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In Music, artists and groups are influenced by earlier ones. As a result, most of these artists and groups would perform and play several Cover Versions of their favourite songs. In many cases, said artists and groups record them. Said versions can be more famous then the original recording or even surpass it, in quality. These Cover Versions can also be entirely different to the original, whether it be in style, gender or meaning.

A Cover Album is what happens when you compile several of these Cover Versions together and exclusively in one album.

There are basically two kinds of this:

  • The Tribute Album: In this kind of album, some artist(s) or group(s) is/are tributed by many other ones by doing Cover Versions of the original songs the tributed one(s) had composed. Very seldom, some original songs may be introduced, generally by showing what the bands do or a song specially composed for the album. These Tribute Albums may be done in order to celebrate some milestone (X Years of...) or simply for the pleasure of tributing the artist(s) or group(s).
  • The Single-Artist Tribute: This is where just one artist or group does all the covering job. Artists may do this for a variety of reasons. It might be that they want to have a product out there but don't have any new material at the moment, or they could be trying to pump some life into a stalled career by recording a bunch of familiar songs whose popularity has already been established. It can be an honest desire to pay tribute to songs and artists they enjoy, or it could just be for fun.

See also Cover Version, Covered Up, The Cover Changes the Gender, The Cover Changes the Meaning and Suspiciously Similar Song.

As a note for the tropers: We're talking about recordings, whether these are live recordings or studio ones, and said recordings should consist only of covers. There may be exceptions with one or two (no more) original songs.

Examples of Cover Album include:

See also this list at That Other Wiki.

Tribute Albums

  • The Heavy Metal genre is very fond of this:
    • Iron Maiden has countless of these. See this page for the details. (in Spanish)
    • Helloween has essentially four: The Keepers of Jericho vol. I & II, The Eastern Tribute To Helloween and the upcoming HelloRay, shared with Gamma Ray.
    • Judas Priest has also some of these: both volumes of Legends Of Metal, Hell Bent For Metal, Acero Argentino, Hell Bent Forever and The Metal Forge Vol. 1: A Tribute To Judas Priest, which covers "British Steel" in its entirety.
    • Dream Theater: Voices: A Tribute To Dream Theater, and Sin City: The Dreams Go On.
      • Of note about Voices... is that the album is actually composed of two CDs: one with the aforementioned Dream Theater covers, and the other with original songs by the same bands. We care for the first CD anyway.
    • Metallica has many of these as well: Metal Militia, Metallic Assault, Kerrang's Tribute To Master Of Puppets and so on...
    • And, of course, Black Sabbath's Nativity In Black vol. 1 & 2 and Evil Lives: A Tribute To Black Sabbath, among others...
    • Queensrÿche's Warning Minds of Raging Empires.
    • Megadeth's Megaded and Hangar de Almas/Hangar of Souls.
      • Tributo a los Reyes del Metal, an Argentinean tribute featuring several bands tributing different artists and groups.
  • We're A Happy Family: A Tribute to Ramones. There are many, many Ramones tribute albums out there, but this one's notable for featuring lots of well-known artists such as Metallica ("53rd & 3rd"), Rob Zombie ("Blitzkrieg Bop"), Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Havana Affair") and Tom Waits ("Return of Jackie and Judy").
    • Let's just say... you may never hear "The KKK Took My Baby Away" the same way again after you hear Marilyn Manson singing it.
  • Calamaro Querido: Cantando Al Salmon, a double-disc tribute to the Argentinean singer-composer Andres Calamaro.
  • Stay Awake, which consisted entirely of covers of Disney songs by various artists.
  • Hello Radio, a tribute to They Might Be Giants.
  • Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, where assorted people from Jewel to Shawn Colvin to Elton John covered a song each from the Rumours album.
  • Kick at the Darkness, a tribute album to the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn. Yielded a Covered Up version of his song "Lovers in a Dangerous Time", done by The Bare Naked Ladies on that album, and now most people don't know about the original.
  • Concert for George—a 2002 tribute to George Harrison, available on CD and DVD.
  • Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles: Eagles songs performed by country artists.
  • This Bird Has Flown: An indie rock tribute to The Beatles' Rubber Soul.
  • Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project was a 1997 album of covers of James Bond theme tunes by contemporary artists. The producer David Arnold went on to compose the music for the Bond films from Tomorrow Never Dies onward.
  • Dub Side of the Moon, a reggae cover of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.
  • A Century of Covers, a tribute to Belle & Sebastian.
  • Stereogum Presents... OK X: A Tribute To OK Computer: an indie tribute to Radiohead's Magnum Opus OK Computer.
  • Seven Swans Reimagined: Sufjan Stevens' album Seven Swans covered by various indie musicians.
  • Duran Duran merited no fewer than three tribute albums, all within the span of three years (1997 - 2000): The Duran Duran Tribute Album, featuring late '90s alt-rockers such as Deftones and Less Than Jake; Undone: The Songs of Duran Duran, featuring Australian musical artists such as Ben Lee (with Kylie Minogue) and Something for Kate; and Glue: A Tribute to the Music of Duran Duran, a fan-driven covers album project that benefited RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network).
  • Spin Magazine put together Nevermind: A Tribute, an album that featured various artists covering the entirety of Nirvana's Nevermind, in honor of that album's tenth anniversary. Possibly most notable for featuring two bands who went from being Covered Up by Nirvana to doing Nirvana cover songs themselves (The Meat Puppets and The Vaselines).
  • Rebuild the Wall by Luther Wright and the Wrongs is a country/bluegrass remake of The Wall by Pink Floyd, done as a loving tribute.

