The Guardian music blog is asking readers for their favorite unlikely cover songs:

Now a lot of this will depend on your definition of “unlikely”. Certainly, Celtic-funk covers of Leonard Cohen tunes would fit the criteria. As would acoustic versions of Napalm Death. However, I think the range can be more subjective than that (providing you can stand it up, of course). For me, Stevie Wonder’s cover of We Can Work It Out would be a good example. He switched the genre, though not dramatically, but the way he reinterpreted the emotions that underpinned the track, from melancholy to near ecstacy, was what made it unlikely.

Here are the first songs that come to my mind:

  • Feist, “Inside and Out
  • Stevie Wonder, “Light My Fire”
  • Nina Simone, “I Shall Be Released”
  • Sting, “Windmills of Your Mind,” from The Thomas Crown Affair
  • Oleta Adams, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
  • Bari Koral, “Midnight Train to Georgia”
  • Charlotte Martin, “Wild Horses
  • Emerson Lake and Palmer, “Peter Gunn”
  • Grateful Dead, “The Mighty Quinn”
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Superstition”
[To the tune of Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” from the album Natural Wonder (Disc 2) (I give it 4 stars).]