Surprising Cover Songs (part deux)

They say “Don’t judge the book by its cover”. I say “Judge the song by its cover”. For when a certain song gets done by another artist, you can discover a lot more from it esp. when a different version is made. Sometimes, even the worst songs can turn into a good one when done by somebody else. Now, there’s lotsa good remakes or revivals out there but you can still handpick those that are genre-crossing, out-of-the-blue, surprising cover songs.

Here’s a long list of cover songs that will make you utter .. “How’d that go?”

Song (Originally Done By) Covered By

The Part I of this, I included a video of “Rolling in the Deep”, originally by Adele and covered by Linkin’ Park. Now, it’s only fitting that I start with it. Panic! At the Disco visited Ventura, my current county of residency. They had a poll asking the audience what they want the band to cover, being a popular song at the time, the poll reads “Rolling in the Deep” as most requested. Fun video, they looked like they really struggle. Ended pretty impressive considering it wasn’t rehearsed prior the performance. The vocalist blurted out at the end “Yey! We did it.” -referring to having the audience participation in getting through the cover.

  • Travis, Fountains of Wayne “Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears)
  • Lily Allen, All American Rejects, Franz Ferdinand“Womanizer” (Britney Spears)
  • Greenday“Why Doesn’t It Always Rain On Me?” (Travis)

Why “Womanizer”, it wasn’t because of its “deep political connotation”, they simply said “It’s because we can do it better than Britney”… A great accordion start, beer bottles for instruments and a lot of woohoo-ing from the guys of All American Rejects….

  • Umbrella (Rihanna) – Mandy Moore, Linkin’ Park, Train, Manic Street Preacher
  • Jamie Cullum “Please Don’t Stop The Music” (Rihanna), “Frontin” (NERD), “GoldDigger” (Kanye West), “Chasing Pavements” (Adele) segue to Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  • Ryan Adams – I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Vampire Weekend entire first album
  • IncubusLike A Virign (Madonna), Bump ‘N Grind (R. Kelly), No Scrubs (TLC) Careless Whisper (George Michael), Milkshake (Kelis) and even Spongbob Squarepants (Theme Song)
  • My Humps (Black Eye Peas) – Alanis Morrissettes *PART I*
  • Michael BubleThis Love (Maroon 5)
  • Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) – Incubus, Amanda Palmer, Coldplay, Fall Out Boys and Civil Wars
  • Coldplay I Just Can’t You Out Of My Head (Kylie Minogue) *PART 1*
  • (Coldplay) – Lady Gaga, Weezer, Taylor Swift “Viva La Vida”, Robyn “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”, Alicia Keys “Clocks”, Avril Lavigne, Aimee Mann “The Scientist”

Let’s go ahead and take a look Lady Gaga’s struggling attempt to cover Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. Quite surprising, nonetheless, definitely not her alley and she did a good job giving it a different spin. Though, she did stop at the bridge to apologize for the mistakes. Here she is with piano…

  • Daughtry“Pokerface” Lady Gaga
  • Robyn“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (Coldplay), “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” (Alicia Keys), “Since You’ve Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson), “When The Doves Cry”
  • (Beyonce) – “Crazy In Love” Switchfoot because it’s power-packed with energy and … bling! 😀 , Snow Patrol, Beck, “Single Ladies” The Fray, Wilco, Sarah Bareilles *PART I* “Halo” Florence + The Machine
  • Elbow “Independent Women” (Destiny’s Child)
  • Florence + The MachineTake Me Now” (Rihanna)
  • Beck – Medley of “Hot in Here” (Nelly), “Rock Your Body” (Justin Timberlake), “Beautiful” (NERD), “Not Gonna Get US” (t.a..t.u) “Ice Ice Baby” also, (Yanni’s) “Live At The Acropolis” album
  • Beyonce“Sex On Fire” Kings of Leon
  • (Kings of Leon) – “Use Somebody” Craig David, Matisyahu, Paramore and Pixie Lott, “Radioactive “ Cee-Lo
  • Ray Lamontagne, Paulo Nutini “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley)

Kelly Clarkson is a fan of this outstanding troubadour singer-songwriter (Ray Lamontagne). Actually, it’s not surprising that a pop artist would actually claim to have one of his songs to be a favorite. Here is “Shelter”, please listen.

  • Kelly Clarkson (Black Keys) “Lies”, (The White Stripes) “Seven Nation Army” , (Kings of Leon) “Use Somebody” segue to (Alanis Morissettes) “That I Would Be Good”
  • Robyn, A Day To Remember “Since U Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson)
  • The Fray Hip Don’t Lie (Shakira), Single Ladies (Beyonce) with the bending of the wrist and the shaking of the hips :D, Heartless (Kanye West)
  • NOT A COVER: But, did anybody know about Thom Yorke of Radiohead dancing to the tune of Beyonce’s “Sexy Ladies”? Very surprising, he was so into the tune of it.
  • Shakira “Islands”, “Crystallized” (The xx) *PART I*
  • (Justin Timberlake) – “Cry Me A River” Paolo Nutini, Glen Hansard, Michel Buble

Corinne Bailey Rae jazzing up Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”. Whoa factor to the fullest scale.

