10 of the Most Covered Songs in Music History

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Unlike movies, where it's rare that a second (or third) attempt at remaking a film can ever match—let alone top—the original, music is a different sort of creative beast. Just because The Beatles did a bang-up job on one song doesn't mean that Joan Baez or Elvis Presley couldn't do the same tune justice in their own unique way. Which is a very good thing, as The Beatles's catalog is one of the most copied in music history. While not an exhaustive list, here are 10 of the most covered songs.

1. "YESTERDAY" // THE BEATLES

"Yesterday" has been covered more than 2200 times, with Joan Baez, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, En Vogue, and Boyz II Men among the many (many) artists to put their own spin on the song. Plus, you know you've made it as a band when even Daffy Duck gets in on the action.

2. "(I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION" // THE ROLLING STONES

This classic Rolling Stones song has been redone by a diverse array of artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Devo, and Vanilla Ice. It was also famously covered by Britney Spears at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards before she launched into "Oops! I Did It Again."

3. "ELEANOR RIGBY" // THE BEATLES

A somewhat surprising choice, considering The Beatles's other hits, but it's been covered 131 times by artists such as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Kansas, and Swedish industrial metal band Pain.

4. "CRY ME A RIVER" // JULIE LONDON

This jazzy number from 1955 has been covered by a huge range of people, including Barbra Streisand, Joe Cocker, Aerosmith, Rick Astley, Björk, Merle Haggard, and Olivia Newton John.

5. "AND I LOVE HER" // THE BEATLES

The original song is from one of The Beatles's earlier albums, A Hard Day's Night, and has since been reworked by Bob Marley, Smokey Robinson, Sarah Vaughan, Barry Manilow, and Vince Gill, among numerous others.

6. "SUMMERTIME" // ABBIE MITCHELL

Abbie Mitchell is the person who originally sang "Summertime," in the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, but Janis Joplin's cover is probably the most well-known version. But Sonny and Cher did a version, too, and so did R.E.M.

7. "IMAGINE" // JOHN LENNON

Musical stalwarts like Joan Baez, Ray Charles, Elton John, David Bowie, and Queen have all given their own personal touch to "Imagine." And in recent years, the likes of Pink, Lady Gaga, and Avril Lavigne have joined the list of artists who have attempted to make the John Lennon classic their own.

8. "OVER THE RAINBOW" // JUDY GARLAND

One of the most frequently performed songs during American Idol auditions has also been covered by plenty of musical greats. Non-Idol cover versions include Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Eva Cassidy, Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, Tori Amos, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. That last version is the Hawaiian rendition that's mixed with "What a Wonderful World" that has gotten a lot of play in recent years.

9. "BLACKBIRD" // THE BEATLES

Another one of the prettiest Beatles songs, and another one of the most covered. Recently, Dave Grohl covered it during the 2016 Oscars, but there are also versions from Phish, Jesse McCartney, Bobby McFerrin, Eddie Vedder, and Elliott Smith.

10. "THE LOOK OF LOVE" // DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Written by Burt Bacharach and originally sung by Dusty Springfield for the first Casino Royale soundtrack in 1967, "The Look of Love" has been covered a lot. The Zombies, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Shirley Bassey, and Diana Krall are just a few of the artists who have made it their own.

14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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Late MythBusters Star Grant Imahara Honored With New STEAM Foundation

Grant Imahara attends San Diego Comic-Con
Grant Imahara attends San Diego Comic-Con
Genevieve via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Fans of MythBusters and White Rabbit Project host Grant Imahara were saddened to hear of his passing due to a brain aneurysm in July 2020 at the age of 49. Imahara, a graduate of the University of Southern California, used the television medium to share his love of science and engineering. Now, his passion for education will continue via an educational foundation developed in his name.

The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation was announced Thursday, October 23, 2020 by family and friends on what would have been Imahara’s 50th birthday. The Foundation will provide mentorships, grants, and scholarships that will allow students from diverse backgrounds access to STEAM education, which places an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. (Formerly referred to as STEM, the “A” for art was added more recently.)

Imahara had a history of aiding students. While working at Industrial Light and Magic in the early 2000s, he mentored the robotics team at Richmond High School to prepare for the international FIRST Robotics Competition. Whether he was working on television or behind-the-scenes on movies like the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix sequels, Imahara always found time to promote and encourage young engineering talent.

The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation’s founding board members include Imahara’s mother, Carolyn Imahara, and close friends Don Bies, Anna Bies, Edward Chin, Fon H. Davis, Coya Elliott, and Ioanna Stergiades.

“There are many students, like my son Grant, who need the balance of the technical and the creative, and this is what STEAM is all about,” Carolyn Imahara said in a statement. “I’m so proud of my son’s career, but I’m equally proud of the work he did mentoring students. He would be thrilled that we plan to continue this, plus much more, through The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation.”

Imahara friend Wade Bick is also launching an effort in concert with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to name a study lounge after Imahara. Donations can be made here.

You can find out more about the foundation, and make a donation, on its website.