Sometimes we come across a song that etches itself in our hearts forever. On most occasions, we get to hear such songs while watching a TV show, a movie, or even a commercial. We tend to catch up on the tune immediately and continue to hum it. Then one fine day we decide to look upon the internet, the singer or the composer of the song and there! – It is revealed to us that the song we have been liking for so long is actually a cover.
A cover song is basically a renewed rendition of a song, mostly classics, which had made their mark quite a few years ago. Cover songs are often celebrated for their uniqueness while preserving the spirit of originality in them. While it is a humongous task to shortlist a few songs amongst many such renditions, the following 5 have been some of the most remarkable song covers of all time.
Hallelujah! (Jeff Buckley)
Listen to his mesmerizing vocals here
This Leonard Cohen original score achieved new heights when a young Jeff Buckley lent his vocals to it. Maintaining the deep-rooted sentiment of the original song, Buckley’s voice eradicates the hoarseness of Cohen’s successfully. Jeff Buckley’s rendition can be considered a romanticized version of the original, making it one of the most critically acclaimed cover songs of all time.
Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana)
Kurt Cobain in the 1991 MTV Unplugged sang live “The Man Who Sold the World“
Yes, this is a surprise, isn’t it? How can this song be anyone else’s apart from Nirvanas? But a little bit of research would reveal that this Nirvana classic was originally sung by David Bowie for his album of the same name. It is probably one of those few songs which outdid the original in all aspects. From the guitar riff at the beginning and the end to the hazed vocals of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, this song is often attributed as being an original Nirvana composition.
I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
Another shocking entry to this list, this song is unanimously associated with the glorious career of the legend – Whitney Houston. But did we know that this song too was originally composed and sung by someone else? I Will Always Love You was recorded and released originally by Country legend Dolly Parton as a farewell song to her then deceased manager. Whitney irrevocably took to the song to greater heights with her own rendition for the film Bodyguard about two decades later.
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Landslide (The Bush)
Stevie Nicks with her band Fleetwood Mac broke into the 80s pop-rock scene with this song. Landslide soared in the music charts and is still performed by the band in their reunion concerts. However, cut to 2011, an indie rock band from London produced one of the most endearing and popular renditions of this song. It was soon enlisted in charts worldwide and became eponymous with the Bush! It even helped shed considerable light on the Fleetwood Mac original and introduced a whole new generation of people to this musical gem.
Killing Me Softly With His Song (Lauryn Hill)
Lauryn Hill made this song her own! There are no two ways the fact that this cover by the artist outdid the prowess of legendary vocalists Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, in terms of quality. You can go up to anyone today asking who the original songwriter/singer for this song is, and most would answer – Lauryn Hill. Such has been the impact of this version of the cult classic.
Did you know that French Film-maker Leo Carax used Sting’s version of “Shape of My Heart” for his 1994 hit film, “Leon: The Professional”? It tells us that sometimes the appeal of certain cover songs is universal and not limited to specific language speakers only.
Have you ever come across a familiar song and later traced it back to a movie you watched? For your information, there are many more such musical gems that found their popularity after being featured in a film.
So what are you waiting for? Hop onto the comments section and let us know if you have more such examples in your mind!