Greatest Cover Songs and Remakes of the 1970s


Criteria: These cover songs/remakes of the 1970s are ranked according to their initial and lasting popularity, influence and acclaim, as well as their cultural impact. The greatness of an original record is not taken into consideration. To qualify as a cover version, the song has to be neither the first recorded nor the first released version of particular song.

Legend: Song - Original Artist with first recording (year) | Great Cover Version/Remake (year)

Cover Songs 1970s
1. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
The Undisputed Truth (1972) | The Temptations (1972)

2. Midnight Train to Georgia
Jim Weatherly (1972, "Midnight Plane to Houston") | Gladys Knight & the Pips (1973)

3. Me And Bobby McGee
Roger Miller (1969) | Janis Joplin (1971)

4. Black Magic Woman
Fleetwood Mac (1968) | Santana (1970)

5. Killing Me Softly with His Song
Lori Lieberman (1972) | Roberta Flack (1973)

6. War
The Temptations (1970) | Edwin Starr (1970)

7. Oye Como Va
Tito Puente (1963) | Santana (1970)

8. Drift Away
John Kurtz (1972) | Dobie Gray (1973)

9. Lady Marmalade
The Eleventh Hour (1974) | Labelle (1974)

10. Without You
Badfinger (1970) | Harry Nilsson (1971)

11. Burning Love
Arthur Alexander (1972) | Elvis Presley (1972)

12. Smiling Faces Sometimes
The Temptations (1971) | The Undisputed Truth (1971)

13. Cocaine
J. J. Cale (1976) | Eric Clapton (1977)

14. I Shot the Sheriff
Bob Marley (1973) | Eric Clapton (1974)

15. You're No Good
Dee Dee Warwick (1963) | Linda Ronstadt (1974)

16. You Really Got Me
Kinks (1964) | Van Halen (1978)

17. Video Killed the Radio Star
Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club (1979) | The Buggles (1979)

18. Blinded By The Light
Bruce Springsteen (1973) | Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1976)

19. Love Hurts
The Everly Brothers (1960) | Nazareth (1974)

20. You Are So Beautiful
Billy Preston (1974) | Joe Cocker (1974)

21. The Air That I Breathe
Albert Hammond (1972) | Hollies (1974)

22. Proud Mary
Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969) | Ike & Tina Turner (1970)

23. Mama Told Me Not to Come
Eric Burdon & the Animals (1967) | Three Dog Night (1970)

24. Don't Leave Me This Way
Harold Melvin and Blue Notes (1975) | Thelma Houston (1976)

25. You've Got A Friend
Carole King (1971) | James Taylor (1971)

26. Strawberry Letter 23
Shuggie Otis (1971) | The Brothers Johnson (1977)

27. Black Betty
Traditional | Ram Jam (1977)

28. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (1967) | Diana Ross (1970)

29. Woodstock
Joni Mitchell (1970) | Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)

30. One Step Beyond
Prince Buster (1964) | Madness (1979)

31. Knock on Wood
Eddie Floyd (1966) | Amii Stewart (1978)

32. Blame It On The Boogie
Mick Jackson (1977) | The Jacksons (1978)

33. A Message to You, Rudy
Dandy Livingstone (1967, "Rudy, A Message to You") | Specials (1979)

34. Never Can Say Goodbye
Jackson 5 (1971) | Gloria Gaynor (1974)

35. Wild Horses
The Flying Burrito Brothers (1970) | The Rolling Stones (1971)

36. Superstar
Delaney and Bonnie with Eric Clapton (1969, "Groupie (Superstar)" | The Carpenters (1971)

37. The Loco-Motion
Little Eva (1962) | Grand Funk Railroad (1974)

38. Rivers Of Babylon
The Melodians (1970) | Boney M (1978)

39. Take Me To The River
Al Green (1974) | Talking Heads (1978)

40. I Fought The Law
The Crickets (1961) | The Clash (1979)

41. Sailing
The Sutherland Brothers (1972) | Rod Stewart (1975)

42. Morning Has Broken
Traditional | Cat Stevens (1971)

43. The Wonder Of You
Ray Peterson (1959) | Elvis Presley (1970)

44. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
Bee Gees (1971) | Al Green (1972)

45. When the Levee Breaks
Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie (1929) | Led Zeppelin (1971)

46. Dancing in the Moonlight
Boffalongo (1969) | King Harvest (1972)

47. Whiskey In The Jar
Traditional | Thin Lizzy (1972)

48. Spanish Harlem
Ben E. King (1960) | Aretha Franklin (1971)

49. MacArthur Park
Richard Harris (1968) | Donna Summer (1978)

50. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Gladys Knight & the Pips (1967) | Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)

