Under-the-Radar Cover Songs

I’m a sucker for a good cover song: one that (in its way) captures the essence of the original but (maybe more importantly) does something unique with it.

What are some of your favorite (underrated or) under-the-radar covers?

I have a few that I could list, but I’ll just leave it at...

Lissie (covering Hank Williams) - “Wedding Bells”

https://youtu.be/fwhUKjOLmfM
tom_gTravis
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Comments

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Cake’s version of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town. 

    Also Cake’s version of Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. 

    Cake does great covers. 
    JoshuaHetertom_gJoshTheBlackTravis
  • There's a song on the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds album called "I Know There's An Answer".  That song is a revision of a song that they originally wrote called "Hang On To Your Ego" that was never released (until more recently on one of the anniversary re-issues of Pet Sounds).  Frank Black did a cover of the original version of the song and completely made it his own...

    Beach Boys - I Know There's an Answer


    Beach Boys - Hang On To Your Ego


    Frank Black - Hang On To Your Ego

    JoshuaHeterChinaskiTravis
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    JoshuaHeter
  • Dee said:
    Cake’s version of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town. 

    Also Cake’s version of Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. 

    Cake does great covers. 
    I always liked the Cake take on 'I will survive".
    JoshuaHeterDee
  • I am an unapologetic Springsteen nut, so, I'm gonna thrown in his cover of the Dylan song 'Chimes of Freedom".
    JoshuaHeterCretanBull
  • Yall keep making me show my age.

    Another one - Gordon Lightfoot, Me & Bobby McGee
    JoshuaHeter
  • calebthrowercalebthrower South Carolina
    I'm a big pop punk fan so most of my covers are in that genre. There is a independent musician that covers song in the Blink-182 style and he's awesome. Below is his cover of "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind


    JoshuaHeterbizmarkiefaderDashEngineChinaski
  • tom_g said:
    I am an unapologetic Springsteen nut, so, I'm gonna thrown in his cover of the Dylan song 'Chimes of Freedom".
    I'm a huge fan too.  My friend Lee has a podcast called "Tramps Like Us: A Bruce Springsteen podcast", you can find it on iTunes etc.  it's well worth checking out :)
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    edited November 9
    Amazing cover - Jazz and the 90's "Creep" - and honestly every song on the album
    https://youtu.be/55yO-hfERrY


    And may I go one step further.

    Worst covers:
     
    DeeJoshuaHeterTravis
  • podcartfanpodcartfan Cincinnati
    A few of my favorites.  Murder by Death's cover of Here's Looking At You Kid by the Gaslight Anthem, Sturgill Simpson's cover of The Promise by When In Rome, and Orville Peck's cover of Fancy by Bobbie Gentry, but made famous by Reba McEntire.
    JoshuaHeter
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    tom_g said:
    Dee said:
    Cake’s version of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town. 

    Also Cake’s version of Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. 

    Cake does great covers. 
    I always liked the Cake take on 'I will survive".
    Me too, I just didn’t mention that one cos it’s not really under the radar. 
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    This is for my Houston friends on the board:
    Original:



    JoshuaHetercdrive
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I don’t know whether he ever released a studio version but Aussie singer Mick Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything) always used to do a version of They Might Be Giants’ Your Racist Friend at gigs that I enjoyed. 

    https://youtu.be/0R5Ow9yaods

    Ooh, and one I just remembered that I used to love back in the day - Violent Femmes’ cover of Children Of The Revolution. 

    JoshuaHeter
  • Dee said:

    Ooh, and one I just remembered that I used to love back in the day - Violent Femmes’ cover of Children Of The Revolution. 

    This is a great cover in the sense that it is unmistakably the Violent Femmes but you can still hear the T Rex in it.
    Dee
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    Not sure how under the radar they are but the Like a Version show has a lot of really great performances. I guess its on some kind of Australian radio but I mostly know it through the Youtube channel. Some of the ones I go back to every once and a while:



    JoshuaHeterDeeChinaski
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited November 9
    @bizmarkiefader Yeah, that’s from Triple J, which used to be our yoof/alternative station and probably still is but everything is kinda yoof/alternative these days. They are government funded so there’s a lot of focus on Australian music, which is good for Aussie performers. 

    They do the Triple J Hot 100 every year (used to be on Australia Day but they moved it to the following weekend due to that being a political hot potato) and it pretty much stops the nation. Everyone has all day barbecues and listens. 
    bizmarkiefader
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    One of my all time favourite covers is Postmodern Jukebox doing Nickelback. It’s a bit of a cacophonous mess but it’s so fun. The best thing about the video is how good a time the tambourine guy seems to be having. 

    JoshuaHeter
  • Fuck can’t believe I forgot about Hurt
  • I don’t know if this is stretching the definition of “cover”, but this orchestral arrangement of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is pretty amazing (IMO).

    https://youtu.be/aCFnzSCzoYA
  • Aron beat me to the Hurt cover by Cash. 

    I do also love me some Nirvana “The man who sold the world”, Smashing Pumpkins “Landslide”, and Mudvaynes “King of Pain”
    JoshuaHetercdrive
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I don’t think I’d count the Hurt cover as “under the radar”, though. 
    CretanBullChinaski
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited November 10
    I’ll go with 2 covers I always think could deserve some extra love:

    Little Honda - Yo La Tengo 

    Jet - Shonen Knife

    Also many might not know that Tainted Love by Soft Cell is a cover. Or maybe that was just me for the longest. 

    Edit: some more - We have all the time in the world - Louis Armstrong cover by My Bloody Valentine, Young Americans - Bowie by The Cure.   
    DashEngineChinaski
  • Not a huge Bob Seger fan, but I love "Against the Wind" by The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson)


  • The Budos Band cover of the “My Girl” by the Temptations and “Day Tripper” by the Beatles’. Minor key, funky with mean horns.
    Travis
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    You can skip this if you aren't a punk rock fan, but I dig it...
    The Avengers : Paint it Black

    JoshuaHeterChinaski
  • @Garthgou81

    Disagree. No one should skip that.
    Garthgou81Chinaski
  • MichelleMichelle California
    I don't know how under the radar this one is, but Pet Shop Boys "Always On My Mind" remains a favorite.

    The first song I thought of though was Tori Amos' version of Smells Like Teen Spirit.  It's less rebellious, less rage-filled, and much more haunting.


    JoshuaHeterCretanBullChinaskiTravis
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