Top 10: Cover

10) Dream Theater - Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple)
I have never been able to tolerate the original Deep Purple version due to Gillan's vocal performance. To be clear, I like Gillan a lot, but in this song, not at all. James La Brie, in this version, "settles" the issue. I also like the instrumental passages better. Maybe they sound colder, but I find them more convincing, overall. I don't know if I have offended your sensibilities, I hope not.
A nod to the wonderful words of the chorus of this song: "If you hear me talking in the wind, you must understand that we must remain perfect strangers." I don't know.

9) Nirvana - The man who sold the world (David Bowie)
Super melancholy interpretation by Kurt Cobain & C. taken from Nirvana's famous "Unplugged in New York". I may be profane, but I prefer it to David Bowie's. Not too different from the original but with all the personality of the Seattle band, here in a home version. But how the hell was Kurt dressed? Was he ready for bed?

8) Metallica - Turn the page (Bob Seger)
This song seems to have been written specifically for the vocal chords of James Hetfield, who brushes it and personalizes it in his own way with all his typical yeah eeeah yahooo ooaaahhh. OK, you understand. Even the instrumental arrangement is definitely superior to the original, for me. Check out the video clip with the naked women (click on the title if you want to see them).

7) Avantasia - Maniac (Michael Sembello)
Tobias Sammet, with the help of Eric Martin of Mr. Big, took this pop dance song, the soundtrack of the old film Flashdance (information for old farts like myself) and transformed it into a very credible Heavy rock song. Overturning a song without changing the original spirit. Great.

6) Mike Patton - Urlo Negro (The Blackman)
Ok, this is weird. For all those who don't know her, know that that genius Mike Patton has recorded an album of covers of very old Italian songs, called "Mondo Cane". This song is my favorite on the album, I offer you a very angry live version, but the studio version is also superb. Of course, the words in the chorus are incomprehensible, but we'll forgive him for that, right?

5) Joe Cocker - A little help from my friends (The Beatles)
Can a Beatles cover be better than the Beatles version? Are you crazy? No, that's exactly what Joe Cocker did with this song. The Beatles' one seems almost stupid in comparison. Of course, the choirs aren't exactly beautiful, nor is Joe's face (click on the title to see it), but let's ignore it.

4) Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
One of the most overused songs of all time.
Your trusted butcher will probably also have a version of this song on his YouTube channel, sung at the closing of the butcher's shop. That said, Jeff Buckley's, in my opinion, remains on another level. Yes, even compared to that of your butcher.

3) Johnny Cash - Hurt (Nine inch nails)
When an artist is great you can see it in his simplicity.
Johnny Cash greatly simplifies this song by Nine Inch Nails and makes Hurt clearly superior to the original, simply thanks to a deeper and more melancholy interpretation. Simplicity.

2) Chris Cornell - Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
Making a cover and making it your own? Exactly what Chris Cornell did. In reality, the song is only recognizable thanks to the chorus, in the verses it is almost unrecognizable. Chris made it 100% his.

1) Guns n' roses - Knockin' on heaven's door (Bob Dylan)
Probably more for emotional reasons than anything else, given that thanks to this song I began to discover many universes. Having said that, starting from a simple song by Bob Dylan, GN'R, especially live, manage to squeeze in practically everything: an intro with a double-necked guitar, heavy distortions, backing vocalists, wind instruments, piano, cowboy hats, various solos and Slash close to a cardio-respiratory coma. What more do you want?

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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