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The Best Covers of R.E.M. Songs

Check out R.E.M.'s entire
catalog on iTunes.

"But that was just a dream"

Since this is a site whose main focus is independent artists, it only makes sense to include a little tribute to REM. Of course, there are many reading this who are of the age that they only know REM as a giant, major-label rock band. If you are one of those, then you might be interested to learn that REM basically invented indie rock... way back in the early 1980s. These guys piled into a van and played every single tiny gig that they could find, for years, slowly building up an audience, one person at a time. Eventually, despite being on a tiny independent label, they managed to crack into the mainstream (barely), which is what finally got them into the majors and so forth. But REM was one of the first to travel the indie rock road and was arguably the most successful at doing so.

Along the way they've written a lot of great songs. Following is what we consider the best covers of some of REM's best tunes. If you like this list check out our other lists of covers by great artists such as U2 and The Cure. (Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes) .

Jacqui Naylor

Losing My Religion by Jacqui Naylor

A beautiful, slow and jazzy version with piano and a great standup bass part. This one by Jacqui Naylor sounds nothing like REM, but it sounds fantastic. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

This Unique Museum

Find the River by This Unique Museum

A dark and whispery version of this classic makes you feel as though you are in on some little secret, and a good little secret at that. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Travers Clift

The One I Love by Travers Clift

It's always an interesting change to switch genders on the lead vocals, and this version has beautiful female lead vox, as well as a nice acoustic groove and a very western feel with a haunting harmonica part going along in the background. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Lacuna Coil

Losing My Religion by Lacuna Coil

I was floored by this version of Losing My Religion -- not just an electric version of an acoustic classic, but a huge, powerful, gothic and passionate version of an acoustic classic. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Rosie Thomas

The One I Love by Rosie Thomas

Rosie has a beautiful and delicate voice that works well just above a whisper. She brings that dreamlike breathiness to this acoustic cover -- plus great harmonies and an indescribably beautiful guitar part. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)


Everybody Hurts by Gregorian

Honestly, how could anyone not be excited by the thought of Everybody Hurts performed as a Gregorian chant? Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

The Piddletown Brothers

Losing My Religion by The Piddletown Brothers

Though this album labels this as a "folk rock cover," the airy synth strings and the almost arabic-style drums turn it into something else. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Gabrielle Angelique

Everybody Hurts by Gabrielle Angelique

Very nice female vocals atop a folksy-acoustic backdrop. The flutes are an interesting (and nice) choice. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Jasmine Thompson

Everybody Hurts by Jasmine Thompson

I know that she's only a teenager... but damn, this is a great cover. A lot of people with a lot more experience can't get that kind of emotion in their voices. Check out this delicate piano cover with the uniquely beautiful vocals of Youtube sensation Jasmine Thompson. Buy it on iTunes (or hear longer preview)

Click below for more great R.E.M. Covers...