(The true heresy is that I had to upload two of these tracks to YouTubve myself.)
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” The Rolling Stones
Does this count? The Stones’ version is the first one I heard. Don’t know where I was for the Temptations’ version.
“Too Much Monkey Business,” Elvis Presley
I like Elvis’ recoding of “Promised Land” more than this one, but I don’t like that better than Chuck Berry’s.
“Please Mister Postman,” The Beatles
This sounds like a plea the way Lennon sings it. “Deliver de letter de sooner de better” sounds like an order.
“Warmed Over Kisses,” Dave Edmunds
The original, by Brian Hyland, is a country waltz. These versions wouldn’t recognize one another were they standing face to face.
“Roll Over Beethoven,” Electric Light Orchestra
It might seem obvious now, but I found it really clever when it came out. And the solo sections show strings can rock.
“Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me),” The Doobie Brothers
Between this and “Sweet Maxine,” I thought they were going to become the combination of Motown and rock that would really hit my pop sweet spot. At least I’ve got those two songs.
“Youngblood,” Bad Company
Paul Rodgers brings the right blend of comedy, tragedy and lechery to this.
“Blue Suede Shoes,” Johnny Rivers
One of the dominant traits of most of these songs is a sense of urgency the originals did not have. This is my favorite example. Sometimes when I’m listening to this, I’m not certain they’ll all make it to the end, let alone get there together.
“Across the Universe,” The Lackloves
The first time I heard this, they were performing it onstage. I wanted it to never end.
“Heat Wave,” Linda Ronstadt
Not only my favorite Ronstadt song, but probably among my five favorite songs ever.