4 Song Covers That You Probably Thought Were The Originals

Sometimes a cover song is just as good as — or even better — than the original. Check out these four memorable covers from some of music’s most talented artists.

1. Jimi Hendrix All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)


Bob Dylan’s haunting, narrative ballad got an electric makeover when legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix recorded it with his band, The Experience. The song appeared on Hendrix’s album Electric Ladyland only six months after Dylan recorded it. But Hendrix’s version is so powerful — due largely to his driving guitar riffs and grainy vocal interpretation — that it’s often considered to be the superior version. Dylan spoke highly of Hendrix’s cover, stating the infamous rocker’s take “overwhelmed” him, and that he feels he’s paying tribute to Hendrix each time he performs it.

2. Johnny Cash, Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)

At first blush, country music and industrial rock may not seem like a match made in musical heaven. But when crossover country icon Johnny Cash chose to cover Nine Inch Nails’ haunting ballad “Hurt” for his album 2002 American IV: The Man Comes Around, he created one of the emotionally resonant recordings of the 21st century. Cash was recovering from illness late in his life, and his low, shaky vocals — combined with the spare, driving piano — reveal a deep vulnerability that’s both powerful and memorable. Critical response to both the song and its accompanying music video was almost universally positive. Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor said he was Cash’s take on his song gave him “goosebumps.” It added a beautifully moving footnote to the late singer’s already illustrious career.