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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five Cover Songs That Are Better Than the Originals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 8:03 AM

The Feistodon cover art.
  • The Feistodon cover art.

As musical pairings go, they don't come much more oddball than Mastodon with Feist.

But -- we can't quite believe it either -- on Record Store Day (April 21st), the unlikely collaborators are releasing Feistodon: a split single that will feature Mastodon covering Feist ("A Commotion") and vice versa ("Black Tongue").

We're pretty sure the results are going to be fascinating. And hey! Maybe it all won't sound awful! To prove it, here are five cover songs that are actually better than the originals.  

5. Cee-Lo Green's Version of "No One's Gonna Love You" (Band of Horses)

Band of Horses are one of those bands that are just consistently incredible. The Seattle quintet has never released a bad album, its live shows are pure catharsis, and musically, these guys sound like no one else. So imagine our surprise when Cee-Lo Green covered one of their songs and made it even better. "No One's Gonna Love You" was enhanced by an extra injection of soul and an accompanying heart-breaking (and also NSFW) video.

4. She & Him's Version of "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" (Patience & Prudence)

Well, in all fairness, it wouldn't have taken a lot to improve the original version of this song: a godawful 1956 number sung by a couple of creepy sisters who have little-to-no vocal skills. In the hands of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, however, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" becomes a quintessential She & Him track: stripped down, low-key, retro, with just the right level of cutesy quirk. Nice.  

3. Sonic Youth's Version of "Superstar" (The Carpenters)

In 2004, Sonic Youth's ongoing fascination with Karen Carpenter reached its zenith with a cover of 1971 hit, "Superstar." Karen's silky-smooth vocal was replaced with Thurston Moore's ghostly rasp, and the horn section was replaced with feedback. We particularly love that the naive tone of the original tale of groupie woe is given a bit of a stalker spin on Sonic Youth's watch. Sheer brilliance.

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