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The results as voted by 6 Music listeners

1 Johnny Cash – Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)

2 Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)

3 Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

4 Futureheads – Hounds of Love (Kate Bush)

5 This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren (Tim Buckley)

6 Stranglers – Walk on By (Dionne Warwick)

7 Soft Cell – Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)

8 Clash – Police and Thieves (Junior Mervin)

9 White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What to do With Myself (Dusty Springfield)

10 Fall - Lost in Music (Sister Sledge)

11 Siouxsie & the Banshees – Dear Prudence (The Beatles)

12 Kirsty MacColl – A New England (Billy Bragg)

13 Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie)

14 Byrds – Mr Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan)

15 Pet Shop Boys – Always on My Mind (Elvis Presley)

16 Muse – Feeling Good (Nina Simone)

17 The Damned - Eloise (Barry Ryan)

18 Lemonheads – Mrs Robinson (Simon & Garfunkle)

19 Cake – I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)

20 China Drum – Wuthering Hights (Kate Bush)

21 St Etienne – Only Love Can Break your Heart (Neil Young)

22 Devo – Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)

23 Foo Fighters – Baker St (Gerry Rafferty)

24 Jose Gonzalez - Hand on Your Heart (Kylie Minogue)

25 Dinasaur Jnr – Just Like Heaven (The Cure)

26 Elbow – Independent Women (Destiny's Child)

27 Manic Street Preachers – Suicide is Painless Theme from M*A*S*H)

28 Mark Ronson - Just (Radiohead)

29 Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding (Elvis Costello)

30 Black Crowes - Hard to Handle (Otis Redding)

31 Tori Amos – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

32 Ryan Adams - Wonderwall (Oasis)

33 U2 – Helter Skelter (The Beatles)

34 Bjork – It’s Oh So Quiet (from Annie Get Your Gun)

35 Slits – Heard it Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)

36 Aretha Franklin – Respect (Otis Redding)

37 Michael Andrews feat Gary Jules – Madworld (Tears for Fears)

38 Patti Smith – Gloria (Them)

39 Clash – I Fought the Law (Bobby Fuller Four)

40 Stevie Wonder – We Can Work it Out (The Beatles)

Disclaimer:The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Comments so far

jet in saafend
Rammstein's version of Stripped would make my list - mad vocals (as you'd imagine) but a groove just made for pole-dancing...

Andrew Edwards Learmonth,aus
I say, Arctic Hart: Marching band is a great song.

can't beleive Placebo-"running up the hill" didn't make it!

Andrew, St Margarets At Cliffe.
Where is Nick Cave covering Somethings Gotten Hold Of My Heart, or Susanna & Her Magical Orchestra diong Jolene or Sonic Youth doing Superstar?? Good list otherwise though.

Paul In Chelmsford
What about the brilliant Kiss cover of God Gave Rock N Roll To You.....????????much better than the Argent original

paul stockport
nice to see the damned in there

julie in bolton
yay the damned are in the charts again with eloise

Carl Darlington
Nothing compares 2 u by Sinead O Connor. She completely owns that song now

John Blackpool
Everyone is going on about Joe Cocker! "With a Little Help from my Friends", its the worst cover ever & he needs friends to do it properly! Everyone else? I agree with Johnny Wotsit:Zzzzzzzzz

Stephen Waddington, Manchester UK
Where is Bryan Ferry? I assume that as he has performed so many brilliant cover versions his votes were spread. I prefer many of his Dylan covers to the originals, and listening to his versions of "The In Crowd" and "Sympathy for the Devil" always gets my pulse racing.

Steve Dove Mount Gretna, PA, USA
OK, Not much argument. EXCEPT: Top cover must be Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends". Who else has completely aced a Beatles song, no less, and made it The Classic Version? Worst: William Shatner's "Rocket Man". Tears flood unbid; excruciating!

Kevin McClymont, Cheltenham
Damn straight. Jeff Buckley had to be in the top ten. So a three will suffice! Although personally i'd probably have had to put it at number one. Oh, and you also missed Deftones covering Simple Man. Arrr!!!!

Brigit, Beijing and Zurich
Agree, Johnny Cash is a brilliant cover artist, yet I prefer his "Mercy Seat" (Nick Cave) and "Solitary Man".

George Dunne from Brooklyn, NY
I thought Slayer did a curtailed version of Innagaddavida by Iron Butterfly. Very different style but kept that main trance going.

