Greatest Cover Songs and Remakes


Criteria: These cover songs/remakes 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 have 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 and Remakes
1. Respect
Otis Redding (1965) | Aretha Franklin (1967)

2. Rock Around the Clock
Sonny Dae and His Knights (1954) | Bill Haley & His Comets (1954)

3. Louie Louie
Richard Berry (1957) | The Kingsmen (1963)

4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Gladys Knight & the Pips (1967) | Marvin Gaye (1968)

5. Hound Dog
Big Mama Thornton (1953) | Elvis Presley (1956)

6. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Big Maybelle (1955) | Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

7. All Along The Watchtower
Bob Dylan (1967) | Jimi Hendrix (1968)

8. Mr. Tambourine Man
Bob Dylan (1965) | The Byrds (1965)

9. Good Rocking Tonight
Roy Brown (1947) | Wynonie Harris (1948)

10. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
The Undisputed Truth (1972) | The Temptations (1972)

11. The House of the Rising Sun
Traditional | The Animals (1964)

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

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

14. Somebody To Love
The Great Society (1966) | Jefferson Airplane (1967)

15. Twist And Shout
Top Notes (1961) | The Beatles (1963)

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

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

18. I Only Have Eyes for You
Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler (1934) | The Flamingos (1959)

19. Nothing Compares to U
The Family (1985) | Sinead O'Connor (1990)

20. Blueberry Hill
Sammy Kaye with Tommy Ryan (1940) | Fats Domino (1956)

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

22. Georgia on My Mind
Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra (1930) | Ray Charles (1960)

23. Dazed and Confused
Jake Holmes (1967) | Led Zeppelin (1969)

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

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

26. All Shook Up
David Hill (1956, "I'm All Shook Up") | Elvis Presley (1956)

27. Wild Thing
Wild Ones (1965) | The Troggs (1966)

28. That's All Right
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (1947) | Elvis Presley (1954)

29. Surfin' U.S.A.
Chuck Berry (1958, "Sweet Little Sixteen") | The Beach Boys (1963)

30. I Got You (I Feel Good)
Yvonne Fair & James Brown Band (1962, "I Found You") | James Brown (1965)

31. The Twist
Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1959) | Chubby Checker (1960)

32. The Train Kept-A-Rollin
Tiny Bradshaw (1951) | The Johnny Burnette Trio (1956)

33. Mystery Train
Little Junior's Blue Flames (1953) | Elvis Presley (1955)

34. La Bamba
Traditional | Ritchie Valens (1958)

35. At Last
Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (1941) | Etta James (1960)

36. Killing Me Softly with His Song
Lori Lieberman (1972) | Fugees (1996)

37. I Can't Stop Loving You
Don Gibson (1957) | Ray Charles (1962)

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

39. Kansas City
Little Willie Littlefield (1952) | Wilbert Harrison (1959)

40. Unchained Melody
Todd Duncan (1955) | The Righteous Brothers (1965)

41. Crying in the Chapel
Darrell Glenn (1953) | The Orioles (1953)

42. Turn, Turn, Turn
The Limeliters (1962, "To Everything There Is a Season") | The Byrds (1966)

43. Try A Little Tenderness
Ray Noble and His Orchestra (1932) | Otis Redding (1966)

44. Suspicious Minds
Mark James (1968) | Elvis Presley (1969)

45. Torn
Lis Sørensen (1993, "Brændt") | Natalie Imbruglia (1995)

46. Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen (1985) | Jeff Buckley (1994)

47. White Christmas
Bing Crosby (1942) | The Drifters (1954)

48. Keep a Knockin'
Louis Jordan (1941) | Little Richard (1957)

49. Hurt
Nine Inch Nails (1995) | Johnny Cash (2003)

50. Shake Rattle & Roll
Big Joe Tuner (1954) | Bill Haley & the Comets (1954)

51. My Back Pages
Bob Dylan (1964) | The Byrds (1967)

52. I Fought The Law
The Crickets (1960) | The Bobby Fuller Four (1965)

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

54. Evil Ways
Willie Bobo (1967) | Santana (1969)

55. Mustang Sally
Sir Mack Rice (1965) | Wilson Pickett (1966)

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

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

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

59. La Bamba
Ritchie Valens (1958) | Los Lobos (1987)

60. I Will Always Love You
Dolly Parton (1974) | Whitney Houston (1992)

61. Hard To Handle
Otis Redding (1968) | The Black Crowes (1990)

62. C.C. Rider
Ma Rainey (1925, "See See Rider Blues") | Chuck Willis (1957)

63. Little Darlin'
The Gladiolas (1957) | The Diamonds (1957)

64. Blue Monday
Smiley Lewis (1954) | Fats Domino (1956)

65. Stagger Lee
Traditional | Lloyd Price (1958)

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

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

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

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

70. Baby Let's Play House
Arthur Gunter (1954) | Elvis Presley (1955)

71. Change the World
Wynonna Judd (1996) | Eric Clapton (1996)

72. Do Wah Diddy Diddy
The Exciters (1963, "Do-Wah-Diddy") | Manfred Mann (1964)

73. Hanky Panky
The Raindrops (1963) | Tommy James & the Shondells (1964)

74. My Prayer
Georges Boulanger (1924, "Avant de mourir") | The Platters (1956)

75. Blue Suede Shoes
Carl Perkins (1955) | Elvis Presley (1956)

76. Drown In My Own Tears
Sonny Thompson with Lula Reed (1952, "I'll Drown In My Tears") | Ray Charles (1956)

77. See You Later, Alligator
Bobby Charles (1955, "Later Alligator") | Bill Haley & His Comets (1955)

78. One Night
Smiley Lewis (1956) | Elvis Presley (1958)

79. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Gertrude Niesen (1933) | The Platters (1958)

80. Devil With A Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly
Little Richard (1957, "Good Golly Miss Molly") and Shorty Long (1964, "Devil with the Blue Dress") | Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels (1966)

81. Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)
Dick Holler & the Holidays (1964) | The Swingin' Medallions (1966)

82. Piece Of My Heart
Erma Franklin (1967) | Big Brother & Holding Company (1968)

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

84. Hang On Sloopy
The Vibrations (1964, "My Girl Sloopy") | The McCoys (1965)

85. On Broadway
The Crystals (1963) | The Drifters (1963)

86. Last Kiss
Wayne Cochran (1961) | Pearl Jam (1999)

87. The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)
Merry Clayton (1963) | Cher (1990)

88. Night Time (Is The Right Time)
Nappy Brown (1957, "The Right Time" ) | Ray Charles (1958)

89. Good Rocking Tonight
Roy Brown (1947) | Elvis Presley (1954)

90. Needles and Pins
Jackie DeShannon (1963) | The Searchers (1964)

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

92. Memphis
Chuck Berry (1959, "Memphis, Tennessee") | Johnny Rivers (1964)

93. Stranded In The Jungle
Jayhawks (1956) | Cadets (1956)

94. Hearts of Stone
The Jewels (1954) | The Charms (1954)

95. Dedicated To The One I Love
"5" Royales (1957) | The Shirelles (1959)

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

97. You Keep Me Hangin' On
Supremes (1966) | Vanilla Fudge (1967)

98. Get Together
The Kingston Trio (1964, "Let's Get Together") | The Youngbloods (1967)

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

100. Hello Mary Lou
Johnny Duncan (1960) | Ricky Nelson (1961)




Last Updated: 2022-05-15

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.