Single Artist Tributes

  • Rock 'n' Roll by John Lennon
  • Garage Inc. by Metallica
  • "The Spaghetti Incident?" by Guns N' Roses
  • Undisputed Attitude, by Slayer (but while the band is Thrash Metal, the songs are Hardcore Punk covers, and a few original songs in Hardcore Punk style)
  • Feedback by Rush
  • Songs from the Mirror by Fish
  • Thank You by Duran Duran
  • Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes
  • Hymns of the 49th Parallel by k.d. lang.
  • Strange Little Girls by Tori Amos.
  • Other People's Songs by Erasure.
  • Any album by Pat Boone.
  • A Singer Must Die by Steven Page.
  • Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back. The original idea was to simultaneously release a various artists album called I'll Scratch Yours, which would be all of the artists Peter Gabriel covered doing their own covers of Peter Gabriel songs: Six of these covers were released as itunes singles, and the full companion album is apparently still slowly coming, though Radiohead, David Bowie, and Arcade Fire all declined to be involved.
  • Johnny Cash's American Recordings.
  • David Bowie's Pin Ups.
  • Ozzy Osbourne's Under Cover.
  • Dream Theater have a fondness for tributing their influences. They've covered and recorded several classic albums on stage, such as The Number of the Beast, Master of Puppets, The Dark Side of the Moon and Made in Japan. Recently, they've launched a special edition of their latest album with a Cover Album featuring six different covers. Not to mention both volumes of the official bootleg Uncovered.
  • Ditto for the String Quartet and all of their countless tributes. Hell, they've even done a tribute to System of a Down's Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
  • Helloween's Metal Jukebox.
  • Ricardo Iorio's Ayer deseo, hoy realidad.
  • Queensrÿche's Take Cover.
  • Axel Rudi Pell's Diamonds Unlocked.
  • Hammerfall's Masterpieces.
  • Adrian Barilari's Canciones Doradas.
  • Sepultura's Revolusongs EP.
  • Jorn Lande's Dio, towards Ronnie James Dio. It also adds an original song, apropitely called "Song for Ronnie James".
  • Nineteeneighties by Grant-Lee Phillips covers songs from The Eighties.
  • The Cover Record and Jukebox by Cat Power. The latter does have two originals, one of which is a rearranged version of "Metal Heart", one of her earlier songs.
  • Covers, an EP by Greg Laswell.
  • Primus' Rhinoplasty has two live recordings of Primus' original songs as "bonus tracks", but since this trope allows at least one or two original songs, it counts.
  • Renegades by Rage Against the Machine is all about covers.
  • The Flaming Lips' The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon. Take a wild guess about which album is being covered.
  • Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet (aka "Sid and Susie"), Under the Covers Vol. 1 (favorite songs from the 1960s) and Vol. 2. (1970s).
  • Bob Dylan's (frequently overlooked) self-titled first album was composed almost entirely renditions of folk standards, with only two (not particularly inspired) original compositions.
  • Similarly, Anne Brigg's self-titled LP was 8 tracks of English folk songs with two original songs.
  • The Russian Album by Paul McCartney (originally a USSR-exclusive release, but went international in 1991)
    • Run Devil Run is an accidental subversion; it was intended to be a Cover Album and is mostly covers, but two of the three original songs on it are perhaps the best-known on the album. (This is what you get when you allow someone else to pick which songs make the album.)
  • Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook series of Tin Pan Alley standards, and all the similar albums by other artists (including Cyndi Lauper, Bette Midler and Art Garfunkel).
  • Under the Influence by Alan Jackson.
  • Timeless by Martina McBride.
  • Starting Over by Reba McEntire.
  • LeAnn Rimes' Self-Titled Album.
  • Paul Anka's Rock Swings.
  • Mockingbird by Allison Moorer.
  • Songs We Didn't Write by Ghoti Hook.
  • Greased by Less Than Jake is the songs from the musical Grease in their Ska Punk style.
