It is surprisingly quite common for a cover version to chart higher than the original ever did. Here we will look at 25 of those such songs that not only charted higher but managed to work their way to the top of the charts in the UK. Some of these covers you will be familiar with and others you won’t be and no matter if you think that the original was so much better, the fact remains that these cover songs did chart higher than the original.

Against All Odds

Originally a number two hit for Phil Collins in 1984, it was taken to number one in 2004 by Steve Brookstein, who was the winner of the X Factor that year.

Always On My Mind

A song written by Willie Nelson (who managed to chart at number 49 with it) it is the Elvis Presley version that everyone knows, taking it to number 9 in the charts way back in 1972. However, in 1987, the Pet Shop Boys covered the song and took it to the top of the charts.

American Pie

Made famous by Don McLean it only reached number two but Madonna’s cover went one place higher and hit the top in the year 2000.

Valerie (Call On Me)

A number 19 hit for Steve Winwood in 1987 it was resurrected in 2004 as a dance song called Call On Me and taken to number one by Eric Prydz.

Don’t Leave Me This Way

A number one hit for The Communards in 1986, nine years after the original, by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes managed to take it to number five.

Don’t Stop Me Now

One of Queen’s most well known songs, it only hit number nine in 1979. Boy-band McFly covered it in 2006 and hit the top of the charts.


A song written by Leonard Cohen and covered by Jeff Buckley on one of his albums, it wasn’t until 2008 that this song hit the number one spot. Alexander Burke, the winner of the X Factor in 2008, had the Christmas number one, with Jeff Buckley’s version right behind it at number two.


A Bryan Adams song that crept into the top forty at number 38, it was taken to the top in 2002, as a dance song, by DJ Sammy.

How Deep Is Your Love

One of the Bee Gee’s most loved songs they reached number three in 1977. Take That covered it in 1996 and hit the top.

I Have A Dream

It is quite common for ABBA songs to be covered but not many place higher in the charts but this number two hit in 1979 was taken to number one by Westlife 20 years later.

P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 25th of January 2009 and can be found by clicking HERE.