Some things are best left alone, like dark alley's, angry bees and anything in a pickle jar that is not immediately identifiable.
Some may argue that classic songs should also be left alone, and I agree. However, some songs do turn out better with a different artist and new arrangement.
I have put together what I consider to be some of the Best Cover Songs, also commonly known as remakes. Some go back over fifty years and have stretched across different musical genres.
These are, in my opinion, the songs where the best version isn't always the first version. Could be that many have never listened to these artists cover the songs I have selected here as my favorites.
I don't consider all of them better than the original but I have picked out what I feel are the best of all the covers done on a particular song. These are my favorite oldies music lyrics and old country music songs from the last fifty years.
Some songs that I add to these pages will probably upset a few because many believe that nothing can top the original.
When most web sites list their Best Cover Songs very few, if any, will list the songs I have included here.
Hank Williams wrote and recorded "I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry" a song Elvis said was one of the saddest songs he had ever heard.
Quarterback Terry Bradshaw sang the song and I liked it enough to buy the 45rpm record back in the seventies, but my particular favorite cover of the song is by another artist and will be included on these pages.
Some will no doubt scream at the computer when I suggest that Jerry Lee Lewis' version of "Me and Bobby McGee" is better than Janis Joplin's version.
But remember her version was not the original, Roger Miller's was. She did an excellent cover and topped the U.S. singles chart with the song in 1971 after her death. When this song is mentioned the name Janis Joplin will generally come to mind.
And of course, Jerry Lee being from Louisiana made the opening line fit perfect with his "Set the piano on fire" singing style.
"Busted flat in
headin' for a train
faded as my jeans"
Then I have Jody Miller's sexy version of Barbara Lewis' 1965 Baby I'm Yours. This one is another I like better than the original.
I'll explain why I like this version better than the original on the Jody Miller page but consider this fact.
Even though the song was originally released in 1965 by Barbara Lewis, the song has been covered by Peter & Gordon (1965) Jody Miller (1971) Debbie Boone (1978) Tanya Tucker (1983) and Cher in (1990) and no one placed the song higher on the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard Hot Country Singles than Jody Miller at #5 in 1971.
Barbara Lewis' original placed #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, however it did make it to #5 on the Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles.
Barbara Lewis' version is still considered by many as the best just because it was the original. Really can't argue with that but when you hear Jody sing her version you might just melt in your recliner:)
And of course there is the ever popular Duprees and "You Belong to Me." No fan of the "Duprees" will ever agree with me but I enjoy the Patsy Cline cover of this song over the original version. Again just my opinion.
Betcha never heard Sammi Smith doing "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye." It was Sammi who had the #1 song with Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through The Night."
She does this song proud and her background singers are my all time favorite.
And what about Margo Smith taking one of Connie Francis' #1 songs and turning it into a number one country hit in 1978. Find out which one I like the best.
So get ready and listen to my favorite Cover Songs from Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard, Norah Jones, Billy Joel, Johnny Rodriguez and many others.
Which one of these artists do you think did their version just a little bit better than the original, if any?
Enjoy the following selections of my Best Cover Songs and feel free to contact me and let me know your favorite cover songs or what you think of my choices.
Best Cover Songs Special Side Note: After you click the links below simply use your browser back button (arrow) in the top left to return directly to this page.
Vinyl Record Memories- The 50s, 60s, & 70s. Read my stories, listen to all the great oldies. Read more...
Cruise on over to the Doo Wop page and listen to those wonderful street corner sounds from the 50s & 60s. Read more.
The song "I will follow you" was included on Rick's 1963 album titled "For Your Sweet Love," a Top 20 album that same year. Watch Ricky's cover of this classic oldie.
Over the Mountain was originally a #8 hit in 1957 for "Johnnie & Joe," and was a cover for Bobby Vinton in 1963. What other cover song did Bobby Vinton take to #1 the same year? Read more.
Nobody comes close to Patsy on this cover of an all-time favorite, "You Belong to Me." Read more.
What a treat, watching Lorrie Morgan and The Beach Boys sing together. Watch the "Don't Worry Baby" video here.
Listen to the original 45rpm recording of "The Locomotion" and watch the best dance version ever! Read more.
The "Marcels" were named after a popular hairstyle of the day. A great song, a great group and the live video will have YOU dancing in the aisle. Read more...
Love Me with All Your Heart. Just creamy harmony and seamless pleasure returns you to the days when easy listening was called "dinner music." Read more.
This Darling Lorraine page returns to 1959 and the remarkable story about a determined song writer. Includes memorable video clip with original lead singer. Read more here.
Merle performs his classic #1 song live with Jewel. It is, in my opinion, one of the better versions of the song ever recorded as a duet. Simply put...Jewel is a Diamond and Merle is pure Gold. Read more.