Greatest Cover Songs and Remakes of the 1980s


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

  1. Walk This Way - Aerosmith (1975) | Run-D.M.C. (1986)

  2. I Love Rock 'N' Roll - Arrows (1975) | Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (1982)

  3. Tainted Love - Gloria Jones (1964) | Soft Cell (1981)

  4. I Feel for You - Prince (1979) | Chaka Khan (1984)

  5. La Bamba - Traditional | Los Lobos (1987)

  6. Every Time You Go Away - Daryl Hall and John Oates (1980, "Everytime You Go Away") | Paul Young (1985)

  7. The Greatest Love of All - George Benson (1977) | Whitney Houston (1985)

  8. That's What Friends Are For - Rod Stewart (1982) | Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder (1985)

  9. Bette Davis Eyes - Jackie DeShannon (1975) | Kim Carnes (1981)

10. Mony Mony - Tommy James (1968) | Billy Idol (1987, live)

11. The Tide is High - The Paragons (1966) | Blondie (1980)

12. Gloria - Umberto Tozzi (1979) | Laura Branigan (1982)

13. Venus - Shocking Blue (1969) | Bananarama (1986)

14. If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin & Blue Notes (1972) | Simply Red (1989)

15. Red Red Wine - Neil Diamond (1968) | UB40 (1984)

16. Mickey - Racey (1979, as "Kitty") | Toni Basil (1980)

17. Lean on Me - Bill Withers (1972 ) | Club Nouveau (1986)

18. Alone - i-Ten (1983) | Heart (1987)

19. I Didn't Mean to Turn You On - Cherrelle (1984) | Robert Palmer (1985)

20. Always Something There to Remind Me - Lou Johnson (1964) | Naked Eyes (1983)

21. Harlem Shuffle - Bob & Earl (1963) | Rolling Stones (1986)

22. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley - Peter Frampton ("Baby, I Love Your Way", 1975) and Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Free Bird", 1973) | Will To Power (1988)

23. I Want Candy - The Strangeloves (1965) | Bow Wow Wow (1982)

24. You Keep Me Hangin' On - The Supremes (1966) | Kim Wilde (1986)

25. Puttin' On The Ritz - Leo Reisman and His Orchestra (1930) | Taco (1982)

26. Always On My Mind - Brenda Lee (1971) | Pet Shop Boys (1987)

27. China Girl - Iggy Pop (1977) | David Bowie (1983)

28. I'm Free - Rolling Stones (1965) | Soup Dragons (1989)

29. Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto (1961) | A Taste of Honey (1980)

30. Obsession - Holly Knight & Michael Des Barres (1983) | Animotion (1984)

31. Got My Mind Set on You - James Ray (1962, "I've Got My Mind Set On You" | George Harrison (1987)

32. Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder (1973) | Red Hot Chili Peppers (1989)

33. A Groovy Kind of Love - The Mindbenders (1965) | Phil Collins (1988)

34. Cum On Feel The Noize - Slade (1973) | Quiet Riot (1983)

35. Self Control - Raf (1984) | Laura Branigan (1984)

36. It Must Be Love - Labi Siffre (1971) | Madness (1981)

37. Don't Leave Me This Way - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (1975) | Communards (1986)

38. Everlasting Love - Robert Knight (1967) | Howard Jones (1989)

39. Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini (1959) | Art of Noise & Duane Eddy (1986)

40. How Am I Supposed to Live Without You - Laura Branigan (1983) | Michael Bolton (1989)

41. Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon and Garfunkel (1966) | Bangles (1986)

42. Sea of Love - Phil Phillips (1959) | The Honeydrippers (1984)

43. California Girls - The Beach Boys (1965) | David Lee Roth (1985)

44. Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles (1961) | Joe Cocker (1987)

