COVER VERSIONS THAT CLEARLY, DECISIVELY, AND UTTERLY SURPASS THE ORIGINAL

sometimes it's a cover of a cover. these are clearly superior to the best-known/biggest hit/"definitive" version.
  1. "walk on by", the stranglers, 1978. bacharach/david lament that becomes viscerally angst-ridden and tension-heavy when wrangled by these fellows. lengthy, fulsome dave greenfield keyboard solo gives way to even more urgent hugh cornwell guitar workout before harmonic resolution.
  2. "laugh at me", mott the hoople, 1969. the finest of several sterling covers on mott's eponymous debut. who knew this little-known sonny bono a-side could be converted into a building power ballad, replete with magisterial symbiosis in the fevered crescendo. only the band rivaled early mott for organic, visceral, analog musicianship.
  3. "summer breeze", isley brothers, 1973. one of many fine funk-soul-rock-folk-r&b covers the brothers unleashed during their creative 70's heyday, this stretched-out slow-jam burns with intent, where the middling entreaties of the seals & crofts original fall on deaf ears. languorous, with wicked, high-class ernie isley guitar licks.
  4. "just like heaven", dinosaur jr., 1989. never a robert smith fan, this guitarsplosion version pummeled my eardrums with a credible alternative to the whiniest cure song ever. also 1 of the greatest cold endings.