I am a FIRM believer that not every artist should be allowed to cover songs, and not every song an artist loves needs to be covered.
With that being said, in my music loving lifetime, I’ve come across quite a few covers that I absolutely LOVE and even a few that put the originals to shame.
Example? Everyone who knows me knows that I adore and love Smokey Robinson, as well as his group The Miracles. And there aren’t many of their original songs that can be sung better than the way Ol’ Green Eyes sang them himself. But, I’d be crazy and a lying fool to say that young Michael Jackson and all of his pre-teen angst and soul didn’t come along in 1969 and BODY “Who’s Lovin’ You”. It’s honestly not even The Miracles’ song anymore and hasn’t been since that young child sang that very first note while his brothers harmonized perfectly behind him.
There’s also the soul stirring, sometime partnership of KeKe Wyatt and Avant, who have, in the past, been deemed as the modern Marvin and Tammi. A deserving title? Most definitely if you’ve heard their rendition of Your Precious Love. Or, any of their covers for that matter. They deliver that same surge of undeniable chemistry that knocks listeners off their feet each and every time. And um, I don’t believe I’m the only one STILL waiting on that duets album.
(That last statement goes towards Monica and Usher as well, because what sixteen and fourteen year olds could deliver a slightly altered version of a grown man’s blues song with ease? They could.)
I need these things.
For eighteen-twenty year olds at the time, it took me by surprise how Dru Hill positioned themselves as a force to be reckoned with when it came to a few covers of 70s soul classics on their first two albums. The 90s was a special time for major talents, but even some of the biggest stars of the time couldn’t handle certified classics the way Sisqo and Jazz could. For years I thought they were already over thirty, married, and stressing over impending heartache. Them boys could SANG and ten year old me felt it like I had real world problems.
I could go on and on, but instead I’ve compiled a playlist. FORTY of my favorite covers by artists who had the range, took the risk, and delivered from the very first note. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.