Cover songs have been a part of modern music since the earliest days of rock n’ roll. Elvis covered Carl Perkins. The Beatles covered Elvis. Everyone else probably covered them both. But what makes a great cover version of a song? BBC Music conducted a poll to find “the top cover version of all time,”and voters chose The Pet Shop Boys for their version of “Always on My Mind” (a song made famous, of course, by Elvis). Others have covered the song, written by John Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson. Willie Nelson had a version in 1982. BBC producers and DJs compiled a list of fifty songs for the public to vote on. The broadcaster’s head of music Jeff Smith said: “The Pet Shop Boys have an enviable catalog of hits and there have been lots of great versions of this classic song. Whittling down the long list for the vote was tough but it’s great to see that this track still resonates with people today.”
Other notable covers in the poll include Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.