At first we thought it would be a simple Top 10. Later we stopped at Top 20. But even that number wasn’t enough for all the magnificent covers of the year. Suprifingly, it turned out that there are many of them. Famous and incredibly unknown artists have done their best. Even some great performances failed qualifying to our chart, like Adele’s “Lovesong”, Linkin Park’s “Rolling In The Deep”, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bon Iver, “Skinny Love” by Birdy, “Wolf Like Me” by Lera Lynn, “Dearest” by The Black Keys, and many many others.
After a huge research and then some troubled times in judgement and ordering, here it is – the Top 25 Best Cover Songs of 2011! Simply enjoy:
25. Garbage – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (U2 cover)
24. James Collin – The Passenger (Iggy Pop cover)
23. Florence + The Machine – Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly cover)
22. The Horrors – The Best Thing I Never Had (Beyoncé cover)
Covering modern mass hits is always a big question, especially when they’re hip-hop and soul. At the beginning you’ll think of this song with simple curiosity. At the end, most likely you’ll just love it.
21. Vanessa Paradis – Angora (Alain Bashung cover)
20. Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band – Stay Away (Nirvana cover)
19. Holy Ghost! – I Wanted To Tell Her (Ministry cover)
Disco is back! Partly, at least. One of the first singles by the American Ministry (American band Ministry, to be precise) – the synthpop explosion “I Wanted To Tell Her”, gets a new breath. And even a stylised video.
18. Vains of Jenna – Fuck You (Cee Lo Green cover)
Pop covers of rock classics are probably the most popular and successful way to cover a song, while the opposite case is relatively rare. However, we all know every rule has its exceptions, and the rock version of Vains of Jenna is one of them. If you hear both tracks for first time (really?), you may wonder which one is the cover and which one – the original song.
17. Foo Fighters – This Will Be Our Year (The Zombies cover)
16. Sade – Still In Love With You (Thin Lizzy cover)
Not just a simplified solo version of Thin Lizzy’s “Still In Love With You”. Sade provides an entire new dimension for this song. The cover is part of Sade’s 2nd greatest hits collection: “The Hits Collection” (2011).
15. Jesus on Extasy – Ordinary World (Duran Duran cover)
14. Cee Lo Green – No One’s Gonna Love You (Band Of Horses cover)
13. Bat For Lashes – Strangelove (Depeche Mode cover)
Is there something that Depeche Mode ever lacked, or needed? Female vocals? Well, probably not, but it’s worth to try. Natasha Khan, also known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, already tried it with this cover version of Depeche’s “Strangelove”.
12. Poolside – Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)
Instead aiming to compete with “the master” Neil Young, as they themselves say, Poolside decided to take another path. The result is a beautiful, relaxing track; a house track that the LA-based musicians and DJs could be proud with.
11. Work Drugs – Rolling in the Deep (Adele cover)
By far this is our favorite cover of “Rolling In The Deep”. Surely it haven’t the vocals of Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), but the music is superb and we love that interpretation!
10. Peaches – Turn It On (Franz Ferdinand cover)
Scottish post-punk band, Franz Ferdinand, recently released a Covers EP. The tracks however, weren’t their versions of other artists’ songs: it was other artists covering Franz Ferdinand. Peaches’ version delivers the perfect amount of darkness and monotony, and deservedly received the first official video within the EP.
9. Dum Dum Girls – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths cover)
Dum Dum Girls are: Dee Dee Penny, Jules, Bambi, and Sandy. Hell yeah! With those nicknames, you may not expect them to produce something of quality… But they did it, covering “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”, originally by The Smiths.
8. Powerman 5000 – Jump (Van Halen cover)
Behind the futuristic name Powerman 5000 stays a little metal band with less current members than the past ones. Frontman and founder Spider One (Michael David Cummings) is the man who make things happen. In 2011 the band released “Copies, Clones & Replicants”. This is a completely cover album, and the covers are all different and original, mixing some modern rock with electronica.
7. Puddle Of Mudd – Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones cover)
Talking about modern, and also talking about covers, it turns out recording a cover album is somehow modern thing. Yep, Puddle Of Mudd did it too. But they did it in proper way. The album is called “re:(disc)overed”, it sounds great and somewhat authentic, carrying the spirit of the old 70′s tracks.
6. Nine Inch Nails – Zoo Station (U2 cover)
This is the first track of the – get ready – “Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi”, a tribute-to-U2 album. It feature cover versions of songs from band’s record “Achtung Baby” (1991).
5. Lissie – Nothing Else Matters (Metallica cover)
It’s always a challenge to cover such a timeless classis as Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” is. Fortunately, the American folk/rock singer Lissie (real name Elisabeth Maurus) has the voice capacity to do it, but most importantly: she has the passion.
4. Holmes – Tenderness (General Public cover)
Holmes a.k.a. Roy Shakked released an album full of covers and named it… “Covers”. Simplicity is the key. And while most of the tracks inside deserved to be mentioned, this is probably the best cover amongst them – thanks for the use of female vocals!
3. Amy Winehouse – Our Day Will Come (Ruby And The Romantics cover)
Ironically, such a bright and optimistic song by an artist with mostly dark material. This is the first track of her posthumous compilation album “Lioness: Hidden Treasures”. The original by Ruby And The Romantics fits Amy Winehouse at her best, although it was recorded back in 1963.
2. Ladytron – Little Black Angel (Death in June cover)
To celebrate 10 years of recording, Ladytron released the album “Best of 00–10”. Greatest-hits compilations come with great tracks from the past, but Ladytron did even more: they added two new great tracks. One of them is the cover of Death In June’s “Little Black Angel”, where synthpop meets punk.
1. Trent Reznor and Karen O – Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
It’s him again. Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) provides an incognizable interpretation of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. The result is dark and nasty, a mysterious sound that already blowed up the movie trailers of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which soundtrack it leads.