Jose Ganzalez cover of Heartbeat by the Knife! that's deep!

Metallica- Whiskey in the Jar? Johnny Cash- One (U2), The Ramones- What a Wonderful World, Foo Fighters - Lyla?

Jack, Grimsby
Johnny Cash's Hurt is incredible stuff, I'd have had the Kooks cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley in there too and for the festive season Noel Gallagher's cover of Slades Merry Christmas.And I'm sorry but I liked the scissor sisters cover of comfortabley numb, so there!

John, Bristol
Richard Cheese. The king of the covers!

Goran from Stockholm/Sweden
Lenny Kravitz version of American woman is a great one. You missed that one.

Vince, London
Re Sam/Blackburn: Marvin did co-write the track (Heard it Through the Grapevine) and he recorded it before Gladys Knight's version, but it was felt that it was too ahead of its time, so release was delayed until 68. Doesn't really count as a cover, but still a great tune..

Clancey, Norwich
And worst? Cilla Black's You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Dexy's Midnight Runners' Jackie Wilson Said, Melanie's Ruby Tuesday and The Rolling Stones' Under the Boardwalk

Clancey, Norwich
No place for the Beatles' Twist and Shout? Or Buddy and Julie Miller doing Richard Thompson's Keep Your Distance? Or Jolie Holland's version of Cyril Tawney's Grey Funnel Line? Sublime! Agree with the top three though.

Mike/Brockton, Massachusetts
Two, from the "Party Party" soundtrack: Auld Lang Syne -- Chas and Dave No Feelings (Sex Pistols) -- Banarama

Robert Cullen, Sligo, Ireland
I have just listened to Jeff Buckley sing Hallelujah and it always makes my heart melt, the same way as watching Johnny Cash's video for Hurt.

Doyve, Brixton
Tom Jones' Kiss for best and worst.

julie, Margate
Well, I would still vote for Melanie's version of Mr Tambourine Man even though many people may not have heard it. Patti Smith - Gloria - Absolutely. Bad covers? Mostly too bland to be bad.

Jacqui, Stirling
I'm really surprised that 6Music listeners hadn't voted The Residents in there anywhere - surely they butchered (in the nicest possible way) many a rock n roll standard - just listen to Satisfaction - an early take on what the Aphex Twin does to tunes.

Tracy - London
Radiohead doing Carly Simon - Nobody Does It Better (literally!)

Bill in Newbury
Ok here's a few more of the top oif my head. Not Fade Away- Rolling Stones, Anything off PinUps or Knock On Wood by Bowie, Batman theme by The Jam , Dexys doing Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache, Primal Screams cover of Motorhead, The Creations How Does It Feel To Feel by Ride, Loves Alone Again Or by both The Damned and Boo Radleys , The Kinks Eveybodys Gonna Be Happy by Queens Of THe Stone Age, Mr Blue Sky by The Delgados, Any of the numerous Motown/U S soul covers on early Beatles albums, Nirvana's cover of Where Did You Sleep Last Night, No Fun by Sex Pistols, Dear Prudence by Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Fall doing Theres A ghost In My House or White Lightning Surfin USA by Jesus and Mary Chain, Dancing Barefoot or Everlasting Love by U2, Metallica doing Budgies Zoom Club, Born To Run by Frankie Goes To Hollywood etc etc etc

kirstie york
catpowers wonderwall is also amazing...glad to see jeff buckley in the top ten...that song is timeless

Paul Futile, London
Top tem transcentdal covers... five at a time Corduroy Motorhead Ricard Cheese Holiday In Cambodia Husker Du Eight Miles High Sammy Davis Junior Up, Up And Away Presidents Of The USA Kick Out The Jams

Tony - New Zealand
I thought of some more missing ones: - My Way by the Sex Pistols - I believe in miracles by Cud - Suspicious minds by Fine Young Cannibals

Dan Omaha Ne
I agree with Steve but I think Sisters of Mercy doing Emma (Hot Choclate) surley is deserving. Where is Limp Biscut or whatever they are called on the worst covers!

Johhny Wotsit
I hate these stupid pointless polls. Just look at the results.......Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

callum mchugh cheltenham
scissor sistors should not be in the bottom ten

Jack, Birmingham
And as well as all that, I'd have to say that I think Nirvana's version of Here She Comes Now by The Velvet Underground was one of the best things they ever committed to tape

Kye, Exeter
Anthrax's version of the Smith's song "London"- Great, but missing.

