Most of my favorite covers have already been mentioned. All Along the Watchtower by Hendrix is my favorite. I loved APC's cover of Imagine by John Lennon. One I haven't seen listed that I personally enjoyed was Aaron Lewis' cover of Black by Pearl Jam. It is similar to the original, but I still thought it was a solid cover.
The hands down best for me is Hurt by Johnny Cash.
I've got a huge list of Pearl Jam favorites and I'm not sure where to begin. I'll just list Crazy Mary, Sonic Reducer and Throw Your Arms Around me to start.
For me the worst by far is when Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page redid Khasmir. They renamed it Come with Me (heh heh Beavis they said come with me) so maybe it doesn't count, but I remember them doing it on SNL or some late night show and wanting to break my TV. How can someone take their own song and do that to it?
I hate Hurt by Johnny Cash.
NIN's is one of my favorite song and I think Cash ruined the emotion of the song. Just my opinion.
Tough to narrow down my favorites, but my top three at the moment would be:
1. Johnny Cash - "Hurt" (Nine Inch Nails)
2. Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen)
3. Wye Oak - "Mother" (Danzig)
By far my least favorite is A Perfect Circle's cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" - just terrible.
brandy by the rhcp
Worst: all of the songs Guns'n'Roses covered...Knocking on Heaven's Door, Live and Let Die, the entire Spaghetti Incident album, etc. I know I'll take heat for this, but their versions are just awful.
Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (originally Joan Baez)
David Bowie - Sorrow (originally The McCoys)
The Band - I Shall Be Released (originally Bob Dylan)
Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U (originally Prince)
Soft Cell - Tainted Love (originally Gloria Jones)
And my personal favorites, the Flying Burrito Brothers' covers of "Do Right Woman" and "Dark End of the Street" by Moman and Penn. These two songs were Motown tunes that got wonderfully countrified, and appear back-to-back on their first album. They go great with a glass of neat bourbon.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8mqq1x0rQU]THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS /// 3. Do Right Woman - (The Gilded Palace Of Sin) - (1969) - YouTube[/ame]
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovorTymu-1A]THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS /// 4. Dark End Of The Street - (The Gilded Palace Of Sin) - (1969) - YouTube[/ame]
Did anyone mention Careless Whisper by Seether ?
A god awfull song to begin with that wasnt made any better by Seether.
I like 99 Red Balloons by Goldfinger...
Mad World by Gary Jules/Michael Andrews. (Donnie Darko version)
All Along the Watchtower Jimi Hendrix or Dave Matthews Band, or Grateful Dead (I just really like the song, Bob Dylan was one of the greatest song writers of all time.) (Hendrix's is the best version)
Also with Hendrix, his cover of Johnny B. Goode was decent (vocals bad, guitar great), his star spangled banner is classic (is that a cover?), and Blue Suede Shoes is bad, but has another Hendrix solo in it.
I like Robert Glasper's version of Smells Like Teen Spirit... it is different, but really peaceful and relaxing.
Linkin Park did a good job with Rolling In The Deep, really shows off Chester's voice.
Against All Odds by Postal Service
Wanksta by Eminem is fun, but not really a cover more of a remake.