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Five Highly Rated Cover Albums

Cover albums can be hit or miss. Some of them are really well done. Others fall short of fans’ expectations. Here are five rated highly by the critics.

1) Rise Above – Dirty Projectors

Band leader Dave Longstreth had not heard Black Flag’s Damaged in about 15 years when he decided to create his own reinterpretation. The indie band reworked the hardcore tracks into art rock songs. Rise Above was given high ratings on Tiny Mix Tapes, AllMusic, and Pitchfork, among other critic sites.

2) Covers Record – Cat Powers

After her successful fourth album, Cat Powers decided to release an album of cover songs. One reason behind this was that she felt more comfortable playing covers than her own music. It was given high ratings by Rolling Stone, Mojo, and NME.

3) Strange Little Girls – Tori Amos

This album was released as a concept cover album. All of the songs were originally performed by men. Amos reinterpreted her chosen songs from a female perspective. The single from the album, “Strange Little Girls”, gave Amos two Grammy nominations.

4) Kicking Against the Pricks – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

First released in 1986 and then remastered and reissued in 2009, the band decided to release an album of cover songs. It was given favourable ratings by Allmusic and Pitchfork.

5) Renegades – Rage Against the Machine

Released as the band’s final studio album in 2000, Renegades reached platinum status just over a month after it was released. At the time of release, Zack de la Rocha had already left the band, but the album did feature his vocals. It was highly rated by Allmusic, Entertainment Weekly, NME, and Rolling Stone.

There are plenty more highly rated cover albums out there. If there’s one you particularly enjoy, feel free to leave a comment!

3 thoughts on “Five Highly Rated Cover Albums

  • My favourite cover album, as of late, is Stuff Like That There by Yo La Tengo. Great album from a band that has a history of doing interesting arrangements of other people’s songs.

  • Karl Blau – Introducing Karl Blau

    This is the highly acclaimed brand new (May) indie record (on Laura Veirs’ Raven Marching Band label), produced by Tucker Martine.
    All country/folk covers of a range of songs including Bee Gees To Love Somebody, a great 9 minute version of Link Wray’s Fallin’ Rain, and the excellent That’s How I Got To Memphis (Tom t Hall).

    This record will be on a lot of Best Of 2016 lists.

    Luther Wright and the Wrongs did a complete banjo/bluegrass cover album of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in 2001 called Rebuild The Wall.

  • So far behind on my RSS feeds, but may I submit Marsheaux’s cover of A Broken Frame by Depeche Mode.


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