Simon, Camden
The Shannon Noll and Natalie Bassingthwaighte cover of Don't Give Up. Worse than Shatner.

Tony - New Zealand
Fantastic idea, however loads and loads of covers are missing, which deserve a mention : - Stars by Dandy Warhols - Gloria by The Doors - Morning has Broken by Cat Stevens - Tide is High by Blondie - Raindrops keep falling by Manic Street Preachers - Nelly the Elephant by The Toy Dolls - Girl Like You by the Shire Horses You could run the whole thing again, or go for a top 100

Diego, Porto Alegre (Brazil)
U2's Helter Skelter among the best 40 covers? In your dreams. This is one of the less-haerted, no-guts-at-all cover in history of pop music. What a shame! "Do You Wanna Dance?", by the Ramones is far better and didn't make it to the list. I see deaf people...

Shawn Bronx, NY
Covers are waste a time, it butchers the original track. Those beats are a classic, they should be left alone!

john, cardiff
what about westlife for the worst..just pick any song they murdered

Neil, Winchester
Jeez, I really had expected better than this. Are you Mojo in disguise?

Andy Mclean, Glasgow
Cracking tunes and a crqcking idea but where oh where were Cat Power's 'Wild is The Wind' or Clem Snide's 'Beautiful'!

Jon, Exeter
Wot no joe cocker!

Simon - Hexham
No Jam, No Madness, Elvis? Most of it a bit predictable. Try doing a top 40 covers not to be an A-side or something rare!

Philippe / Nancy (France)
There are a lot of exquisite covers in this list... some disappointing too. I would suggest two more "shifted" covers: SENOR COCONUT Smooth Operator (from SADE)and DR ISRAEL “The Doctor vs. The Wizard” (from BLACK SABBATH!)

Rob, Geneva
I agree with Lincoln Jim and Bath Readie, My top cover would definately be Shatner's "Common People", if you haven't heard it, go and buy it. The most punk anthem there is, well, nearly. Second for me would be Joe Cocker's "...With a little help...". And Rolf Harris in the top 10 worst?? That is a little silly. I think the Smurfs Go Pop should take up all those spaces :P . Sadly, though, I own that album ... :$

Gareth.A.Thompson, Caerphilly
Johnny Cash, is one of the most Iconic musicians to walk this earth, and for him to cover, Hurt by nine inch nails with such emotion, well theres only one word GENIUS.

What a pity The BossHoss didn´t make the top40 - beeing such a great cover band... But I´m pleased the Damned made it with Eloise - one of my alltime favourites....

Alex, Trinidad
a cover song should be just as good as the original or even better and that is whats whitney houston did to dolly parton's i will always love you. whenever we hear that song we think of whitney...now thats the greatest cover song ever!!!!!

Padger, Northampton
Being in my fifties, I voted for covers by the Beatles, Buddy Holly and Rod Stewart. Not surprisingly, they got few if any votes from anyone else. I nevertheless take heart in the fact that all generations can unite in despising Madonna's American Pie. Well done 6 Music listeners!

Mr A Platten, Frllford
Will Young's version of The Door's song is the worst cover version by a country mile.

Jack, Birmingham
Siouxsie and the banshees cover of helter skelter was better

Patrick , 9th Circle of Hell (aka Stockport)
Always thought that Satisfaction was a Ottis Redding effort not the Rolling Stones, also Futureheads, Hounds of Love? Are you having a giraffe?

Geoff. Ohio, USA
told you-- The Flying Burrito Bros., Love Hurts.

Geoff, Ohio, USA
Just saw the list-- top of my head: I prefer John Cale(perfect!) to L. Cohen or Jeff Buckley on Hallelujah; I recommend Jose Feliciano's Light My Fire. I LOVE covers-- sure I'll think of more.

Laura, Bedfordshire
Excellent to see Tori in that list, many artists cover songs without putting a piece of themselves into it, but Tori Amos did this amazingly well.

andy Manchester
Cant believe scissor sisters is in the worst ten, surely a mistake. Kylie's loco-motion is a classic cover, as for the worst, nothing tops Steps Better the Devil you know. Tori Amos has done a plethora of fantastic covers, of which Smells is only one.

