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Published on January 17th, 2014 | by Brent Chittenden


Top Ten Covers You May Not Have Heard

Every musician starts off playing someone else’s material. Well 99.9 % of them at any rate. And when they go on to more original, big bands and artists tend to keep a cover or two in their backpockets. Sometimes they become b-sides, sometimes their live concert treats and for all of the covers you might know, there are a bunch of covers that are awesome that you might not be so familiar with.

So with that it’s time for another round of Top Ten Covers You May Not Have Heard!

10) Machine Head – Hallowed Be Thy Name

Iron Maiden is a tricky one to cover in part due to Bruce Dickinson’s vocals. He’s a hard man to compete with. Machine Head managed to find a great mix of their style and range with everything that is awesome about Maiden.

9) Revolting Cocks – Public Image Limited

Revolting Cocks are probably best known for their cover of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” but I always liked their cover of PIL’s Public Image Limited.  I remember trying to find  this through “live imports” for two or three years.

8) Tegan & Sara – Time After Time

Tegan & Sara make for awesome covers (I’m a huge fan of their Dancing in the Dark cover) but the reason I really like this particular cover is that it’s fairly rough. It hasn’t been cleaned up or touched up much and that rawness kind of adds to it.

7) Robyn – Hyperballad

Ok, just hold on before you ask for my head. I really think Hyperballad is one of the crown jewels of Bjork’s recorded work. Up until a little while, I didn’t think anyone would be able to pull of a decent cover of it as I just identify the song too much with her. Little did I know that a pop songstress from Sweeden with a string quartet would do it justice.

6) Lisa Cuthbert – This Corrosion

6) Lambchop – This Corrosion

I had to include both of these. I love The Sisters of Mercy and Alan introduced me to this bluegrassy cover of This Corrosion by Lambchop. While looking for that particular cover I stumbled across the same song as done by Lisa Cuthbert that I had to share.

5) Jane’s Addiction – Sympathy for the Devil

I heard this once on the radio and then never again. Jane’s Addiction did a really great take on this Stone’s classic for the soundtrack of Sons of Anarchy. I ahve no idea why rock radio didn’t run with this.

4) Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band – Heart of Gold

Bradley and his band do an amazing cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” but what’s even better is their smokin’ rendition of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold. Just amazing.

3) A Perfect Circle – Diary of A Love Song

A great live mashup of Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman and The Cure’s Lovesong, A Perfect Circle first started playing this way back in 2000 during their first tour. You can now get it as part of their limited edition. live box set or on itunes.

2) Willie Nelson – The Scientist

I remember when this came out (a restaurant chain sponsored it as part of a campaign of some sort) and there was a bit of buzz surrounding it and then it kind of dissappeared. Featured on Willie’s album Heroes, Nelson’s voice just adds to one of Coldplay’s best tunes, giving it a sound of wisdom beyond it’s years.

1) Superhumanoids – March of the Pigs

A really well done and fresh take on the crunching of Nine Inch Nails. Here’ it’s almost a pop song.

Now it’s your turn. I love finding out about new covers (I try to do a completely different list like this once or twice a year) so if you will kindly post some that you don’t think a lot of folks know about, down in the comments section, it’d be appreciated.


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About the Author

Brent Chittenden is a freelance writer with a gift for the geek. Currently a writer with A Journal Of Musical Things and a podcaster with True North Nerds, he's also written for Comic Book Daily, Explore Music and a dozen other places. Currently, he is the co-host of the True North Nerds podcast. You can find out more at

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10 Responses to Top Ten Covers You May Not Have Heard

  1. My favourite obscure cover is Bran Van 3000’s take on Quiet Riot’s “Cum on Feel the Noise”. They tackle it mostly with a cutesy folk style before everything melts down into a fury of industrial drum ‘n bass.

  2. Billigerous says:

    love emmor hate em…
    Utah Saints doing Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream (’81, ’82, ’83, ’84)

  3. Jay says:

    Stumbled across this Madonna meets metal cover of “Frozen” last week.

  4. yerg says:

    i used to write musically-themed notes on a certain social networking site, and cover songs was one topic i tackled; it’s an extensive list. don’t know if it’ll actually work, but here’s a link:

  5. yerg says:

    i used to write musically-themed notes on a certain social networking site on a semi-regular basis. cover songs was a theme i tackled on one occasion; the list got long and out of control. i’m not sure it will actually work, but here is the link for your perusal:

  6. RoscoePoscoe says:

    My favorite cover is “Stand by Me” by Pennywise

  7. Kyle Kay says:

    Toronto band The Darcys covered the entire Steely Dan album Aja. Not an easy task given the complexity of that album, but I can say honestly that I like the cover better than the original. They are talented guys.

  8. AJ says:

    Zombie Eaters by Ill Nino

  9. anon says:

    Lost In The Supermarket (Clash) by Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra. A Balkan men’s choir and brass band doing what sounds like a completely phonetic interpretation.

    Black Dog (Led Zeppelin) by Lana Rebel. A country/folk version.

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