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FYA JAM: Cover Me

A playlist full of the covers that -- dare we say it? -- are even better than the originals.

FYA JAM: Cover Me

This playlist started when Mandy W. found this swoon-inducing cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," by vocal god Chris Cornell. Says Mandy W., "A cover SO FREAKING GOOD, we created a mixtape theme just to talk about it. Chris Cornell's voice is one of those attributes that make you wonder, "How is it possible that this person and I are both humans?" NOTHING COMPARES 2 CHRIS."

We love it when artists take old songs and make them new again, and the world is full of them. Without further ado, our playlist: and stick around for some bonus videos at the end!


1. "I Fought the Law" - The Clash

Mandy W.:  One of those songs that's so iconic for a  band that I had no idea they weren't even the originators until I looked into it!

Jennie: I only knew it because I grew up on oldies stations.

2. "Move It On Over" - George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Jennie: For those of you going to see Tom Hiddleston in the Hank Williams biopic, Hank originally performed this song (but George makes it a hell of a lot more fun).

3. "How I Could Just Kill A Man" - Rage Against the Machine

Mandy W.:  I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH. I've literally listened to it thousands of times. Many of which were on an infinite loop. It's a good tune to listen to when you feel like kicking ass and taking names.

4. "Whiskey in the Jar" - Metallica

Jennie: This is a traditional Irish song with Metallica's spin (previously covered by Thin Lizzy, the Pogues, and the Dubliners, among others). Please don't ask me what the lyrics "whack for my daddy-o" mean, though. I'm afraid to look it up.

5. "Smooth Criminal" - Alien Ant Farm

Mandy W.:  This is possibly my fave MJ song. (Or, at least, my fave to sing along to: *mumble mumble* Annie, are you OK? Are you OK, Annie? You've been hit by! You've been struck by! A smooth criminal!) I also love any genre switch-ups, so this song was obvs my jam.

6. "Tainted Love" - Soft Cell

Mandy W.:  Another iconic song that's actually a cover!

Jennie: Also a great one for karaoke.

7. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia

Jennie: Yup, Natalie's biggest hit wasn't actually her own song -- but it certainly became hers. And now, good luck getting it out of your head. NOTHING'S FINE!

8. "Fell In Love With A Boy" - Joss Stone

Mandy W.:  OK, so this is a gender-swapped cover that changes up the words. But Joss Stone puts her own groovy spin on the song to really separate it from the original.

9. "Valerie" - Amy Winehouse 

Mandy W.:  Sigh, I really didn't appreciate Amy Winehouse enough when she was around. (Too much good much to listen to!) But this song does something else that I like: preserving the original lyrics for gender-swapped covers.

10. "Across the Universe" - Fiona Apple

Mandy W.:  Fiona Apple's melancholy take on the Beatles is why I had to get my grabby hands on the Pleasantville soundtrack.

Jennie: Fiona's voice is so powerful and dreamy, I'll listen to anything she sings. (Which is why I never skip the theme to The Affair.)

11. "Killing Me Softly" - The Fugees

Mandy W.:  Omg Lauryn Hill. And the rest of the Fugees, too, but hot damn -- she could be so phenomenal. Although these days, her music is unfortunately overshadowed by her personal woes.

Jennie: I hated -- HATED! -- this song when it first came out, having preferred the original, but it's grown on me in the NINETEEN YEARS since. *chokes* I love Lauryn's voice, though.

12. "In My Life" - Johnny Cash

Mandy W.:  I'm about to get real morbid, because this is legit the song I want played at my funeral.

Jennie: That could have been our October theme: songs we want at our funerals. 

13. "Dancing Barefoot" - U2

Jennie: Bono's voice was made for this Patti Smith cover. Some strange music drags me in, indeed.

14. "Running Up That Hill" - Placebo

Jennie: This Kate Bush cover is actually one of my favorite Placebo songs, period. It's so creepy and lonely.


Bonus video: Digital Daggers' "Head Over Heels," which you might recognize from The Vampire Diaries 2x07, "Masquerade."

Bonus video: The White Stripes' "Jolene," which now will forever remind me of the awesome Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.

Bonus video: The Beatles' "Twist and Shout," as embodied by Ferris Bueller. Sayeth Mandy W.: "The first time I heard it was in, of course, Ferris Bueller. (Which I was actually watching when I was skipping school! (But it was one of those post-exam days at the end of the year, because I never would have skipped for realsies.))"

And finally, more famous people karaoke: Kings of Leon performing Robyn's "Dancing on My Own."

So that's the playlist! What are your favorite covers of all time? (The first one to say Pearl Jam's "Last Kiss" gets strangled with a shoelace. I kid, I kid. Mostly.)

Categories: MixtapeFYA JAM Tags: music
Jennie's photo About the Author: Jennie Kendrick lives in San Francisco and has an excessive fondness of historical fiction, spreadsheets, turquoise sparkly things, and bourbon. She is also a literary agent. When she's not reading, writing, or writing about reading, she cooks obsessively, and thrifts for vintage everything.