  • Osso's Run Rabbit Run is an odd borderline case. They covered the entirety of Sufjan Stevens' album Enjoy Your Rabbit, but Osso themselves had gotten their start backing Sufjan on two of his prior releases (Illinois and Song For Christmas, Vol. V).
  • Coverkill by Overkill.
  • Four Year Strong Explains It All, a cover album consisting entirely of Four Year Strong doing 90s songs.
  • Westlife's Allow Us To Be Frank, which is entirely composed of Frank Sinatra covers. And yes, the title is an Incredibly Lame Pun.
  • Camper Van Beethoven covered the entire Fleetwood Mac album Tusk (under the same album title of course).
  • Cracker's Countrysides consists of seven country covers, one Bruce Springsteen cover performed country style, and one original song.
  • The Residents, being big fans of The Cover Changes the Meaning and the Concept Album, have quite a few: The Third Reich And Roll is two sidelong medleys of deranged 60's and 70's pop covers, The King And Eye consists of Elvis covers with some between-song narration about the rise and fall of Elvis himself, George And James covers George Gershwin and James Brown, and Stars And Hank Forever covers John Phillip Sousa and Hank Williams. The latter two were originally going to be part of a lengthy series of two-artist cover albums that eventually got scrapped.
  • Mark Kozelek's What's Next To The Moon consists entirely of spare, acoustic versions of AC/DC songs, specifically ones written by Bon Scott. And with his band Sun Kil Moon, he'd later do an album of Modest Mouse covers called Tiny Cities.
  • Ministry's The Cover Up, which combines three previously released cover songs with covers recorded specifically for the album.
  • A Perfect Circle's Emotive, an album of politically-themed covers with a pair of original songs. Interestingly, those two originals are really only kind of original - "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums" is a drastic re-arrangement of their earlier song "Pet", while "Passive" was originally co-written by members of the band and Trent Reznor for the defunct Supergroup Tapeworm.
  • Vanilla Fudge's 1967 self-titled debut consists of covers of hit songs from the previous three years, including one of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On", all of them with slower tempos, thundering rhythms and dramatic vocals.
  • The Beach Boys Party! was a quickly-recorded cover album to buy Brian Wilson more time to create Pet Sounds.
  • Michael McDonald recorded two albums of Motown covers.
  • Sacred Cows by The Swirling Eddies was an album of parodic cover versions (often employing Stylistic Suck) of the most popular Christian rock songs of the moment. Thus, DeGarmo and Key's "God Good Devil Bad" was performed as if Terry Scott Taylor was recovering from a blow to the head; Amy Grant's "Baby Baby" was performed like a hotel lobby karaoke performance; dc Talk's "I Luv Rap Music" was performed in lounge lizard style.
  • The Kidz Bop series, currently on album 19, tries to cover songs only using children's voices. They have attracted some attention from Moral Guardians because of the fact that some of their songs have explicit lyrics.
  • The Hollies had a few. Hollies Sing Dylan was an album of Bob Dylan covers, and Buddy Holly was an album of Buddy Holly covers. Additionally, the group's first album, Stay with the Hollies, contained 14 tracks, only one of which was an original composition.
  • George Michael's Songs from the Last Century, an album of covers mostly from the 20s to the 50s.
  • Toto released Through the Looking Glass, all covers of songs which inspired the band.
  • Robbie Williams recorded Swing When You're Winning, its title a pun on his previous album Sing When You're Winning, following the success of a song for the Bridget Jones Diary soundtrack. It featured one original song which fit in with the theme and which Robbie had waiting for a suitable album to release it on, and several duets including ones with Nicole Kidman and the late Frank Sinatra.
  • Between the Buried and Me's The anatomy of.
  • UB 40 released four different cover albums, each titled Labour of Love.
