List o’ 13 Great Covers of Classic Rock Songs

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classic_rockCover versions of songs can give such different interpretations of what we know as the norm. Sometimes they’re done the same, sometimes completely twisted away from the original, but if done well the cover puts a unique stamp on a song from the band that is playing it.

13. Aersomith – Spiderman (Theme song, a classic!)

Had to include this while on the superhero theme song bend…Aerosmith live at Tokyo Stadium 2002 doing their version from the movie soundtrack. *listen to the original*

12. Hayseed Dixie – Back in Black (AC DC)

They started out as a hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, and have a bunch of covers like this one. They are one of the few cover bands that can pull off this style. Not only are they talented musically – they really do capture the spirit of the music – but they just seem to have so much fun! I had to put at least one of their songs up, but if you dig this, have fun surfing on Youtube, because they have a lot of great material up there. *listen to the original*

11. Hayseed Dixie – Ace of Spades (Motorhead)

And yes, I had to put one more Hayseed Dixie tune up here. I love their version of this! Who would have thought that a hard driving song from Motorhead could be so well covered by guys in overalls with a banjo and a fiddle. So cool! Lemmie, you gotta love this one. *listen to the original*

10. Dream Theatre – Time (Pink Floyd)

These guys, sure they are technically brilliant, but beyond the notes they totally capture the mood and feel – no easy feat for Floyd. The guitar player flows through the solos, so much so that with eyes closed, you could swear that you are listening to David Gilmour. *listen to the original*

9. Joe Satriani – Mission Impossible Theme

Another Dream Theatre cover – Just a rippin version of this song. I know its not technically a rock song, but with Joe Satriani on the lead, its just too cool to leave off this list. Hard driving, screaming riffs and no holds barred full throttle rock, yet tasty – just gotta love it. *listen to the original*

8. The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)

Oh boy – these Peppers are so funky. They can rock, roll, rap and RnB with the best of anybody. This is a great cover that retains the integrity and soul of the original Stevie Wonder riffs and adds that extra oomph that the Chili Peppers brought on with their sound. *listen to the original*

7. Guns N’ Roses – Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney and Wings)

With all the pomp and circumstance that is Guns N Roses, together with the Rock God campiness of Axl Rose, the band manages to pull off an amazing version of this Wings classic. *listen to the original*

6. Aerosmith – Come Together (The Beatles)

Love the intro, where Steve says John, this is for you. Little tribute to the great John Lennon, and the band goes on to perform the classic Beatles tune with their signature sound. Tylers vocals are raw and the guitar is totally rock – and the band keeps it right in the pocket, with the backbeat that John Lennon loved so much. Well done and a compliment to the original indeed. *listen to the original*

5. Big Sugar – Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)

These guys absolutely rock the classic tune from Traffic. Steve Winwood and the boys wrote this as a soulful acoustic number, with a neat little groove that eventually leads up to the electric solo, building to the climax in a gospel style. Big Sugar takes this way over the top with their BIG guitar sounds, but it works. Just have to be ready for this one if you havent heard it before; might want to start with the volume low. *listen to the original*

4. Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee (Chris Kristofferson)

I dont think any list of classic rock covers would be complete without this version of the Chris Kristofferson song, which Janis knocked out of the park. *listen to the original*

3. Tom Petty/Prince – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles)

Whoa – check out Prince playing blues rock! Dude, you slipped off those soul slippers and showed a side that we haven’t seen…nice. *listen to the original*

2. Jeff Healey – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles)

A tribute to Jeff Healey, who died in 2008 and left a legacy of wonderful music. A gifted musician with talent that truly transcended his guitar playing. This cover song lives among the greats, and can be easily listened to over and over, always getting something new from his phrasing and emotion. *listen to the original*

1. Pearl Jam – Rockin in the Free World (Neil Young)

One of the original grunge bands that defined the Seattle sound of the 80s doing a song from the granddad of gunge, Neil Young. Although, while some call Neil the grandfather of grunge, that is far too singular a label to lay on Neil, unarguably one of the most creative and expressive musicians of modern times, and a pioneer in so many types of musical art. Pearl Jam and Neil are friends, so this song is done with verve no doubt. *listen to the original*

And one more for honorable mention:

And…the bonus track! Pearl Jam – Baba O’Riley (The Who)

Just a well done hard driving version of a classic, live from Santiago Chile 2005. *listen to the original*

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1 Response to "List o’ 13 Great Covers of Classic Rock Songs":

  1. Skipper December 7, 2009 at 04:27

    This is a cool list. nice that you got the chili peppers doing stevie; the heart one is good, where`s you find it. would like to see some of the seattle grunge band zep covers, there were lots of good ones done. all in all, this was a great way to listen to some tunes.