25 of the best cover songs ever

It’s pretty hard to proclaim the best cover songs of all time — there have been so many great covers performed in the studio and in a live environment. So that’s why we’re framing this as “25 of the Best Cover Songs Ever”. This list is not as hyperbolic as we prefer to be, but our top 10 is pretty damn solid.

Some prescribe to the theory that a cover song has to be better than the original to be great, or considered one of the the best. I don’t believe this to be true. There are cases in this list where the cover song does not surpass the original in greatness (see #25 for example). But if a cover song attempts to be different and successfully recreates a track to make it original and timeless in its own way, credit should be granted.

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25. Chromatics – “Into the Black”
Originally by Neil Young

24. Guns N’ Roses – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Originally by Bob Dylan

23. Bob Dylan – “Train of Love”
Originally by Johnny Cash

22. Johnny Cash – “I’m on Fire”
Originally by Bruce Springsteen

21. Bruce Springsteen – “Trapped”
Originally by Jimmy Cliff

20. Birdy – “Skinny Love”
Originally by Bon Iver

19. Sublime (featuring Alex Grenwald) – “Scarlet Begonias”
Originally by the Grateful Dead

18. Grateful Dead – “Morning Dew”
Originally by Bonnie Dobson

17. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – “Trampled Rose”
Originally by Tom Waits

16. Santana – “Black Magic Woman”
Originally by Fleetwood Mac

15. Sharon Jones – “It’s a Man’s World”
Originally by James Brown

14. Radiohead – “The Headmaster Ritual”
Originally by The Smiths

13. Eric Clapton – “Coccaine”
Originally by JJ Cale

12. Tina & Ike Turner – “Proud Mary”
Originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival

11. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Originally by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

10. The White Stripes – “Jolene”
Originally by Dolly Parton

9. Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends”
Originally by The Beatles

8. The Beatles – “Twist & Shout”
Originally by The Top Notes, made famous by The Isley Brothers

7. Nirvana – “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”
Traditional song; arranged by Lead Belly

6. Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee”
Originally by Kris Kristofferson

5. Phish – “Remain in Light” LP in it’s entirety
Originally by Talking Heads

4. Talking Heads – “Take Me to the River”
Originally by Al Green

3. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
Originally by Otis Redding.

2. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
Originally by Bob Dylan.

1. Johnny Cash – Hurt
Originally by Nine Inch Nails.

Pass that shit: Top 10 weed songs

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Our list is based on the criteria that the best weed songs are blatantly about marijuana and very catchy. So as the movement to legalize and tax marijuana like alcohol gains steam, light up a spliff and check out our 10 favorite weed songs of all time.

What did we miss? Leave a comment below.

10. Let’s Go Go Get Stoned – Ray Charles
Originally recorded by The Coasters in a 1965, Ray Charles made “Let’s Go Get Stoned” a #1 hit a year later. This classic blues track was released after Charles was released from rehab, as he was attempting to kick heroin. It’s assumed that Charles smoked copious amounts of marijuana as well…Thanks Billy Preston!

9. Ganja Smuggling – Eek-A-Mouse
Jamaican reggae singer Eed-A-Mouse is about two things: repetition and weed. His concerts often consist of “a-Wa-Do-Dem” being repeated for 65% of the time, but he placates the stoner rastas and trustafarians with his biggest tracks “Ganja Smuggling” and “Sensee Party.” “Ganja Smuggling” still has the mouse’s patented repetition and sends positive irie vibes.

8. Smoke Two Joints – The Toyes
Sublime made this track famous, but it belongs to The Toyes. According to The Toyes website, “Bradley (Nowell) himself had happened upon the song and recorded it before he knew The Toyes or their music.”

7. The Next Episode – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion as he wants to be called now, must legally be included in this list, as he is the current cultural ambassador of ganja. Just check his twitter feed. Most list makers would probably use Gin & Juice, or something from The Chronic. We’re going with the track that had every pot smoking teenager saying “Smoke weed every day” with the spot in our top 10.

6. I got 5 On It – The Luniz
“I got five on it” refers to throwing down with your buds on a sack and puffin’ away. Just check the lyrics: “Kinda broke so ya know all I gots five, I got five. Unless you pull out the fat, crispy five dollar bill on the real before its history. I got 5 on it, let’s go half on a sack.”

5. Champagne & Reefer – Muddy Waters
“Yeah bring me champagne when I’m thirsty. Bring me reefer when I want to get high…Well you know there should be no law on people that want to smoke a little dope.” The Rolling Stones still cover it.

4. Mary Jane – Rick James
Rick James may be more well known for his addiction to cocaine thanks to The Chapelle Show, but “Mary Jane” proved that Rick James was multi-faceted in his drug use. History proves that Mary Jane was an actual girl Rick James loved, but she left him. In this case, music fans have spoken, and Chapelle’s movie Half-Baked help solidify this song and the woman Mary Jane into pot popular culture.

3. Rainy Day Women #12 & #35 –Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan was an early cannabis supporter – hell he introduced herb to the Beatles. And no song signified this more than the refrain “Everybody must get stoned!” Dylan reportedly got everyone super high before this recording that appeared on the legendary album Blonde on Blonde.

2. Hits from the Bong – Cypress Hill
No one has owned Weed Music more than Cypress Hill. Just look at the way they’ve described the details of their love for herb in tracks such as “I wanna Get High” & “Dr. Greenthumbs.” But it’s “Hits from the Bong” that has left the biggest impact. Remember, ‘just like chong, I hit the bowl and I reload it.’

1. Legalize It – Peter Tosh
At a time when support for marijuana legalization and taxation is at a all time high in the US, Peter Tosh’s track “Legalize It” is as relevant as ever. Legalize it. Don’t Criticize it.

No Bob Marley??? Leave a comment!

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