Cover songs that are better than the original

Iced Earth - Highway Man

Dude… how can you even…

The original recording of The Higwayman was performed by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristoferson, and Johnny Cash. Even dead, those guys could kick the living ■■■■ out of this cover.

Lol. Dude, you’re dead to me.


I personally think that Nine Inch Nails cover of Dead Souls is vastly superior to Joy Division’s original. The original sounds like a sort of 80’s new wave song, whereas the Reznor cover has a driving, industrial sound that not only fit the scene in The Crow perfectly, but just sounds like a more active and compelling song overall, at least in my opinion.


LOL I know who the original is but its not better than Russel Allen, and “the kid”!

No way! When Russel comes in with " I was a sailor! I was born upon the tiiiiide!

1 Like
1 Like

Love this topic b/c I’ve thought deeply about one song in particular and how just it’s change in tone, and subject perspective while keeping the same lyrics, changes the meaning or spirit behind it, entirely. I am referring to “Get Lucky”.

Here is the original by Daft Punk and Pharrell. It’s tone is upbeat, fast, almost optimistic. Not too deep of a song, Pharrell said it was about sex and that real connection you can feel when meeting someone.

Here is my preferred version by Daughter. It has the exact same lyrics (save for some subject swapping for “he/she”), but is much more melancholic due to its slower beat and use of minor chords. It sounds more like a burden of the subject (a woman in this case) to find love, acceptance, gratification, whatever through the endeavor of getting laid.

@SithLordEDP Agreed. I didn’t even know Such Great Heights was a cover! I’ve heard other versions, but thought Iron & Wine’s was the original lol.

@BigBadAndy I hate to admit it, but I may have to agree w/ your assessment on Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”. NIN’s is still great, tho.

1 Like

It’s impossible not to be affected by the ancient and breaking down voice of an old addict recording that song maybe a year before his death. He has several covers on that album and plenty of great songs. But that one is just… something else.

This cover is pretty good too:


Just realized that part of that early bridge riff on the Kermit version sounds a lot like the rhythm guitar and bassline to The Cranberries’ “Zombie”… :thinking:

It’s the same chord progression, Em C G D. The original Hurt is in the key of Am though so it actually goes Am F C G but the Kermit version changed the key to Em which is the same key Zombie is in.



This has been an interesting discussion go follow. Especially seeing how WRONG some of you are (I kid I kid)
I’m just gonna go over some of the previous entries and my thoughts.

@KIFANATIC8488 I do love the original Genesis version of Land of Confusion, but Disturbed knocked it out of the park. If there’s one thing these guys do really REALLY well, it’s taking sweet covers of older songs and making it their own. I mean, look at what they did for Shout by Tears for Fears

Contrary to what’s popular though I’m not going to include the recent cover they did of The Sound of Silence. It’s well done and David Draimen has a nice voice, but it’s not really a Disturbed cover so much as it is a David Draimen cover. It doesn’t have any of the rest of what makes the band stand out, so it feels kinda hollow and “Grammy bait”-y. Sorry @GeneralScrebor .

@BigBadAndy I definitely agree with the Cash version of Hurt. The NIN version definitelyhas merit but in the end it still sounds more or less like a song Trent Resnor would write. Johnny doing a version of this song is huge because it represents something that rarely happens. Almost every time a band covers a song it’s a new band covering an old band that inspired them. Young guys looking back and having fun with it. But in this case it’s the reverse. An absolute f*cking music legend looked at this new song in his Twilight years, and it resonated with him so much that he made his own haunting rendition.
Taking the kind of experiences that drove Trent to write the song, and then amplifying/recontextualizing them to the scale of someone who’s been living with that same self abuse for at least as long as Trent was alive is absolutely brütal to think about.

On a lighter Cash related note, one of his most famous songs is actually a cover.

That’s right. Ghost Riders in the Sky is not a Cash original. It was actually written in 1948 by Stan Jones as a cowboy version of the mythical European legend of The Wild Hunt. Though I’ve yet to hear anyone saying that the Cash version isn’t the coolest one

Since we’re discussing covers though, there’s one little Scandiwegion dude on YouTube who demands attention:
His name is Leo.

His whole channel is dedicated to making metal/rock versions of popular songs, and his production value is outstanding, especially for a guy who handles every single aspect of the production himself (every instrument, all the mixing, filming, video editing, any makeup/costuming, all handled by Leo). He’s got a pretty unique style and actually has thrown some really decent breakdowns in into these covers.
The best part is that you can tell he’s having so much fun woth what he’s doing. He may not strike gold with every cover, but the ones I’ve listed here I definitely like more than their original incarnations. Definitely worth scrolling through a few of his vids. They’re quite entertaining.

Oh and one more thing. Folk metal bands doing covers of songs from memes and kid shows is a god damn riot


I was going to bring up Leo too!! That guy’s awesome. Currently have his metal covers of “Hello” and “Ex’s & Oh’s” in my phone, but I feel like I’ve listened to tons of his covers and they’re all amazing.

Great call here, man!

1 Like

Just an incredible cover/medley, brass band rave is best rave!

And 2 incredible classical instrument covers of Aphex Twin songs, cause I can never get enough of those:-

Not necessarily better but I feel wonderful in their own right. :slight_smile:

Don’t @ me.