Cover songs are often a matter of dispute among music fans. Some listeners despise them, constantly craving original material, particularly from their favorite artists, others love them seeking them out especially. There are even a number of online sites out there that deal exclusively with cover songs.
Such opposite views on cover songs may lie in the fact that there are essentially two main groups of covers. One group is those that stick strictly to the original (with quite a varying level of quality). The other group is those that go for a different look at the original (again, with the quality going in both directions).
The key factor there, though, might be one thing. That is whether the artist(s) doing the cover has/have nailed the essence of the song and what the original artist intended, offering, at the same time, another, different look at the song itself.
Nine covers that were better than the original
With millions of cover songs out there, and so many of those truly hitting the mark, here are eight that match the quality of the original or even surpass it.
The Byrds - "My Back Pages"
It turned out that along with some incredible originals that they created during their career, The Byrds were masters at covering Bob Dylan. While their brilliant cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was actually the song that broke them into rock mainstream, it was this version of Dylan’s "My Back Pages" that tops their cover cake.
They even picked a line from the lyrics as the title of one of their best albums. The version actually updates the folky original in a manner that saw Dylan move from acoustic to electric.