Best Cover Song Ever?

The Dish staff provides a lot of great fodder for the popular reader thread. Dish editor Matt writes:

What do you get when a country legend hits the studio with an aging punk star to record a Bob Marley song? You get this version of “Redemption Song” by Johnny Cash and The Clash’s Joe Strummer, found on the former’s posthumously-released collection of rarities, alternative takes, and covers, Unearthed:

While not as famous as Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” I’ve always loved this recording’s spiritual power, made all the more striking by the fact that both men would be dead by the time the world would hear it. It’s also a fitting song for these low-down times, a kind of protest song marked by Marley’s prophetic religion – and who better to sing about deliverance by “the hand of the Almighty” than a man with the voice of God?

Dish editor Tracy writes:

I nominate Cibo Matto’s very ’90s bossa nova cover of Nirvana’s “About A Girl” and the Talking Heads’ classic cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River”:

Dish editor Chas, a former DJ, writes:

If we’re going to talk about great cover songs, then we have to talk about jazz trio The Bad Plus. They include at least one cover on every album, using brilliant arrangements that are often distant departures from the source material. Notable examples include Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, Rush’s Tom Sawyer and Blondie’s Heart of Glass, but my favorite is their version of Vangelis’ Chariots Of Fire Theme (and I don’t even like the original song):

And while we’re on jazz, be sure to check out Brad Mehldau’s freakin’ incredible cover of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android.

Also, on the off chance anyone hasn’t mentioned it yet, this really popular podcast only plays covers and the few times I’ve listened to it I’ve been pretty impressed.

Here’s Dishtern Phoebe:

I nominate Rufus Wainwright covering “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen:

Wainwright and Cohen are now family, which is part of what makes the cover special, but it’s also a great song and cover. And Wainwright’s sparkly shirt in the video, also great.

And from Dish staffer Brian, a talented banjo player who performs around Brooklyn:

The overwhelming support for Jimi’s version of All Along the Watchtower provides an opportunity to point out that Hendrix had some of his own work reinvented in the bluegrass world. While we’ll never see the likes of Hendrix again, it could be argued that Jerry Douglas has done for the dobro what Jimi did for the Stratocaster:

Tony Rice’s cover of Norman Blake’s Church Street Blues speaks for itself. It’s probably my favorite thing on the internet, aside from the Dish:

And while we’re on the subject of bluegrass guitar covers, here’s Doc Watson shredding House of the Rising Sun:

Dish editor Jonah writes:

The piano reduction was the original cover song. It’s how Franz Liszt, the greatest pop star of the 19th century, covered Beethoven’s symphonies, and it’s how this anonymous YouTuber covers Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”:

I stumbled across this video while searching for the better-known rendition by jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, but found that in some ways, I liked this one better. It’s a shorter, more approachable spin on Mehldau’s interpretation, albeit not quite as polished, and adds some flourishes that classical piano fans will appreciate. Plus, the bird’s eye view of the hands is a great way to watch a talented pianist in action.

Dish editor Jessie offers several great ones:

Ok, not exactly deep cuts here, but surprised no one’s mentioned: Tina & Ike covering CCR’s “Proud Mary”, Otis Redding covering the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction”, Devo doing the same, Aretha Franklin covering Otis Redding’s “Respect”:

… more Aretha Franklin covering “The Weight” by The Band, and Marvin Gaye covering Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” And this guy:

And lastly, Dish editor Chris writes:

I’ve been responsible for curating the cover thread, so many of my own favorites are already mentioned. (And you can blame me for the bias towards Girl Talk and Cartman – though the Christopher Walken twist is even better.) But one great cover that I haven’t seen among the thousands of emails is Antony Hegarty’s tribute to Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will”:

I first heard that song in the Film Forum premiere of the Leonard Cohen documentary, I’m Your Man, whose soundtrack is a font of great covers, including the Wainwright one Phoebe mentions above. (Teddy Thompson’s take on “Tonight Will Be Fine” is another.) But circling back to Antony, if the goal is to jump genres, don’t miss his warbling rendition of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”: