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)
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)
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 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)
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)