Mix Tape: Cover Cover Cover Chameleon

One of my favorite musical debates has always been Who Did It Better. You can have hours of entertainment debating Guns N Roses vs Wings because no-one can ever really be right. Covering a song is a delicate balance – copy the original too much and it seems pointless, do something too different and you’re ‘ruining it’. Sometimes though a band will get it so right that you’ll never listen to the original again.  One such version is the cover of The Sound of Silence Disturbed released recently and it inspired me to put together a mix tape of cover versions that I think completely surpassed the originals. I hope you enjoy it!

Nirvana – Man Who Sold The World

Original : David Bowie

Look I love Bowie but even I can admit that Kurt Cobain’s world weary vocals turn this song from a good song into something truly amazing. Fun Fact: apparently Bowie hated people asking him why he covered a Nirvana song.

Frente – Bizarre Love Triangle

Original : New World Order

I’ll admit to not realising this was a cover until very recently because Frente’s stripped down acoustic version seems to fit the lyrics and subject matter so well. Angie Hart’s vocals turned a typical keyboard-y dance song into something beautiful and ethereal.

Disturbed – The Sound of Silence

Original : Simon & Garfunkel

I feel this one might be controversial, while I love the Simon and Garfunkel version, it is has a fairly typical folky ballad vibe to it. Disturbed have arranged this beautifully and it’s a song that you’d never expect them to sing given their usual heavy fare.  Draiman’s voice adds a certain yearning roughness that the original lacks and given the world we are all living in, maybe a call for empathy is pretty timely. Even Paul Simon himself gives this version the big thumbs up.

Ben Folds & William Shatner – Common People

Original: Pulp

Something about Shatner’s delivery really appeals to me here – he starts off like he can’t quite believe what is reading and finishes off so furiously angry at this silly little rich girl.  When you add in Folds frenetic guitar the result is somewhere between a dramatic reading and a pretty damn fantastic rock song.

Johnny Cash – Hurt

Original : Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails and Johnny Cash don’t seem to go together, so I think it was a suprise for most people when The Man In Black chose to cover this song for his final album. But I for one am so so glad he did. He owns this song, no contest.


For these and a few other favourites, check out the Spotify playlist below.


Is there any covers I  missed that you adore? Or did I get some of these terribly terribly wrong? Let’s have a debate in the comments!

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    1. I was thinking about that the other day, all the things my son will never experience. Like he will probably never see a phone book in his life.

  1. Oh I love this so much and agree with them all. That disturbed cover was incredible but I also love the original. Cant wait to listen to the whole playlist. Thanks for linking up to the ultimate rabbit hole. Xx

    1. Me too! It was a hard choice. I actually had heaps of fun debating this one vs that one with my husband.

  2. Hmmm. For the life of me I can’t think of any right now. I usually like to listen to different versions of the same song. I can’t recall ever being upset by a bad cover … although if anyone dares to touch a Prince song they’d better be damn good.

    Thanks for joining the Lovin’ Life Linky!

  3. I just threw a shoebox of old cassette tapes out over the weekend. I no longer have anything to play them on. It was definitely the end of an era throwing them out, there were quite a few home made mix tapes from my school days in there!!!

  4. My hub makes his version of mix-tapes on CD and he made me some romantic and nostalgic ones for my birthday so I could listen in the car and have some lovely memories.

  5. I love Disturbed’s version of Sounds of Silence. Love it when it comes on the radio. I haven’t heard some of these or known the originals. Bookmarking so I can come back and enjoy your playlist 🙂

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