acoustic cover that sticks with you. This is a longtime favorite. When Tori toured MN in 2003, she did an incredible encore of "Purple Rain." It can't be called pandering when it's a kicka** song in its own right, right? - Jess in Seattle
  47. 47.
    William Shatner: Common People

    Common People

    William Shatner
    Has Been
    I doubt many people will suggest this one, but it's just such a joyous and soaring take on the song, and it makes me so happy every time I hear it. - Alison in Oakdale
  48. 48.
    Prince: A Case of You

    A Case of You

    A Tribute to Joni Mitchell
    One master of the craft covering another master of the craft. What a delight! - Alyssa in Roseville
  49. 49.
    Siouxsie and the Banshees: Dear Prudence - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Dear Prudence - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Siouxsie and the Banshees
  50. 50.
    Pet Shop Boys: Always On My Mind

    Always On My Mind

    Pet Shop Boys
    Always On My Mind - Single
  51. 51.
    Chaka Khan: I Feel For You (feat. Grandmaster Melle Mel)

    I Feel For You (feat. Grandmaster Melle Mel)

    Chaka Khan
    I Feel For You
    Lord, I love Prince. But the Chaka Khan version really works. - Shannon in Duluth
  52. 52.
    The Clash: Pressure Drop

    Pressure Drop

    The Clash
    Super Black Market Crash
  53. 53.
    Nirvana: Lake of Fire

    Lake of Fire

    MTV Unplugged in New York
    Best Unplugged! Meat Puppets join Nirvana on stage! Classic!! Dedicated to all the Coffee Breakers out there. "The Man Who Sold the World" by Nirvana (Bowie cover) is also on this album. Outstanding!! - Mike in Denver
  54. 54.
    Willie Nelson: Just Breathe (feat. Lukas Nelson)

    Just Breathe (feat. Lukas Nelson)

    Willie Nelson
    I heard Willie's version first, then the next week, I heard Pearl Jam's. I thought, "Huh, Pearl Jam covering a Willie Nelson song? That's pretty damn cool!!" HAHA!! - Joth in Shakopee
  55. 55.
    Run-D.M.C.: Walk This Way (feat. Aerosmith)

    Walk This Way (feat. Aerosmith)

    Raising Hell
  56. 56.
    The Chicks: Landslide


    The Chicks
    Here's an example of when two bands' sounds perfectly fit together, but add a new dimension to the original song. The Chicks' bluegrass country refreshed this classic without rejecting its original beauty. A perfect cover. - Brady in Minneapolis
  57. 57.
    Guns N' Roses: Knockin' on Heaven's Door

    Knockin' on Heaven's Door

    Guns N' Roses
    Use Your Illusion II
  58. 58.
    Disturbed: The Sound of Silence

    The Sound of Silence

  59. 59.
    Lana Del Rey: Doin' Time

    Doin' Time

    Lana Del Rey
    Norman F—ing Rockwell!
  60. 60.
    Marvin Gaye: I Heard it Through the Grapevine

    I Heard it Through the Grapevine

    Marvin Gaye
    In The Groove
    Gladys' version is flawless, but Marvin's is flawless-er. If that's a thing. - Allie in Oakdale
  61. 61.
    Patti Smith: Gloria: In Excelsis Deo

    Gloria: In Excelsis Deo

    Patti Smith
  62. 62.
    Trampled by Turtles: Where is My Mind

    Where is My Mind

    Trampled by Turtles
    Where Is My Mind - Single
  63. 63.
    Alicia Keys: How Come You Don't Call Me

    How Come You Don't Call Me

    Alicia Keys
    Songs In A Minor
  64. 64.
    Concrete Blonde: Everybody Knows

    Everybody Knows

    Concrete Blonde
    Still In Hollywood
  65. 65.
    Toots & The Maytals: Country Road

    Country Road

    Toots & The Maytals
    Funky Kingston
  66. 66.
    Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Want to Have Fun

    Girls Just Want to Have Fun

    Cyndi Lauper
    She's So Unusual
  67. 67.
    Fiona Apple: Across The Universe

    Across The Universe

    Fiona Apple
    Pleasantville (Music From The Motion Picture)
    I showed this cover to my roommate (freshman year of college), a HUGE Beatles fan, and even she said that this version is even better than the original. - Emily in Stillwater, MN
  68. 68.
    Aretha Franklin: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

    (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

    Aretha Franklin
    Lady Soul
  69. 69.
    UB40: Red Red Wine

    Red Red Wine

    Labour of Love
  70. 70.
    Bjork: It's Oh So Quiet

    It's Oh So Quiet

  71. 71.
    Hüsker Dü: Love Is All Around

    Love Is All Around

    Hüsker Dü
    Eight Miles High - Single
    To my beautiful wife Linda, who makes every day worthwhile. - Andrew in Bloomington
  72. 72.
    José González: Heartbeats


    José González
  73. 73.
    Dead Kennedys: Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas

    Dead Kennedys
    Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
  74. 74.
    The Muffs: Kids in America

    Kids in America

    The Muffs
    Clueless: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    The Muffs took an iconic new wave/'80s pop tune and seamlessly transformed it into a '90s punk rock smash. Absolutely dig it. - Christopher in Apple Valley
  75. 75.
    Metallica: Whiskey in the Jar

    Whiskey in the Jar

    Garage, Inc.
  76. 76.
    Blondie: Hanging On The Telephone

    Hanging On The Telephone

    Parallel Lines
  77. 77.
    Art of Noise: Kiss (feat. Tom Jones)

    Kiss (feat. Tom Jones)

    Art of Noise
    Kiss - Single
  78. 78.
    R.E.M.: Superman


    Lifes Rich Pageant
  79. 79.
    Nazareth: Love Hurts

    Love Hurts

    Hair of the Dog
    Talk about making a song your own. Nazareth nailed it. - Jeff in Minneapolis
  80. 80.
    Natalie Imbruglia: Torn


    Natalie Imbruglia
    Left of the Middle
  81. 81.
    The Replacements: Another Girl, Another Planet - Live

    Another Girl, Another Planet - Live

    The Replacements
    All for Nothing
  82. 82.
    Lianne La Havas: Weird Fishes

    Weird Fishes

    Lianne La Havas
    Lianne La Havas
  83. 83.
    Lenny Kravitz: American Woman

    American Woman

    Lenny Kravitz
  84. 84.
    The Pretenders: Stop Your Sobbing

    Stop Your Sobbing

    The Pretenders
    The best covers are love letters from one artist to another. This song appeared on both of the Kinks' and the Pretenders' self-titled, debut albums. That Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies went on to have a relationship and a child together further cements the significance of this cover. - Christian in Sewickley
  85. 85.
    The Ramones: I Don't Wanna Grow Up

    I Don't Wanna Grow Up

    The Ramones
    ¡Adios Amigos!
  86. 86.
    Yola: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    Walk Through Fire (Deluxe Edition)
  87. 87.
    Rage Against The Machine: Renegades of Funk

    Renegades of Funk

    Rage Against The Machine
  88. 88.
    Lick The Tins: Can't Help Falling in Love

    Can't Help Falling in Love

    Lick The Tins
    Blind Man on a Flying Horse
    Even though he IS the King, this is my favorite version of my favorite Elvis song. Elvis' version goes right to the heart for those who have been through stuff and are still together, but Lick The Tins' version perfectly captures the feeling you have during those first days of new love. - Shannon in Duluth
  89. 89.
    The Kingsmen: Louie Louie

    Louie Louie

    The Kingsmen
    Quadrophenia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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