8 Essential Covers

Daniel Johns (of Silverchair) – Smells Like Teen Spirit
[Original artist: Nirvana]

A song that’s been overplayed and covered over and over and over. But in this I find myself back in my childhood during a summer rain. I think it’s the harp, the journey of the piano, and the slight snark of Johns’ voice. It takes the song into a whole new dimension.


Fiona Apple – Across The Universe
[Original artist: The Beatles]

If the Beatles couldn’t get it right, having released 3 separate versions of the song, than Fiona did, releasing one epic version with a video to compliment. I put this song on in the midst of chaos to remind myself who’s really in control. It’s in the beauty of her voice coupled with the sic drum breakdowns.


Bastille – We Can’t Stop
[Original artist: Miley Cyrus]

From the homage to Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’, to the guitar lick of ‘Hakuna Matata’ to a random throw in of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ to the actual song itself…this is one of the best cover versions of any song…ever.


Jamie Cullum – Don’t Stop The Music
[Original artist: Rihanna]

It’s hard to really pick ONE of Cullum’s covers. They’re all ace (Pharrell’s ‘Frontin’, ‘God Only Knows’ on violins, ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ jazzed out, Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry’ on piano). But it’s the cover of Rihanna’s hit that gets me every single time. It’s an absolutely flawless recording.


Nostalgia 77 (Grant Phabao Remix) – Seven Nation Army
[Original artist: The White Stripes]

A cover song that’s been remixed?! Yup. And it fucking pumps. It’s all in Alice Russell’s voice coupled with the reggae push/pull of the keys/guitars. So much power. So much energy. So much vibe.


The Wallflowers – Heroes
[Original artist: David Bowie]

Let’s be honest…Bowie’s version was never that good to begin with. The 90s happened, so did Jakob Dylan’s sexy cool voice and so did Oasis. Put them together, throw them into a blockbuster film, and you got gold. #throwback


Cake – I Will Survive
[Original artist: Gloria Gaynor]

Cake has always been good at sounding…different. And being slightly humourous/satirical (no wonder MTV’s Daria adopted them on every episode). So what are they to do but cover Gloria Gaynor, throw in the ‘f’ word, and make a video about the parking authority. #genius


Foo Fighters – Baker Street
[Original artist: Gerry Rafferty]

Gerry Rafferty may have written a dope song back in the 70s but the Foo really claimed it as their own. When I first heard this on the radio I flipped my shit, not realizing it was a cover. I thought it was one of the coolest catchiest riffs around. And I still feel that way today. Rock on Baker Street…



Mark Ronson – Just
[Original artist: Radiohead]

Sure, everybody knows Radiohead and everyone knows Phantom Planet and everyone knows Mark Ronson these days. But did you ever think they’d all work together so well? Look, no version of any Radiohead song will ever trump their own, but this one comes so damn close. Funky Fresh. Kudos to them remaking the entire video as well. Well done guys.