Remaking a classic song is almost never a good idea. Nine times out of ten, you're going to want to hear the original artist's version, but every once in a while (presumably the one time out of ten), a remake comes along that actually outdoes the original. In fact, sometimes it's so good, you forget that it isn't the original version in the first place. Here, in no order, are a handful of such covers;
5. "With A Little Help From My Friends" - Joe Cocker
Original by: The Beatles Used as the theme song to my beloved show The Wonder Years, Joe Cocker added souland a bunch of female background singersto the Beatles hit and made it his own. Listening to both versions back to back, the one by "The Fab Four" is plain and boring by comparison (not to mention hyper at a peppy, bubblegum tempo). I would even go so far as to say Cocker's version is more famous than the original. I know I heard his version first and thought it was always his song. And now, in a way, it is.
Michael Perone has written for The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, The Island Ear (now titled Long Island Press), and The Long Island Voice, a short-lived spinoff of The Village Voice. He currently works as an Editor in Manhattan. And he still thinks Michael Keaton was the best Batman.