Coolest Cover Songs Ever

Aretha, CHVRCHES & More Revitalize Classics

BY: Alex Hutchins

Sometimes an original song just doesn’t quite cut it or feels like it’s missing that extra “something.” Other times it’s great on its own. Whichever one it might be, there’s no denying that a strong cover can be just as, if not more, exciting than its source material. We’ve compiled a list of five of our favorites that we hope you’ll enjoy as well.

Aretha Franklin “Respect” (original by Otis Redding)

It was a truly sad day for music when one of soul’s most iconic singers passed away less than a month ago. Though she may no longer be with us, Aretha Franklin’s music will forever live on and continue to move us for years to come. We would be remiss if we did not include Franklin’s energetic and powerful cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” on our list.

Charles Bradley “Changes” (original by Black Sabbath)

It’s not always the most well known songs that make for the best covers. For Charles Bradley, Black Sabbath’s 1972 song “Changes” hit home on a personal level, reminding him of his last days with his mother. “Changes” cut to Bradley’s core and brought out one of the most passionate covers we have ever heard or seen. While Bradley sadly passed away in 2017, his cover of “Changes” has been used as the theme song for Netflix’s animated hit show, Big Mouth.

DMA’s “Believe” (original by Cher)

Deliberately moving away from Cher’s iconic autotune-filled rendition of “Believe”, Australian indie band DMA’s manages to create something entirely new while still maintaining respect for the original. While their cover might not be as dance club-friendly as Cher’s, we think the pared down, dual acoustic guitar version is just as important to keep an eye on.

CHVRCHES  “LOVE” (original by Kendrick Lamar)

While the transition from rap to indie pop does not exactly lend itself to the smoothest conversion, Scottish trio CHVRCHES shows that genres were meant to be bent. Leading the charge with her enchanting vocals, lead singer Lauren Mayberry somehow takes the Kendrick classic, “Love” off his 2017 album DAMN, to even greater heights.

Playing For Change “What’s Going On” (original by Marvin Gaye)

In all honesty, we could have chosen any one of the multimedia music project Playing For Change’s covers for our list, but we felt that this take on Marvin Gaye’s iconic 1971 hit, “What’s Going On” was especially relevant to today’s world. Featuring artists from South Africa, Brazil, Netherlands, USA, and Serbia to just name a few, Playing For Change unites people from around the world through the universal language of music. As if a multinational ensemble of musicians wasn’t enough, PFC’s cover of “What’s Going On” also features the glorious vocals of American singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles of “Love Song” fame.