Whether you’re a full fledged cover band, or just starting out as a new band there are a group of songs essential to your set list. Cover songs should be songs people will know, recognize and love—and please do the original bands proud by putting all your effort into it. Even if it’s not your song, make it your own and your audience will love you for it.
Cover songs are made mostly out of top classic rock songs, everything from The Beatles to The Ramones. Stick with songs people recognize or they’ll think you’re doing original material. Cater your set list to the event you’re doing and everything should go off without a hitch.
1. Brown Eyed Girl — Van Morrison
This one will have everyone singing along. It’s a simple song with memorable lyrics that almost anyone can sing. Get the whole band in on the “sha-la-la’s” and you’ll have a happy, involved audience.
2. I Walk the Line — Johnny Cash
Arguably known as everybody’s favorite country song, I Walk the Line works for rockers and country folk alike. If your lead singer has that deep, rich voice you’ll score even more points!
3. Satisfaction — The Rolling Stones
This classic tune will have everybody rocking. With an easy to pick up guitar lick, and great rock and roll lyrics anyone with swagger can pull off you’ll have everyone in the crowd pumping fists.
4. Mustang Sally — Mack Rice/Wilson Pickett
This memorable rhythm and blues number features sing-a-long lyrics that get everyone groovy. Everyone knows it and so should you.
5. Rock and Roll All Night — KISS
Turn it up a notch, and explore your inner Simmons. This song is simple on all instruments and it’s an old rocker’s crowd pleaser.
6. Wild Thing — The Wild Ones/The Troggs
It’s hard to count how many great artists have covered this classic. Rock it like Hendrix or throw in a synth and spice it up. It's only three chords, so you have no excuse not to do something!
7. Sweet Home Alabama — Lynyrd Skynyrd
Who doesn’t like Sweet Home Alabama? You’ll have the audience playing air guitar to that memorable—and easy to learn—lick, and your southern friends will be in adoration.
8. I Want You to Want Me — Cheap Trick
It may be a little cheesy, but this song makes crowds happy. It’s a great song to cover for weddings, birthdays or to rock out in clubs. Get into the solos and you’ll be making Cheap Trick proud. Plus, you can have fun with the intro, "This is the first song off our new album..."
9. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ — Nancy Sinatra
It may inspire line dancing, but “These Boots” is a great, sexy song that will have all the women going wild. This is a great song to show off your bass player, and make use of a tambourine.
10. Come Together — The Beatles
Getting this Beatles classic under your belt will be very rewarding. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it and it’s a fun song for an edgier vocalist.
If you’re playing at a special event, it’s always recommended to know what your host is in to. These ten songs will please any crowd and have them asking for more. Remember that you’re playing tribute to the greats and even though it’s not your song, you have to play it like it is.
Add your favorite cover songs below...