Part of this is due to a few cover albums released that year that were amongst the best of their kind, and the fact there was just so much great music released in 2007 in general. As we go through this list, you'll see a few artists appear more than once (and you can, therefore, guess who released the good covers albums…), and a number of covers of songs by the Australian band Cold Chisel, and further there are some tracks that might appear oddly placed (especially as they are classical pieces done in a different manner), but they are still not originals, and that is the point of this. Therefore, here are 15 straight-up cover versions for you to enjoy.
'Baby Come Back' by Randy Bachman & Burton Cummings
The original by The Equals is one of my favourite tracks, and damn if these two guys didn't do a great version. It keeps the pounding beat of the original, but adds some better guitar playing. Okay, not as good as the original, but still a fine version.
'Black Betty' by Meat Loaf
Yes, another version of this song. But it's Meat Loaf and I am something of a fan, so it could be a soft spot coming out. It was a B-side to a single, and it borrows more from Spiderbait's version than any other, but it is still rather good.
'Black Eyed Bruiser' by Rose Tattoo
While not as good as the Stevie Wright original, this cover is still an amazing bit of Australian pub rock that captures the raw feel of the first version. Rose Tattoo are a staple of Australian rock and roll, and this tribute to one of the founders just rings true.
'Bow River' by Troy Cassar-Daley
Hardly surprising to hear that one of Australia's premier country singers turns Cold Chisel's rocker into a straight country song. What is surprising is that it works as well as it does. It sounds almost like it was written for this style of music.
'Eyesight To The Blind' by Gary Moore
Sonny Boy Williamson did it originally, and countless people have covered it since, but I rate this version by Gary Moore right up there as amongst the best of the lot. It's a little dirtier and heavier than its predecessors, and this difference is what makes it stand out as much as it does.
'Flame Trees' by Sarah Blasko
My favourite Cold Chisel song, one of my favourite songs ever (the memories of Barbara it conjures are still so strong), re-interpreted as a soft, sad piece by the amazing voice of Sarah Blasko. This stripped back version suits her voice incredibly and, while it is not as good as the original (let's face it, very little could ever be that good) it is still one of the best songs released in 2007.
'For Lisa' by Brian Setzer Orchestra
Take Beethoven's 'Für Elise', add a big band jazz feel and some fine guitar playing and you have a complete re-interpretation of the song that is so instantly recognisable by almost everybody in the Western world. And I really like this version. Of course, I am a fan of Brian Setzer, so there is that.
'Fortune Teller' by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
That staple from the 1960s (first version by Benny Spellman, 1962, subsequently covered by heaps of others) is giving a new and glorious life by these two, who also sang my favourite song of 2007. Just a wonderful version from one incredible album.
'Like A Rolling Stone' by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
This is one of my very favourite Bob Dylan songs, but it is also one which the few cover versions I've heard have not been as good as the original, which is rare for Dylan. Most people do his songs better than him. The Rolling Stones came close, but until I heard this version, no-one matched it. I put this on a par with the original. The guitar playing is stronger, and they sing it with the same gusto. Yeah, love this version.
'Love Of The Common People' (Live) by Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band
I first heard this by Paul Young in the 80s, but it was originally done by The Four Preps in 1967. Well, Springsteen and the Sessions Band, on the Live In Dublin album, take it in a different direction which adds something a little more hopeful about it. Maybe not as good as Young's version, but certainly equal with the original.
'Nothing Compares To You' by Dan Kelly
Sinead O'Connor's cover version is probably going to remain the definitive cover of this song, but there is something fun about this stripped back cover by Australian Dan Kelly. The ukulele is a nice touch, and his voice is very good. Better than the original, but not as good as Sinead.
'Rising Sun' by The Living End
Pretty much a straight forward cover version of the Cold Chisel track, but it is clear they like the original and tried very hard to do it justice. It lacks the original's piano, which to me was integral to the song, but, apart from that, a very good cover.
'Saturday Night' by Grinspoon
Another cover of a Cold Chisel classic. But whereas the original is a sad song with the two voices of Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes, this one is slightly harder with only one vocalist. It is a very good cover, but Chisel certainly did it better.
'Sloe Gin' by Joe Bonamassa
I admit – I didn't realise this was a cover version. I thought it was one of Bonamassa's fine originals. But the original was done by Tim Curry. Who? Tim Curry, the actor, appeared in Rocky Horror Picture Show, yes that Tim Curry. But Bonamassa has made it his own. The guitar playing is sublime, and the whole thing is incredible. Yes, I prefer it over the original.
'Take The 5th' by Brian Setzer Orchestra
This is one of the most incredible re-imaginings of a classical piece, in this case, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Like many Brian Setzer Orchestra works, it just has a strange, infectious sense of fun about it, and yet it is still unmistakably Beethoven's piece. And that is a fine way to end this list.
How awesome was 2007 for music? Two columns on songs alone! People often put down the Noughties for what they threw up in music, but looking beyond the charts and the singles that dominated the airwaves to some of the other tracks out there, some of the years were quite incredible. And 2007 was one of those.
I hope you've enjoyed this look back as much as I enjoyed writing it.