15 Best Cover Songs of All Time

Chan Marshall has reinvented herself a few times, adding a blues backing band on 2006’s The Greatest, and before that collaborating with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl on 2003’s You Are Free. Before that, even, she proved herself just as masterful with other people’s material as she is with her own on 2000’s The Covers Record, which closes with her stunning recording of Phil Phillips’ 1959 single “Sea Of Love,” recorded just with her own voice and stark strums of zither. It’s simple, soulful and beautiful, and was part of the first of what would become a series of several great covers sets during Marshall’s career.


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  1. Lots of excellent choices here, in the original list and in the comments. I’d nominate Emmylou Harris’s version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty.” (And re. Hallelujah — I’ve always preferred Cohen’s understated original, but whatever version you prefer, plesae, I beg you, don’t add any more — let the poor song be.)

  2. I’ve got to say I love the covers that Cassandra Wilson has done; “Hellhound On My Trail” (Robert Johnson), “Death Letter” (Son House), “Harvest Moon” (Neil Young), “Tupelo Honey” (Van Morrison), “Last Train to Clarksville”, “If Loving You is Wrong”, just to name a few.

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