  • Paolo Nutini – “Rehab” (Amy Winehouse)
  • KT Tunstall – “Get Your Freak On” (Missy Elliot) Who’s that bleep! 😀 Also. Eels
  • Postal Service“Against All Odds” (Phil Collins)
  • Lana Del Rey“Goodbye Kiss” (Kasabian)
  • Ben Howard“Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jespen)

Since this song is quite popular this year, I go ahead and post the video of this UK singer-songwriter Ben Howard. Highly Impressive! He turned this bubbly song into something of a troubadour-type, with layers and layers of sound.

  • Mumford & Son“Cousin” (Vampire Weekend)
  • Feist “November Rain” Guns & Roses
  • James Blake“Limit To Your Love” Feist

  • Prince“The Best of You” Foo Fighters
  • Aretha Franklin“Touch My Body” Mariah Carey
  • Weezer“Pump Up Kids” Foster The People (more above from Weezer)
  • Fall Out Boy – Medley of “Beat It”, “Don’t Matter”, “American Boy”
  • Tori Amos“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Bonnie And Clyde” (Eminem), “Whoops! There It is”
  • Dreamtheater “Winter” (Fiona Apple)
  • Katy Perry “Electril Feel” (MGMT)
  • John Legend“Umbrella” (Rihanna), “Wake Up” (Arcade Fire)
  • Joss Stone – “Fell in Love with a Boy” – feminized version of “Fell in Love with a Girl” (The White Stripes)

I’m not familiar with the artist, she is most likely a filipina. It’s a great thrown-out cover of a very popular song. Here is an acoustic version from a sweet-looking lad,y named Julie Anne, scatting and boom-boorooming to the tune of “Superbass” from Nicki Minaj.

WOOO Boy, that’s a lot of covers. Anything you want to add? Remember these are genre-crossing cover songs. “Covers” are basically remakes/revivals that are performed live and/or on stage.


Ow, do let me know which of these that surprised or made you interested.


Categories: Music, video

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18 replies »

  1. Hi Rommel. I don’t know about the other songs here, but I prefer Adele’s Rolling in the deep better. Probably because it was autobiographical and you can hear the pain in her voice as she sings it. Just my opinion. However, Luther Vandross did an excellent cover of Dionne Warwick’s A House is not a Home. She even said she was driving down PCH one day and heard him on the radio, and said to herself, now that’s the way that song should have been sung. He was one of the few artist that really knew how to interpret a song with meaning, so your post does have a merit. If you go to Youtube and type in Luther’s name and the name of the song, watch for his performance live at the NAACP image awards. Beautiful rendition of the song. Dionne was in the audience and started crying at the end. Thanks for the post.

  2. I agree with Mike… Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is just too beautiful! The sweet looking filipina girl has talent, I really enjoyed it. Thank you, Rommel!!

  3. Last year was the first time I heard this cover of “Womanizer”. I HOWLED! I do think its slightly better than Britney’s. I just couldn’t listen to either version too often.

    I wasn’t impressed when Prince released “I Feel For You”, oh so long ago. When Chaka Khan recorded her rendition of it; however, back in the 80’s, I thought it was THE greatest cover of all time because covers usually aren’t as good as the original production. She greatly improved on that song.

    The original version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares to You” was actually okay but Sinead O’Connor’s (like her or not) version was another major improvement.

    Lately, ZZ Top’s cover of the low-rate rap “I Gots to Get Paid” is definitely far better than the original. I’m jus’ sayin’!

    • Mumford & Son’s first is one of the best albums last year. The Fray’s “Single Ladies” cover is hilarious! Shakira covering The xx is too good to be true. I love Corinne Bailey Rae too. She has that first album with extra CD that only includes all covers. I love, love, love her take on Led Zeppelin’s Since I’ve Been Loving You…. vocal prowess to the fullest.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Thanks Rommel. You put so much thought and time into this post and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I too must admit to liking Adele’s version of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ much more.

    • It was only poll request from fans so it’s mostly for fun. The vocalist even have a chi-chi because he doesn’t know the song by heart.
      This is only a reblog actually. Then again, I added more, and I had to re-write all the songs.
      Happy Thanksgiving Luann!

  5. Wow! A new template again!!??? 😆 Shall be back!
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you! .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥

  6. Nice post! I am following you from Sicily, I am very much interested in music, we are a bit behind here in Sicily though:)

  7. Hi Rommel – I’m guessing your blog is a play on words on the Grandaddy album? If so, you’ll probably like Emmylou Harris’ cover of So You’ll Aim Towards The Sky, on the Lawless film soundtrack. It had the hairs on my neck standing up!

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