Best Covers of All Time

Opinion/Story posted June 1, 2023 in

“Fast Car” – Luke Combs

Luke Combs’s newest album “Getting Old,'' features a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” and it’s honestly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

Combs has one of the most majestic and unique voices in country music, and his voice sounds great on this pop-turned-country song.

“Fast Car” is a song about a couple trying to make the best out of the worst situation and hoping that, someday, they’ll be able to change their lives for the better.

Besides the song being one of the most iconic songs of the late 80s, Combs takes it and turns it into his own. The strums of the guitar and the steady beat of the drum turn the pop song into a country ballad.

Combs’s voice sounds the best in the chorus, where he’s almost pleading with his lover to go away with him or “live and die this way.”- Adrianna Gallucci

“Teenage Dirtbag” Ross Lynch and the cast of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

“Teenage Dirtbag” is already a phenomenal song on its own, but Ross Lynch brings his own spin to the anthem.

This song makes everyone feel like an angsty middle schooler. Ross Lynch’s version provides an entryway for a new generation to enjoy this song.

Lynch and Costar Jazz Sinclair sing the song on their Netflix original show “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”. Even without seeing the show, the song is still a bop.

This is outside of Lynch’s Disney channel days but is similar to his current band “Driver Era”.

Everyone should listen to this song. It is one of the best covers ever. - Savannah Swartz

“Tiny Dancer” - Tim McGraw

A song originally by Elton John, “Tiny Dancer” was covered in 2002 by country legend Tim McGraw. The cover appeared on his seventh studio album, “Tim McGraw And The Dancehall Doctors.”

Elton John’s original version is a classic that almost everyone knows, but Tim McGraw’s cover of “Tiny Dancer” is definitely something special. McGraw, being one of the most recognizable names in country music, was able to add some extra cowboy flair to John’s 1971 release.

The melody and instrumentals of both renditions are similar, but Tim McGraw’s cover of “Tiny Dancer” highlights a more prominent use of drums and an electric guitar, along with background vocals that give the song more depth.

Tim McGraw was able to make “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John feel like a classic country song, and this cover is certainly one that should be recognized more. -Sarah Gavlak

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light”- Glee Cast

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about the best covers of all time without discussing the show that perfected covers. Every week from 2009-2015, America watched some of the best vocal talents cover songs ranging from pop hits, classic rock and iconic show tunes.

To say a cover from “Glee” is better than the original can be controversial. But there are a few songs that the fictional show choir did better.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is definitively that song. When the New Directions pulled up to Nationals at the end of season three, they knew they had to do something big, and it’s this ensemble number that cemented their massive win.

Led by Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith, the show choir takes the listener through the story of this song significantly better than “Meat Loaf” could ever dream.

Michelle is difficult but a vocal powerhouse and it’s one of Monteith's best vocal performances on the show. Using the entire team significantly highlights the two other superstars, Daren Criss and Amber Riley.

It’s hard to find anyone who can sing like Riley and Michelle. Covers like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light'' remind listeners why “Glee” is a show whose success was never seen before and will never be replicated.

Sure, the rest of these covers are great, but “Glee” had covers so good they went on a world tour. -Sophia D’Ovidio

Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email amg7989@psu.edu.

Savannah Swartz is a second-year communications major. To contact her, email sms9072@psu.edu.

Sarah Gavlak is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, please email sng5393@psu.edu.

Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email sgd5184@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Sophia D'Ovidio's photo

Sophia D'Ovidio

First-Year /

Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year from Allentown, New Jersey. She is now a communications (undecided) major at Penn State University. Sophia intends on pursuing a career in journalism. Sophia writes for the CommRadio Arts department.

Savannah Swartz's photo

Savannah Swartz

Second-year / Advertising and Public Relations

Savannah Swartz is a second-year communications major, focusing on advertising and public relations. She is a member of the arts department.

Adrianna Gallucci's photo

Adrianna Gallucci

Sophomore /

Adrianna Gallucci is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and is one of CommRadio’s New Member Coordinators. She is also a broadcaster, journalist, podcaster and talk show guest. In addition, Adrianna is also a part of PSSN, TDAY Sports and AWSM. She hosts her own independent podcast, She’s All Bat: A New York Mets podcast. She is a huge Mets and Rangers fan and will always talk about pro wrestling. Adrianna wants to work in MLB, NHL or WWE as a journalist or an anchor. You can find her on Twitter at @agallucci17 or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Sarah Gavlak's photo

Sarah Gavlak

/

Sarah Gavlak is a first-year student from Johnstown, Pennsylvania majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. She is involved with the arts and entertainment department. To contact her, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).