Cait, London
Im not inspired zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sam/ Blackburn
Marvin Gaye was not the original artist of 'Heard It Through the Grapevine'. It was actually Gladys Knight. Although the Slits version is great I feel Marvin Gayes version is better. Unfortunately the many people seem unaware that Marvins version is a cover and therefore it never gets the credit it deserves from chart such as this one.

SV - Maidstone
Placebo-s version of Running up that Hill (Kate Bush) should defo be on that list

cjd oxford
fairly agreeable top 3/4, although am surprised the 'i just dont knw what to do with myself' got the nod over Jolene as the white stripes cover. and great that china drum made it in there. in the worst covers list, i'm assuming that 'comedy & charity ' records (e.g. gareth gates spirit in the sky and wonderwall by mike flowers pops) are illegible. but i would like to have seen the whole of the Spaghetti Incident album by guns and roses included. a whole album of rubbish covers, but still not as bad as Madonna's American Pie.

Stuart, Cardiff
Surely Paul Young's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" should have topped the worst covers poll!

Rik, Sheffield
Worst 10 fair enough. 'Best' 40 - some imagination please! Some of those are bland enough for 'Up With The Partridge'!

Jim, Lincoln
I see Shatner's made it into the worst top 10, but surely his most worthy cover is his version of Pulp's Common People, sang with the spirit and emotion that Cocker struggled to portray in the original.

Geoff, London
A list that confirms that 6 music and Radio 2 are by and large catering to the same audience!

mark , cambridge
where is the white stripes cover of jolene? that is a shambles!

Peter, Poland
great show and a few tracks are magnificent, helter skelter, gloria, walk on by being my favs

Sarah, York
What, no White Stripes cover of Jolene?

Vikki, Kent
Great idea, but i'd do a shuffle of the top three - nothing tops Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' for me. xx

simon F. Hitchin, Herts.
pretty predictable list. Safe and conservative. Uninspiring. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Alex, Cambridge
It's Junior Murvin rather than Mervin but glad to see The Slits version of Grapevine in there too although I think Gladys Knight & the Pips' version has the edge... Also pleased to see Will Young's Light My Fire in the worst covers list as he really does manage to eliminate all the sexual charge in the song...

Nick, London
Absolutely right. American Pie was an utter disgrace and i'm very pleased to see This Mortal Coil so high up.

David Lewis Ross-on-Wye
Couldn't disagree too strongly with your top three - all great tracks but why no entry in the top 40 even for one of THE top songs of all time namely Hound Dog by Elvis ( cover of Big Mama Thornton ) which virtually started it all off - no justice!

Bob, in Boston (not Lincs.), Massachusetts.
Excellent list! I would have (a) hoped that "Sweet Jane" c/b The Cowboy Junkies had made it, and (b) that despite Pink Floyd purists, "Comfortably Numb" c/b The Scissor Sisters would have fared better. Great 6 Music thematic bit, though, these covers. Thanks.

Geoff Davies, Bristol
Nevermind the "should have beens". This is why 6Music rocks. It's all good music by people who know what they are talking about. (Unlike other BBC StatiONEs) The listener participation is great...and this is a case in point. No "Greatest..."TV show would have put a (sadly)late old country singer at the top of the list...Plus i would agree the Liz Kershaw/Bruno Brookes- It Takes Two is far worse that Madonna!(any chance of putting the Liz Kershaw Peel Session Online?)

Readie - near Bath
So everyone was too afraid (or perhaps trying to avoid the obvious) to pick Joe Cocker. For heavens sake he wasn't even in the list of suggestions - how mad is that.

David Blakey (USA)
Hi, Re #35, I think you'll find that the original version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" to be released (and the first to chart) was the one recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips. The song was actually first recorded (but not released) by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

Steve Brown of Leeds
now come on where was The Sisters of Mercy - covering The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter, this should have been the number 1

Ian, Stockport.
A fairly safe and unimaginative list. Can anyone explain the presence of the dreadful Pet Shop Boys (why does 6music play them?). Come on listeners you can do better than this!

roger green twickenham middx
surprised not to hear cocker's " with a little help..." or"bye,bye blackbird" aren't you....? stunning top five though

All so depressingly predictable.

Alistair Shand Leicester
why no Madness :(

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