Songs covered -- and rediscovered

A word of warning: You could probably get yourself fired checking out The Torontoist Cover Song Catalogue — and it would almost be worth it. I wasted a good chunk of the morning just grooving to the first five tracks alone, the ones Torontoist lumps under the heading "Better Than the Original." And while I respectfully dispute that anyone can trump Paula Abdul’s version of "Straight Up," I’ve got to say Dave Werner’s acoustic version certainly has its own merits (especially when he drops a little "Opposites Attract" at the end). Also not to be missed: Everything But the Girl’s "Downtown Train," Max Raabe’s "Oops…I Did It Again," and Esthero’s "Windmills of Your Mind." But don’t take my word for it, check out these covers for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • an

    List is ok…but they should have mentioned Casey Stratton who brilliantly covers Bonnie Raitt, Sinead O’Connor, Bjork among others…

  • Nose

    Damn you Slezak!!!
    Do you realize how much time I just spent on this site and how many people I sent it to?!?
    I loved Stephanie Casey doing “Hold Me Now”..I will have to find the full version of that one.
    If you all want to hear a wicked awesome version of “Nothing Compares To You”, check out the version by Stereophonics. I like it much better than the original. Also, check out Travis singing “Hit Me Baby One More Time”…the laughs in the background make it worth the listen.

  • Fatima

    Anyone who thinks the White Stripes’ version of “Jolene” is better than Dolly’s deserves a swift kick in the face.
    While I found many of the covers fun to hear, the magazine writers themselves really really annoyed me. It was like wannabe pitchfork without any of the wit or brains.

  • Della

    The Windmills of Your Mind – no one will ever out-do Dusty Springfield’s version.

  • Howard

    Looks like a fun site to hit later, but they ignore the greatest example of audio larceny, since I saw no mention of Aretha Franklin covering Otis Redding’s “Respect”. Otis’ was great, but even he said that Franklin’s version reduced his to obscurity.

  • Ellipsian

    Uh-oh Slezak: Someone is giving you competition in the First Annual “Ellipsian: Those on Whom He Crushes Heavily” Awards (yeah it’s awkwardly titled, but my crushes tend to be awkwardly expressed, so really it just makes sense), and his name is Dave Werner. Lovin’ me some Dave–what a talented cutie! Really brought out the great songwriting in that Abdul number.

  • C

    I, too, adored Stephanie Casey’s “Hold Me Now.” I also liked Dave Werner’s version of “Straight Up.”

  • mike

    But can Dave Werner tap?

  • Joe C

    Well, you all probably knew this list was coming. Mariah Carey has covered some songs, and her version has surpssed the original more than once. The two that come to mind: Her version of Nilsson’s ‘Without You'(I never liked the original) and her duet with Sisqo ‘THe Thong Song’ on a version of Prince’s ‘The Beautiful Ones.’ As big a Prince fan as I am, and Purple Rain is my fave CD of all time, I never liked the way he screamed this song, it ruined it for me. Check out MC’s version on Butterfly.

  • Marc

    Fatima: I offer up the left side for a swift kick and good ol’ Smoky Mountain pitchforkin’! (I’m the writer of the article) Never mess with a Dolly fan! ;-)
    Dave Werner also does a “Like A Prayer” and “Yeah” (Usher) cover on his YouTube page. Casey Stratton’s covers are also all over YouTube.

  • Eugene

    Dude, Dave Werner and I were in band together in High School and part of college, and he is one of the most creative and talented guys I know, defintely want to give him props, he was always good at putting his own style into cover songs. I think one of the first songs we ever covered was “Cumbersome” by Seven Mary Three, there’s gotta be a tape of that somewhere.

  • Nuttiskyn

    Ted Leo’s cover of Kelly Clarkson (with a hint of the YYY’s maps thrown in for good luck) is perhaps the most amazing cover of all time…makes me smile every single time i hear it

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