Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Cover Songs

Covering a song in rock & roll is a delicate task.  The artist must honor the original while adding a new element, energy, or style that makes the new version stand on its own.

Some artists cover well.  Others get covered.  Some, like Bruce Springsteen, do a pretty fair job of both.

Here are my five favorites:

5.  Time After Time, performed by Cyndi Lauper & originally sung by a Philadelphia band called The Hooters.  Nothing says 1984 quite like Cyndi Lauper, does it?  Still a terrific song.

4.  Walk This Way, performed by Run DMC & originally sung by Aerosmith.  Who woulda thunk that a hip hop act would be the catalyst to resurrect Aerosmith’s career?  But it sure worked . . . helped by one of the most entertaining videos ever.  When Steven Tyler stops singing midway through to watch Run DMC’s sample and then improve on his own song, it’s merely a foreshadow of how hip hop would ultimately surpass rock in popularity.

3.  All Along The Watchtower, performed by Jimi Hendrix & originally sung by Bob Dylan.  Hendrix’s version is so anthemic that many folks don’t even know Dylan has an original.

2.  Chimes Of Freedom, performed by Bruce Springsteen & originally sung by Bob Dylan.  An overlooked yet essential piece Springsteen’s catalog.  And Dylan’s.

1.  Come Together, performed by Aerosmith & originally sung by The Beatles.  This is rock heresy, I know, but I don’t like The Beatles’ version of the song at all.  And the Aerosmith cover comes from the soundtrack of the Sgt. Pepper’s movie, one of the most ridiculed films of all time.  Yet Steven Tyler’s raw vocals that give this cover an earthy intensity that the original lacked.