1. Pieces of Me (Ashlee Simpson), Almost Better Submitted by J.R.
No lie, this is hilarious. But still great. It's probably better because of the controversy that flew around Ashlee Simpson at the time the song came out. For those who don't remember, the now- Mrs. Wentz decided to lip-sync her performance on SNL, making for some amazing spoofs, and pop culture fodder for weeks to come. Anyway- this one's suggested simply for the nostalgia factor, and the fact that you can smile to yourself and remember that you're not married to a guy who once called himself "half-gay". Win.
2. Bitches Ain't Shit (Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg), Ben Folds Submitted by Heath
One of the most-talked about covers of the past 15 years or so, there are very few people who haven't heard this one. Ben Folds, world's biggest white boy, sings about guns, prison and "hoes", and somehow gets away with it. The song was actually recently retired by Ben, who apparently has some new material coming out soon. Not sure if I'll be buying, but interesting just the same.
3. Don't You Forget About Me (Simple Minds), The Bouncing Souls Submitted by J.R.
Made for the film, The Breakfast Club, the original seems to take you back to high school, even when you were still there. Maybe The Bouncing Souls enjoyed high school a lot. Maybe they enjoyed The Breakfast Club a lot. Either way, they pay a solid tribute to the song, and a solid tribute to Simple Minds, who apparently released an album in 2006 (news to me).
4. King of Pain (The Police), Brandston Submitted by Tom
Everyone enjoys a good Police cover now and again, and why shouldn't they? The band's catchy pop melodies are fun, interesting, and appeal to a broad range of listeners. Whether you enjoy The Police's actual work or not, Brandston hits the nail on the head with this one, and captured the essence of the original while still making it their own.
5. This Charming Man (The Smiths), Death Cab for Cutie Submitted by Matt
The original version of this one is a good time, but a bit more mellow. Death Cab fires through the song, keeping it in line with their own recordings of the time, and if I didn't know otherwise, I'd say it was theirs. Still, I've always liked this one myself, because of its flawless entry into the Death Cab repertoire of tracks.
6. Float On (Modest Mouse), Goldspot Submitted by John
The first time I heard this one, I was actually at work, and I was shocked to hear anything that resembled Modest Mouse blaring over the sound system at Old Navy. Of course, this sounds nothing like the Modest Mouse version of the song, and I suppose that's what I can appreciate about it. It's bright, cheery and fun, sounding more like indie pop than its predecessor, and it may be the most-different song on this list.
7. Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan), The Honorary Title Submitted by John
Alright, this is probably my favorite cover of all-time, and one of my five favorite THT songs as well. I'm also not a Bob Dylan fan, which further adds to how great this song is. When an artist can take a song by an artist I'm not particularly fond of, and turn it into one of my favorites, a miracle has been performed. So for that, The Honorary Title find themselves on the list.
8. Young Folks (Peter Bjorn & John), The Kooks Submitted by Matt
Matt feels that these guys are the masters of covering songs. This might be true, considering their other cover-related work includes some awesome renditions of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, and more recently, Violet Hill by Coldplay. Sadly, we could only pick one of them though, so this high-energy jam seemed to beat out the others.
9. We Will Become Silhouettes (The Postal Service), The Shins Submitted by Heath
How can one band cover a song by another band that sounds so much like them? Somehow The Shins pull this one off, putting together an even poppier version than the original, and throwing their own spin onto it. My favorite version of this song is actually Ben Gibbard's, but since that's not a cover, it doesn't have a place here.
10. Tiny Cities Made of Ashes (Modest Mouse), Sun Kill Moon Submitted by Tom
In the future, we'll try to avoid doing this (doubling up on an artist), but here's another great Modest Mouse cover, courtesy of Sun Kill Moon. The band does a nice job of capturing the mood of the original, which is off of The Moon & Antarctica (recently named as one of the 100 best albums of the past 25 years by Entertainment Weekly). Thank you to Tom for making me aware of this one, which I had not heard until preparing for this post.