  • Joy Electric's Favorites at Play.
  • Foo Fighters' limited edition Medium Rare.
  • Live Frogs Set 2 by Les Claypool's Frog Brigade is an entire-album cover of Animals by Pink Floyd. Live Frogs Set 1 also consists only of covers, but most of them were originally by some of Les Claypool's other projects.
  • On the first album by Fozzy (the self-titled one), eight out of ten songs are covers.
  • The Hit List by Joan Jett.
  • The Director's Cut by Fantômas, which has them covering movie themes in their own avant garde metal style.
  • Rise Above by Dirty Projectors is a cover of most of Black Flag's Damaged. It's pretty far afield from the original versions, in part because band leader Dave Longstreth hadn't heard the actual album in 15 years and purposely didn't revisit the original material.
  • Metalcore band Coalesce have There Is Nothing New Under The Sun, an EP of Led Zeppelin covers. A later reissue stretched it to album length by including more covers (of The Get Up Kids, Boysetsfire, Black Sabbath and Undertow), one original, and some alternate takes of the Zeppelin songs.
  • The Crust Brothers' only release, Marquee Mark, is a live set consisting almost entirely of covers (notably the first six songs are all either by Bob Dylan or else are songs by The Band that first appeared on Dylan and The Band's Basement Tapes). The rendition of Silkworm's "Never Met A Man I Didn't Like" may or may not qualify as a cover because The Crust Brothers were Silkworm collaborating with Pavement's Stephen Malkmus.
  • Def Leppard had the album Yeah!, which covered songs by some of their main influences.
  • Michael Bolton released Timeless: The Classics, which was recorded at least in part to spite critics who went after him for doing so many cover songs (one of which had won him a Grammy).
  • The self-titled (and only) album by Replicants was entirely covers, mostly split between New Wave (The Cars, Gary Numan, Missing Persons) and seventies album rock (Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, John Lennon). The band featured members of Tool and Failure, and the album was perhaps most notable for the fact that they got Maynard James Keenan to sing Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs".
  • Aerosmith's Honkin' on Bobo, in which they cover old blues songs.
  • Claw Hammer's Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Not Devo was, of course, a track for track cover of Devo's Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!. It also included covers of Brian Eno's "Blank Frank" and Patti Smith's "Pumping (My Heart)", along with a short jokey Led Zeppelin medley and an introductory skit explaining their reasoning behind covering the album.
  • Petra Haden (who played in alternate band that dog, and did some violin for the Foo Fighters) did an a capella version of The Who Sell Out - as in, every single instrument was covered with her voice.
  • Counting Crows' Underwater Sunshine: While there are a few pretty well-known songs on the album (Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and The Faces' "Ooh La La", for instance), the overall focus seemed to be on covering artists that they feel need more love.
  • The Insane Clown Posse's Covered, Smothered, & Chunked is an album that's only found in a certain edition on their The Mighty Death Pop! album. They do have other artists on some of their covers, such as Lil Wyte, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, and the rest of their Psychopathic Records artists, and although they do include some pop songs (such as Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful", Tears for Fears' "Shout", Michael Jackson & Mick Jagger's "State of Shock", and even Yo Gabba Gabba!'s "Hold Still"), it's basically them covering the late 80's/early 90's rap artists that ended up influencing them.
  • K. McCarty's Dead Dog's Eyeball: Songs of Daniel Johnston. Another case of a one album band whose only release is a cover album - though she previously fronted a band called Glass Eye, she only did a solo album in the hopes of helping Daniel Johnston get some more recognition, and hasn't released anything else since.