51. How Sweet It Is
Marvin Gaye (1964) | James Taylor (1975)

52. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Nina Simone (1964) | Santa Esmeralda (1977)

53. Gloria
Them (1964) | Patti Smith (1975)

54. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding
Nick Lowe (1974) | Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1978)

55. Hanging on the Telephone
The Nerves (1976) | Blondie (1978)

56. Denis
Randy & the Rainbows (1963, "Denise") | Blondie (1977)

57. Everlasting Love
Robert Knight (1967) | Carl Carlton (1974)

58. Don't Play That Song
Ben E. King (1962) | Aretha Franklin (1970)

59. After Midnight
J. J. Cale (1970) | Eric Clapton (1970)

60. Always On My Mind
Gwen McCrae (1972) | Elvis Presley (1972)

61. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Amos Milburn (1953, "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer") and John Lee Hooker (1966, "House Rent Boogie") | George Thorogood and the Destroyers (1977)

62. The First Cut Is the Deepest
P. P. Arnold (1967) | Rod Stewart (1976)

63. Blue Bayou
Roy Orbison (1963) | Linda Ronstadt (1977)

64. Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds
The Beatles (1967) | Elton John (1974)

65. Soul Man
Sam & Dave (1967) | The Blues Brothers (1978)

66. Shambala
B. W. Stevenson (1973) | Three Dog Night (1973)

67. I Hear You Knocking
Smiley Lewis (1955) | Dave Edmunds (1970)

68. Shout
The Isley Brothers (1959) | Otis Day & the Knights (1978)

69. She's Not There
Zombies (1964) | Santana (1977)

70. Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon and Garfunkel (1970) | Aretha Franklin (1971)

71. Statesboro Blues
Blind Willie McTell (1928) | Allman Brothers Band (1971)

72. Hot Rod Lincoln
Charlie Ryan and the Livingston Bros. (1955) | Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen (1971)

73. Hooked On A Feeling
B. J. Thomas (1968) | Blue Swede (1973)

74. Train Kept A Rollin'
Tiny Bradshaw (1951) | Aerosmith (1974)

75. Stay
Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs (1960) | Jackson Browne (1977, live)

76. City of New Orleans
Steve Goodman (1971) | Arlo Guthrie (1972)

77. America The Beautiful
Traditional | Ray Charles (1972)

78. Mr. Bojangles
Jerry Jeff Walker (1968) | Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1970)

79. Reason to Believe
Tim Hardin (1965) | Rod Stewart (1971)

80. You're Sixteen
Johnny Burnette (1960) | Ringo Starr (1973)

81. Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
Huey "Piano" Smith & His Clowns (1957) | Johnny Rivers (1972)

82. Jesus Is Just Alright
Art Reynolds Singers (1966) | Doobie Brothers (1972)

83. When Will I Be Loved
The Everly Brothers (1960) | Linda Ronstadt (1974)

84. Who Do You Love
Bo Diddley (1956) | George Thorogood and the Destroyers (1978)

85. Rock and Roll Heaven
Climax (1973) | Righteous Brothers (1974)

86. Come Together
The Beatles (1969) | Aerosmith (1978)

87. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Rolling Stones (1965) | Devo (1977)

88. Ça plane pour moi
Elton Motello (1977, "Jet Boy, Jet Girl") | Plastic Bertrand (1977)

89. Money (That's What I Want)
Barrett Strong (1959) | The Flying Lizards (1979)

90. Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
Moon Martin (1978) | Robert Palmer (1979)

91. Heaven Must Have Sent You
The Elgins (1966) | Bonnie Pointer (1978)

92. Handy Man
Jimmy Jones (1959) | James Taylor (1977)

93. Stand By Me
Ben E. King (1961) | John Lennon (1975)

94. (I Know) I'm Losing You
The Temptations (1966) | Rare Earth (1970)

95. Sorrow
The McCoys (1966) | David Bowie (1973)

96. Yes We Can Can
Lee Dorsey (1970, "Yes We Can") | The Pointer Sisters (1973)

97. Move It on Over
Hank Williams (1947) | George Thorogood and the Destroyers (1978)

98. Roll Over Beethoven
Chuck Berry (1956) | Electric Light Orchestra (1973)

99. I Can't Get Next to You
Temptations (1969) | Al Green (1970)

100. Summer Breeze
Seals and Crofts (1972) | The Isley Brothers (1973)




Last Updated: 2022-04-05
Newly added names are in Red

Definition: The term "cover version" originally referred to a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the recently released version of a song. Eventually it went on to have a more general meaning including any performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a previously recorded, commercially released song. For sake of this list, versions of songs which fit the newer definition of cover version but not the original one are referred to as remakes.