It is always exciting to find good covers of songs by older generations performed by artists of a newer one. There have been many 80s covers, some good, some not so much, but there have been a string of impressive songs from that era covered by alternative artists. Let's take a look.
Avril Lavigne - "Bad Reputation"
"Bad Reputation" is a Joan Jett single from her same-titled debut album that is an anthem of female empowerment initially released in 1980. The song has been featured in ads for Folgers, Jack Daniel's, and Nike included on the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack and is the theme song for Freaks and Geeks TV series. In 2012, Lavigne, a pop-punk princess, covered the track in an excellent version for a new generation.
The Killers - "Romeo And Juliet"
British band Dire Straits featured a stripped-down rock and roll sound that was unique during a time when punk and disco dominated. The band used lyrics that told stories in an introspective way, as with their 1981 song "Romeo and Juliet." Based on a personal experience by frontman Mark Knopfler, the song tells of a Romeo who longs for his Juliet, who abandoned him for fame. The Killers' Brandon Flowers does an amazing job keeping the song true to its emotional roots while adding his personal touch.
Weezer - "Everybody Wants to Rule The World"
Weezer surprised fans of 70s and 80s music with an entire album of covers titled Weezer (Teal Album) in 2018. The entire album is outstanding, but the cover of Tears for Fears' synth-pop hit "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" is equal to, or perhaps a bit better than, the original. At Coachella 2019, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith joined Weezer on stage to perform the song.
Anberlin - "Love Song"
Anberlin is a highly underrated band that cranks out some of the best music. Originally released by The Cure in 1989 the song climbed to No. 2 in the US and the band's only top ten single on Billboard Hot 100. "Love Song" has been covered by numerous artists but frontman Stephen Christian's unique vocals and the band's up-tempo performance make it a stand out cover of the song.
Blink-182 - "Dancing With Myself"
In 1980, punk band Gen X released a single, "Dancing With Myself." This band was the starting point for the career of the band's frontman, Billy Idol, who released the single as a solo artist in 1981, where it would reach the No. 27 US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song was inspired when Idol and Gen X bassist Tony James witnessed people in a Tokyo discotheque dining with their reflections in walled mirrors instead of one another. In 1997, Blink-182 covered the song for the compilation album Before You Were Punk, and it is included on Taylor Steele's Loose Change soundtrack.