Jose Gonzalez‘s stripped-down acoustic version of The Knife’s ubiquitous breakout hit allows the lyrics to take the forefront, and the crux of the song—one night of thrilling anxiety, passion, and consummation—appears as those moments often do: in slow motion. It’s an absolutely devastating interpolation of the track that strips away everything except for a voice and guitar, letting the words speak for themselves.
Dolly Parton is a legend in her own right. And her original version, released in 1974, was no slouch—it topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart twice.
But we’re talking about one of the most epic vocal performances in the history of sound. Houston’s version was recorded for the 1992 film The Bodyguard, and went on to hold the record for the best-selling single by a woman in music history. And unofficially, that key change is one of the most reliably goosebump-inducing music moments to ever exist.
Though the Feist version of this melancholic folk ballad has plenty of passion and pain, it’s not quite as visceral as the way James Blake plays with the contrast in “Limit To Your Love.” He absolutely rips into the piano, voice vacillating between skating across thin ice and diving in head-first—there’s something about this cover that feels like a first dance and a last dance all at once.
Weezer unveiled a cover of Toto’s 1982 hit “Africa.” The band’s rendition came about after a fan, whose Twitter account is @weezerafrica, lobbied for months to get the band to cover the song.
Sudan Archives hails from Cincinnati and at just 22-years-old is already garnering the attention of a full-blown virtuoso; one part vocalist, another part visceral, loop-heavy violinist. And it’s all on display in a performance video that finds the new signee deconstructing Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” and rebuilding it part-by-part as the newly-transformed “Queen Kunta,” which doubles as an unlikely anthem even with strings jabbing where spongy bass lines once laid.
I’m A Believer, a great pop tune that was written by Neil Diamond would be covered by the English band The Monkees. In 1962, filmmaker Bob Rafelson pitched the idea for a TV show about a group of young rock musicians. The Monkees TV show became a monster hit. The show combined wacky antics by the lads, together with music videos of their pop songs.
Warpaint‘s 2014 cover of “Ashes to Ashes” delicately layers harmonic California pop over the Bowie classic, while still emphasizing the dreary mood that surfaced when it first appeared on 1980’s Scary Monsters.