I don't listen to too many older songs (before 1980s or so), but when I do, I'm amazed by the number of "new" songs that are actually covers of old, or even ancient, songs. So, most of the "originals" I post are probably actually covers themselves, but whatever.
Standard Disclaimer: almost all the covers I'm posting are faster versions of the originals. In most cases, I like both versions, and which I prefer simply depends on my mood at the time. There, now I don't have to write this for every video.
La Isla Bonita Madonna Alizee
I've always like Madonna's songs, but I've never really liked her voice. Not to mention that while Madonna is dirtier, Alizee is cuter.
Hotel California Eagles Gipsy Kings
The Standard Disclaimer definitely applies here, since the Eagles' version is great. It's probably more of that I think of the hilarious scene in The Big Lebowski when I hear the Gipsy Kings' version.
Calabria (warning: fairly naughty videos) Alex Guadino Enur The Anthem by Pit Bull
The Enur version is really the original, and I prefer it by far, although since the Guadino version came out first, lots of people get it backwards. And Pit Bull's version isn't really a cover, more of a remake, but it's still a fun song. The producer sure hates everything anybody else did with his song, though: interview.
Axel F Harold Faltermeyer Crazy Frog
One of my absolute favorite songs from the 80s, although the cover has a little more going on in the song. Plus, everybody freaked out about an animated frog's penis.
Milkshake Kelis D-Tune
I'm only going to include one mainstream song covered into a dance track because it happens with every song that gets popular. Plus, I'm not sure how many people would consider it to be "covering," although I often prefer the dance versions (but not the slower/longer techno/trance versions) to the originals.
Street Fighter 2, Guile's theme SSF2T original remix
OK, this is again more of a remix than a cover, but still, I love it. Not to mention lots of people play this on guitar.
Transformers (the movie, not the TV show, although that's a fun song, too) Lion Black Lab
And I'll finish with one where I absolutely love the original and despise the cover, although the actual theme for the 2007 movie is pretty good. Then again, most of the songs in the original movie were rocking, too, especially Dare and The Touch. Man I loved the 80s. I wonder what will happen with the GI Joe movie theme in the new movie.
Yeah, like I said, I don't listen to anything very old.
I agree with Alien Ant Farm and Marilyn Manson, too.
Pain is a one man band. It's one person that does vocals, writes the songs and playes all instruments. I like the cover more because of the rock theme but the cover also seems more pure. The beatles version seems so.... infused, twisted.
I've been looking for this one since I got out of the Army where I heard that first time. I thought it is, rather than being a better cover, a perfecting cover - making the original mood better fit the expressions that man of today expects to hear. And I love how he kept the moody strings.
I'm really so thankful for this I want to nail you. Even with the nitpick, this is without a doubt the cover I relate to most.
Only covers I can think of myself at the moment are Working Class Hero (Lennon -> Green Day) and Behind Blue Eyes (The Who - Limp Bizkit), and for both saying that the cover exceeds the original is stretching it. Lennon delivered his song without the emo feel, and The Who just were more rock.