YouTube covers are a genre of music unto themselves. Here’s a collection of some of the best:
"Knock You Down" — Keri Hilson ft. Ne-Yo & Kanye West cover
First off, the original of this was the best song released in 2009. It is a masterpiece, and, like “My Sharona,” it actually makes me angry when radio stations play the radio edit. (Seriously, if you play the radio edit of “My Sharona” with the shortened guitar solo, the FCC should immediately rescind your broadcast license.) If you have a good voice, this song is so un-fuck-up-able that I could have made the entire article about the various covers of it on YouTube.
Devil Inside (by INXS) cover by Crush
Every time someone has a conversation about how good Duran Duran or Depeche More are, they could have spent that time talking about INXS instead. Guys rocked. Here are some guys kicking out a perfect cover at what appears to be some sort of beach party.
Midterm Party - Darude - Sandstorm
The best hard trance song of all time. There can be none higher. You can’t ever get sick of it. I once read this song described as MDMA in audio form and that’s a perfect description aside from the fact that I haven’t built up any tolerance to this song. It still works. Also, I doubt it’s given me brain damage but who knows, maybe it’s bad to experience as much joy as I’ve had listening to “Sandstorm” approximately eighteen billion times in my life.
Fancy (cover) - Pipe Guy
This one is only twenty seconds, but that’s about all you need. Dude built a custom whack-a-pole percussion instrument and every video on his channel is good.
Change Your Mind - The Killers Cover
They’re re-releasing the Killers’ debut on vinyl and one of the writers at Pitchfork had a great joke about how pointless that was because no one was going to play the second side, the joke of course being that the first five songs are basically a greatest hits collection and them WHAM! “Andy, You’re a Star” and other filler EXCEPT for “Change Your Mind” which is up there with all the other Killers classics.
Anyway, here’s two presumably spoiled rich kids sitting on the steps at Martha’s Vineyard and belting out a lovely cover.
(skip to 0:35 for the actual beginning.)
Interpol - C'mere (cover by "No Statement")
Interpol has got to have the biggest Spanish-speaking fanbase of any American band. Seriously, check the comments on any cover of any Interpol song and they’re always like ¡Qué gran portada de una canción me gusta mucho! They’re like a band of four Morrisseys. Also, Interpol only has eight good songs but they’re so unbelievably good each one counts for six. Here’s a delightful cover of one of the three good songs from their second album.
Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven (Cover by Andrew Garcia)
We’re getting into “as good if not better than the original” territory here. American Idol also-ran Andrew Garcia belts out this cover of the best song of Bruno Mars’s career. Bruno, if you’re reading this, please stop trying to re-write “Locked Out of Heaven” over and over and just re-write this over and over. Thanks.
Young The Giant covers R. Kelly
Ignition (Remix) was the best song released in 2003. It’s so good that R. Kelly gets a pass for peeing into the mouths of 14-year-old girls—and that’s not me stating an opinion. R. Kelly was found not guilty in 2008 on child porn charges that could have earned him 15 years, and I’m convinced the jury considered that putting the man away could possibly deprive humanity of another song this good. Here’s Young the Giant, not to be confused with Cage the Elephant or Walk the Moon, delivering a perfect rendition of this perfect song. The fact that this does not have five million views leads me to believe there is a glitch in YouTube’s views counter.