Top Ten Covers (You Might Not Have Heard)

By Brent Chittenden

I think every music fan has a cover or two that they love and I’m no exception. But for every cover everyone knows, there are a few that escape notice. B sides to Japanese singles, songs for tribute albums, hidden tracks. These covers might not be as well known as others but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. This is a list of those not so well known covers, our Top Ten Covers (you might not have heard)!

10) Nick Cave – Mack The Knife

Taken from the documentary September Songs, the producers got the perfect guy to cover this song from the Three Penny Opera.

9) Jeff Healey Band – Confidence man

The Jeff Healy Band had a lot of luck with covers, especially those from John Hiatt but this one in particular has always caught my ear.

8) Matthew Sweet – Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

This comes from an album made up in entirely of Saturday morning cartoon themes including Spider-Man by The Ramones but Sweet’s version of Scooby Doo is equally as awesome.

7) Santa Esmeralda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Best known due to The Animals, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood has undergone many variations but this disco/flamenco cover (most recently featured in Kill Bill) from Santa Esmerelda is just perfect.

6) Lenny Kravitz – Deuce

I’m not a huge Kiss fan but I absolutely love this cover with the special harmonica assist from Stevie Wonder. Already a solid rocker, this just kind of funks things up a bit.

5) KMFDM – Material Girl

It’s a German based industrial group covering Madonna. What more do you need?

4) Nine Inch Nails – Metal

Tucked away on the NIN remix album, Things Falling Apart, is this really nice atmospheric cover of Gary Numan’s Metal. Not a note for note cover of the song but feels like the original with a twist.

3) Danzig – Trouble

I’m always amazed at the fact that for all of the Elvis mentions and comparisons, no one has ever mentioned the fact that Glen and his band have actually covered the king in this bluesy metal version. On a side note, probably the best stripper song that no stripper knows about.

2) Snow Patrol – Crazy In Love

A great cover from this Scottish group that turns up the rock and surprsingly keeps the rap in.

1) Sonic Youth – Superstar

This incredibly well done cover is equal parts Sonic Youth and The Carpenters. Taken from the tribute album If I Was A Carpenter, what’s not as well know is the song isn’t actually a Carpenters tune, it was originally written and performed by Delaney and Bonnie and was covered by Bette Midler and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dog’s and Englishman revue.

So dear readers, what cover songs does the world need to know about? I would love to redo this list again with a whole new line up so please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below! 


Brent Chittenden

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

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Covers (You Might Not Have Heard)

  • April 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I am sitting here at work bummed out about missing Grinderman and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Coachella. Thanks for this post. Cheered me up!!!!

  • April 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    The Sonic Youth cover of Superstar reveals the depressed and tortured soul of Karen Carpenter. Hard to believe it's not a Caprenter original – it suits them so well. It's my all-time favourite cover and The Carpenters are my all-time favourite musical guilty pleasure.

    Thanks for the Deuce cover – great harmonica from Stevie Wonder.


  • April 14, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    The Revolting Cocks cover of Rod Stewart's "Do ya think I'm sexy" is absolutely brilliant. Great, dark groove and hysterically funny. Probably my favourite cover of all time.


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