45. I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James (1967) | Tiffany (1987)

46. Shipbuilding - Robert Wyatt (1982) | Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1983)

47. Caravan of Love - Isley-Jasper-Isley (1985) | The Housemartins (1986)

48. I Heard It Through the Grapevine Part I - Gladys Knight and the Pips (1967) | Roger (1980)

49. Angel of the Morning - Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts (1968) | Juice Newton (1981)

50. You Can Leave Your Hat On - Randy Newman (1972) | Joe Cocker (1985)

51. You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes (1966) | Phil Collins (1982)

52. Jealous Guy - John Lennon (1971) | Roxy Music (1981)

53. Dirty Old Town - Ewan MacColl (1952) | Pogues (1985)

54. Dancing in the Street - Martha and the Vandellas (1964) | David Bowie & Mick Jagger (1985)

55. I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher (1965) | UB40 with Chrissie Hynde (1985)

56. Money's Too Tight (to Mention) - The Valentine Brothers (1982) | Simply Red (1985)

57. Love of the Common People - The Four Preps (1967) | Paul Young (1982)

58. Real Wild Child - Johnny O'Keefe (1958, as "Wild One") | Iggy Pop (1986)

59. I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down - Sam & Dave (1967) | Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1980)

60. Song to the Siren - Tim Buckley (1970) | This Mortal Coil (1983)

61. They Don't Know - Kirsty MacColl (1979) | Tracey Ullman (1983)

62. Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells (1968) | Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (1981)

63. Sweet Jane - Velvet Underground (1970) | Cowboy Junkies (1988)

64. Come Back and Stay - Jack Lee (1981) | Paul Young (1983)

65. Queen of Hearts - Dave Edmunds (1979) | Juice Newton (1981)

66. Let's Stay Together - Al Green (1971) | Tina Turner (1983)

67. Wild World - Cat Stevens (1970) | Maxi Priest (1988)

68. Money Changes Everything - Brains (1978) | Cyndi Lauper (1983)

69. Downtown Train - Tom Waits (1985) | Rod Stewart (1989)

70. State of Independence - Jon and Vangelis (1981) | Donna Summer (1982)

71. Dear Prudence - Beatles (1968) | Siouxsie and the Banshees (1983)

72. A New England - Billy Bragg (1983) | Kirsty MacColl (1984)

73. Smokin' In The Boys Room - Brownsville Station (1974) | Motley Crue (1985)

74. In the Army Now - Boland & Boland (1981) | Status Quo (1986)

75. Love Buzz - Shocking Blue (1969) | Nirvana (1988)

76. Police on My Back - The Equals (1968) | The Clash (1980)

77. Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison (1964) | Van Halen (1982)

78. Wherever I Lay My Hat - Marvin Gaye (1962) | Paul Young (1983)

79. Iko Iko - Sugar Boy and His Cane Cutters (1953, as "Jock-A-Mo") | The Belle Stars (1982)

80. Something's Gotten A Hold of My Heart - Gene Pitney (1967) | Marc Almond and Gene Pitney (1989)

81. Shadows of the Night - Helen Schneider (1981) | Pat Benatar (1982)

82. All Fired Up - Rattling Sabres (1987) | Pat Benatar (1988)

83. Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Go's (1981) | Fun Boy Three (1983)

84. Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum (1969) | Doctor and the Medics (1986)

85. Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody - Standard | David Lee Roth (1985)

86. Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie (1972) | Bauhaus (1982)

87. I've Done Everything for You - Sammy Hagar (1978) | Rick Springfield (1981)

88. Kiss - Prince (1985) | Art of Noise feat. Tom Jones (1988)

89. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Righteous Brothers (1964) | Daryl Hall and John Oates (1980)

90. You Better Run - The Young Rascals (1966) | Pat Benatar (1980)

91. Pink Cadillac - Bruce Springsteen (1984) | Natalie Cole (1988)

92. Superman - The Clique (1969) | R.E.M. (1986)

93. Suspicious Minds - Mark James (1968) | Fine Young Cannibals (1985)

94. Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley (1956) | Cheap Trick (1988)

95. Can't Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams (1963) | The (English) Beat (1980)

96. Thing Called Love - John Hiatt (1987) | Bonnie Raitt (1989)

97. Eight Miles High - Byrds (1966) | Hüsker Dü (1984)

98. Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) - Van Morrison (1972) | Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)

99. Going Down to Liverpool - Katrina & The Waves (1982) | The Bangles (1984)

100. Please Don't Touch - Johnny Kidd & the Pirates (1959) | Headgirl (1980)



Last Updated: 2019-01-21

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.

Criteria: These cover songs/remakes of the 1980s 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.