GIGI GEORGE, Arts & Life Editor—Music shapes our memories. A song can bring you back to a moment, a person, a place. Some even have the power to shape a generation by creating a collective remembrance. So, it’s hard to imagine that some of these quintessential songs could get much better. And yet sometimes a new version will come along and outshine even the most classic tunes, bringing us to new moments, people, and places.
These are covers that do just that. They will have you questioning whether the originals should even be called the originals.
“Make You Feel My Love.”
Original – Bob Dylan
Cover – Adele
Although you can’t go wrong with Bob Dyaln, Adele’s impassioned style and soothing vocals bring an unmatched serenity to this classic song. By exchanging Dylan’s echoing synthesizer with a grand piano, she creates a comforting, acoustic sound that is distinct yet familiar.
Original – The Roches
Cover – Whitney
Whitney’s cover of “Hammond Song” adds a layer of depth that is lacking in the original. With a fuller instrumental background and softer vocals, it captures the essence of the song in a new way that is both melodic and simple.
“How Deep Is Your Love”
Original – Bee Gees
Cover – PJ Morton
This cover remakes an iconic Bee Gees song into a jazzier, soulful tune. PJ Morton’s style and powerful vocals bring a unique sound that goes so well with the music it’s hard to imagine it isn’t an original.
“Back to Black”
Original – Amy Winehouse
Cover – BENEE
Amy Winehouse was an iconic artist of her time whose powerful vocals made her music instantly captivating. Her unique style has always been hard to match, however; this cover does the song justice. BENEE, a young, up and coming artist from New Zealand, transforms the soulful “Back to Black” into a laid back indie pop anthem.
Original – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Cover – Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive’s smooth vocal performance takes this song to another level. Their cover, which uses jazzy drums, piano, and trumpet, makes the music seem lighter than it does in the Daryl Hall & John Oates version. It is definitely a go to cover that exceeds any expectations from the original song.
Original – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Cover – The Lumineers
The Lumineers transform this classic rock and roll song into a folk masterpiece. Using a banjo, tambourine, acoustic guitar and accordion, they give it a sense of sadness and longing.
Original – Beyoncé
Cover – John Mayer
These are two iconic artists of this generation, so it’s hard to imagine one version would be better than the other, however; John Mayer takes this well-known pop song and converts it into a breathtaking acoustic piece. His soft vocals and soothing guitar in combination with Beyoncé’s heartfelt lyrics creates a song that is perfectly happy and sad.
“Simply the Best”
Original – Tina Turner
Cover – Noah Reid
This cover is a more updated take on an 80s pop jam. Noah Reid’s version strips back the upbeat, catchy song to just his voice and the guitar, allowing for the original lyrics to shine through. It is simple and heartwarming.