There are tons of great indie covers of classic rock songs. Today’s indie bands have many great classic rock bands to inspire them. Here is a list of the 10 best instances.
10. ‘Rhiannon’ – Best Coast
Indie band Best Coast’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” is interesting. It appeared on the various artists’ album, A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. They definitely made it their own. The piano as the backbeat isn’t the best, but guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino’s singing is excellent on the classic rock tune.
9. ‘Gold Only Knows’ – JR JR
JR JR’s cover of The Beach Boys’ classic “Gold Only Knows” is a perfect example of an indie cover of a classic rock song. It blends the two genres, which are separated by multiple decades. The lyrics are classic rock, but the vibe, mood, and sound are all indie rock. JR JR’s cover is just as dreamy as The Beach Boys’ version.
8. ‘Oh! Darling’ – Florence + the Machine
Indie rock band Florence + the Machine covered The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” during their 2009 performance at Abbey Road Studios, the same recording studio where The Beatles recorded their music. Florence Welch’s vocals on it are stunning. Her style and voice are perfect for the song, and she hits every note. It’s pretty much what you’d expect of a Florence + the Machine cover of The Beatles.
7. ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ – My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket’s cover of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” appeared on The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver. Like Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket’s cover of the classic rock song is perfect. The band’s sound is very reminiscent of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.
6. ‘Harvest Moon’ – Sunflower Bean
Sunflower Bean’s cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is dreamier than the original. All they did was make it a little less classic rock and add an indie flare with the guitars. However, they still use the same riff. Julia Cumming’s vocals are soft like Young’s, but they are powerful nonetheless.
5. ‘These Days’ – Cat Power
Cat Power’s rendition of “These Days” is more soulful and slower than Nico’s original version. There’s moodiness that isn’t present in the German singer’s version either. They both use the same guitar riff as the central part of the music. However, Nico sings with an orchestra behind her. Both versions are great.
4. ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ – The Kills
The Kills chose a perfect classic rock song that fits their own vibe: The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes.” The two bands have a similar style. However, The Kills’ versions of “Pale Blue Eyes” is completely different. The Kills took the song and added their signature sounds, heavy bass and drums. The Velvet Underground’s version is softer, almost like a nursery rhyme.
3. ‘She Said She Said’ – The Black Keys
The Black Keys also chose well for their cover. The rock duo consists of just drums and guitar, and they chose a Beatles song with great drums and guitar, “She Said She Said.” They added their style to the classic rock tune, giving it a rougher edge.
2. ‘Running Up That Hill’ – Placebo
Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” became one of 2022’s best songs, decades after the singer-songwriter released it, thanks to Stranger Things. However, Placebo honored the song years before. Their cover is so different from Bush’s version. It’s dark and moody and would’ve worked in Stranger Things just as well.
1. ‘Silver Springs’ – Lykke Li
Lykke Li’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs” appears on the same album as Best Coast’s cover, and it’s just as good. The singer’s vocals have an echoed effect, which makes it dreamier. It’s definitely one of the best indie covers of Fleetwood Mac.
Indie covers of classic rock songs are great because you get to fall in love with your favorite tunes again. Whether you’re loyal to the originals or not, it’s undeniably interesting to hear the younger bands give them refreshing updates.