Top 10 Country Covers of Rock Songs

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Anyone can recreate a popular song. It takes a courageous artist to take on another’s work, especially an artist in an entirely different genre. Covers aren’t made necessarily to be better than the original, just to take that original to a new level or interpret them in a new way. Country artists are famous for venturing into the rock genre to recreate famous songs in their own image.  We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 favorite country covers of rock songs.

10.  Johnny Cash – “Hurt”

“Hurt” was a song belonging to Nine Inch Nails until Johnny Cash covered it as one of the last releases before his death in 2003. With the music video consisting of images from Cash’s life, it is one of the most moving and powerful covers of all time.

9.  The Dixie Chicks – “Landslide”

The Dixie Chicks’ entire career was built on venturing to new heights country artists rarely visited. “Landslide” was originally performed by Fleetwood Mac, but the country trio took this five-part song and transformed it into something just as powerful with fewer members.

8.  Faith Hill – “Piece of My Heart”

It’s not easy to cover a rock legend such as Janis Joplin, but Faith Hill took a swing at “Piece of My Heart.” Her version gives the song a softer, more fun-loving tone.

7.  Garth Brooks – “To Make You Feel My Love”

Many artists have covered Bob Dylan songs, but few have been able to capture the raw emotion his songs encapsulate. Garth Brooks covered Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love.” Brooks’ emotion is easily heard through the chords of this famous song.

6.  Travis Tritt – “Take It Easy”

Travis Tritt took on the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” for a tribute album honoring the band. He released the song as a single, which favored well among the country music charts.

5.  Dolly Parton – “Stairway to Heaven”

Led Zeppelin is not a band country artists would regularly cover; even some rock bands shy away from the high standards the band has set. Dolly Parton covered one of the most iconic songs of all time, “Stairway to Heaven.” Parton’s version involves an acoustic take, her voice haunting listeners with each powerful note. Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, even expressed his praise for her version of the song.

4.  Conway Twitty – “Slow Hand”

Conway Twitty is one of the most iconic artists in country music, constantly being referenced even in modern country songs. It is no surprise he would be capable of covering a female song and completely revamping it in order to relate to another gender. The Pointer Sisters made “Slow Hand” famous in 1981. Twitty covered the song a year later and topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles.

3.  Tim McGraw- “Tiny Dancer”

It may be difficult to imagine Tim McGraw taking on a song by the infamous Elton John. Upon hearing the beginning of McGraw’s cover of “Tiny Dancer”, it is clear this song is capable of sounding beautiful in any genre, even McGraw’s falsetto at the chorus is spot on.

2.  Dwight Yoakam – “Little Sister”

Dwight Yoakam has been making music since the early ‘80s. With his many accomplishments, Yoakam felt brave enough to cover Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister.” While Presley can be appreciated across many genres, Yoakam is usually only associated with country music. Despite him and Presley sharing some of the same dance moves, Yoakam adds his own flair and signature voice.

1.  Justin Moore – “Home Sweet Home”

A Mötley Crüe tribute album was created this year, featuring country artists putting their own spin on songs made famous by the band. Justin Moore took on the song “Home Sweet Home” and even released it as a single. With the help of Mötley Crüe’s lead vocalist, Moore recreates the powerful song with his southern twang. The cover works to his advantage, being one of the few on the album to have a considerable number of positive reviews.

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