The 9 Best Cover Versions To Stick On a Pub Jukebox

When a cover version like Tricky's version of Public Enemy's Black Steel hits the mark it can be even better than the original. Whack these on in the pub for a couple of quid and test your mates to name the original artists.
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When a cover version like Tricky's version of Public Enemy's Black Steel hits the mark it can be even better than the original. Whack these on in the pub for a couple of quid and test your mates to name the original artists.

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We've shown you how to get 90 minutes worth of tunes for £2 on a pub jukebox and the art of judging 9 songs to go with a quick pint, so here in the latest of these irregular and invaluable jukebox guides, we turn to cover versions. Inspired by a Sunday afternoon in my local during which it was agreed only cover versions could be stuck on. Don't expect your favourite obscure Stockholm Monsters B-Side cover though, you should be able to find these on most modern jukeboxes in any pub with such a facility. So buy your pint at the bar and head over to there with your change...

The Black Crowes - Hard to Handle

The original is what I believe you'd call a 'rip-roaring soul classic'. The Black Crowes give it their rock 'n' roll makeover and a modern classic is born. If you wanted you could say it's a link between modern rock and its roots in rhythm and blues, but I reckon it's a tune that finds common ground with tap room cynics and lounge pop fans alike.

The Who - Summertime Blues

Rock 'n' roll to the power rock 'n' roll. The Who take Cochran's classic and do with it what they do best, with the volume turned up to 11. Moon, Daltrey and co have of course had plenty songs of their own covered - from Bowie (Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere) to Green Day (My Generation) which are always worth searching out if you're staying in the pub for the night.

Tricky - Black Steel

I got a letter from the government the other day, it was a tax bill. Chuck D got one in 1989 to say he'd been called up to the army. Or whatever. Tricky got the same letter in 1995. Possibly the best song to come out of the whole Bristol / Trip Hop scene.

The Lemonheads - Mrs Robinson

Way before MILFs there was a film and with that film was a splendid soundtrack. Move forward to grunge and poster pin up boy Evan Dando with his lovely long hair, Lemonheads band (what a great name by the way) and video shot on a boat so you can see his lovely long hair flow in the wind.  

Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall

No one does Dylan like Dylan. Which is why we're fortunate to have people like Bryan Ferry do it properly. The number of Dylan covers that are an improvement on the original is pretty well documented. You could substitute this with Hendrix and Watchtower, The Byrds' Tambourine Man, Stevie Wonder and Blowin in the Wind, the list goes on. This is my favourite though. Not least because Bryan Ferry is ace.

David Bowie - China Girl

Yes, it is a cover. Well, sort of. Written by Bowie and that fella off the insurance adverts on telly, it was recorded by Iggy Pop first and then by 80s David Bowie six years later. Anyway even if you don't think it's a cover it's still a great song. But it is a cover.

More...

90 Minutes Of Music For £2 On A Pub Jukebox

9 Short Jukebox Songs to go with a Quick Pint

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Wing

If you're going to do Hendrix then you have to be good. Luckily for Stevie Ray Vaughan, he is. Unless you've heard it you might find it incomprehensible that a guitarist can put his own soul into one of Hendrix's most beautiful pieces. But here it is. Stunning. And if that's not good enough, it long too at around 7 minutes so you get your money's worth.

Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange

Teenage girls might be getting their vampire kicks now from Twighlight, and 30-plus year old blokes from Buffy repeats on telly, but in 87 the bloodsucking action came in the form of Jack Bauer and Bill S. Preston, Esq. Cool dudes for the lads to copy, and some soppy love story bit for the lasses. Even better, the film had a brilliant soundtrack. Not least the 'theme song' People are Strange giving Ian McCulloch the chance to live his Doors fantasies with another cover better than the original.

Joan Baez its all over now baby blue

Yes it's another Dylan cover, but I love this version. Catchy tune and a great voice. A quick scan through others that covered this gives the bizarre mix of Falco, Them (with Van Morrison) The Grateful Dead, Hole, The Animals, 13th Floor Elevators and those Bunnymen again. Anyway, this is the version I like and apparently it's about Baez herself.

No Hound Dog, Maggies Farm, All Along the Watchtower, Tainted Love, Faith No More's ace version of War Pigs, Carter USM doing Inspiral Carpets you may or may not ask? Well let us know your favourites below.