10 Brilliant Cover Versions Of Classic Songs

Cover songs are mostly terrible, right? These excellent versions of classic songs break that trend.

Britney Spears Children Of Bodom Oops
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The art of the cover song is a concept as old as music itself. Musicians take a song they love and reinvent it with the intention of improving it or, at the very least, performing it as well as the original. As a result, there are some great cover versions that have all but replaced the originals in pop culture.

But for every All Along The Watch Tower (Jimi Hendrix vs. Bob Dylan) or Renegades of Funk (Rage Against The Machine vs. Afrika Bambaataa) there’s Limp Bizkit f**king up the program with Behind Blue Eyes or Avril Lavigne crapping all over Imagine. In fact, most cover versions are real stinkers, worthy only of your snorted derision.

Occasionally though (read very occasionally) an artist comes along with a cover version that really hits the spot. To save your ears, this list covers some of the best examples out there to prove that classic songs can be matched, or sometimes beaten, by a great cover.

10. The Goops - Build Me Up Buttercup

Originally recorded by: The Foundations

Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations is a true soul classic sitting proudly alongside mega-hits like The Temptations’ My Girl or The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back. Despite the popularity of the original, for many, The Goops’ driving punk rock reinvention, which featured in Kevin Smith's gross-out Slacker comedy Mallrats, is the definitive version of the song.

The Goops up the tempo considerably and their energetic rendition clatters along at pace with buzzing guitars, rasping lead vocals, and call and response gang vocals. All the while it bristles with a youthful, rebellious spirit.

Maybe you put The Temptations on to relax for the evening but this is the version you throw on before a riotous night out.


Christopher is a freelance pop culture writer, podcaster and self-confessed nerd from Scotland. He's also the owner, founder and editor at "The Head Scratcher" and a host of "The Scratch Cast" podcast. Visit www.theheadscratcher.com to find out more.