When your best song isn’t yoursr

The following musical artists are best-known for one or more cover songs that far outstrip their own originals commercially and/or artistically, whether they or their fans think so or not. These are in no particular order and may piss you the hell off. I’m not including “interpreter” artists who do almost only covers. Also some of these ‘artists’ really suck and you don’t need to tell me that, mmkay. Add as you wish!

The Lemonheads
Alien Ant Farm
Orgy
Natalie Imbruglia
Bauhaus
Cowboy Junkies
Dillinger Escape Plan
Sixpence None the Richer
Anthrax
Soft Cell
Dynamite Hack
Kim Carnes
Manfred Mann
Quiet Riot (Slade, TWICE!)
Jose Feliciano

41 thoughts on “When your best song isn’t yoursr

  1. Hmmm, seperate from the Sex Pistols and his life, I would say Sid Viscious is know for My Way.
    Also, I would say that the Bauhaus one is a toss up. Are they best known for Ziggy Stardust or Bella Legousi?

      1. “There She Goes” by The La’s, a cover that pisses me off every time I hear it. Especially since it now seems to be used in some feminine products ad or something.

      1. I would agree that it is not much of a song, but I would think that its inclusion in The Hunger had a lot to do with Bauhaus’ popularity. I know The Hunger came out a year after Bauhaus broke up, but I think they might have actually become more well known in the mid 80’s as the genre became more wide spread.

  2. I would almost throw in there Whitney Houston because that damn song from The Bodyguard is her most known, and is a Dolly Parton cover.

      1. Ah yes, okay. Now I remember. And I didn’t think that was a cover so much as a collaborated “re-mix” of sorts, along the lines of Run D.M.C/Aerosmith “Walk This Way.”
        Plus, is it really fair to put Anthrax in the same list as Sixpence None The Richer?

  3. coversproject.com is down right now and it’s cramping my style…
    Manfred Mann did it TWICE!
    Once with Bruce Springsteen (Blinded By The Light) and once with The Police (Demolition Man)
    Um, The Jam? Trying to decide if I like Beat Surrender or Dead End Street (The Kinks) better…
    UB40.
    Bow Wow Wow.

    1. Re: coversproject.com is down right now and it’s cramping my style…
      The Jam was never a big commercial artist here, but they did pretty well with “A Town Called Malice” near the end of their career. They had enough legimitate hits and good songs in their career to be excused anyway, I think.

  4. ouch. How Anthrax is on that list, i dont know why! Bring Tha Noise is hardly their best stuff! The 6+(?) albums before that collaboration was put together for a B-sides album are chock full of much better stuff! is Bring the Noise their best KNOWN song? possibly, but dont blame the band… blame their management and the corrupt MTV-induced media.

      1. Re: Tick Tick Ticking In My Head
        Yep, Joe Jackson song if I remember correctly! They do a number of Covers, mostly on their EP collections I’m the Man, Penikufesin, and Attack of the Killer B’s
        Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Friggin in the Riggin, Parasite, and Pipeline among them.

    1. Yeah, you don’t necessarily get to be known for what you want. That was one of the things about this list that I kept thinking about.

  5. I agree with pretty much this entire list
    But I like the Lemonheads. I do.
    Great White’s big song is “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” (Mott the Hoople cover).
    Ugly Kid Joe did “Cat’s in the Cradle”. (Cats? Cat’s?)
    I don’t know a single Save Ferris song save their cover of “Come On Eileen”.
    The Boo Radleys also covered “There She Goes”. Same soundtrack, even.
    SR-71’s cover of “In Your Eyes” is actually nice, unexpectedly so.
    Jesus Jones’ cover of “We Are So Fragile” is the best thing they could ever do.
    I have a big collection of covers, by the way.

  6. Radar Love by White Lion is way better than Radar Love by Golden Earring
    Dillinger Escape Plan did a cover of My Michelle by G’NR…it is not my favorite.

    1. Re:
      With Dillinger Escape Plan I was specifically thinking of “Come to Daddy” which is the only thing that anyone I know ever liked by them.

      1. Re:
        Funny…I have always thought of that version as a close but not quite. I find the rest of IIADS very enjoyable.
        I even like most of Miss Machine where they, you know, go soft.

  7. 2 points:
    1) It is way, way, way too often that I hear a really good cover only to find that the band that did it can apparently play but can’t write new material to save their lives. Or even that of a puppy.
    b) Not that I really want to lump them in here, but I suppose it could be argued that the best known Talking Heads song is Take Me To The River.

    1. Talking Heads?
      I don’t think so. They had huge top 40 hits with “Burning Down the House” and “Girlfriend is Better” commercially. And everyone who likes music in any way at all can sing along with “Psycho Killer” and “Life During Wartime” and “Once In A Lifetime”. Nope, nope, no way.

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