10 Great Independent Covers of 90s Radio Hits

Apr 13th 2015 by Alexander Nachaj
boombox stage

Those of us who grew up in the 90s will never forget the music. While many of those classic radio hits still get some occasional air time, many of them live on in covers and remixes.

We’ve put together a list of 10 great independent covers of 90s radio hits. Most of the tracks on this list bring something very different to the table, taking these hits in new (and often unexpected) directions and genres.

1 – Hannah Trigwell – “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls

Genre: Acoustic

There is no shortage of acoustic, singer / songwriter type covers of Goo Goo Dolls on the web. Fortunately, many of them are quite good. This is definitely one of the more polished and well produced covers, and stands out because of the lead singer’s strong vocal performance.


2 – Devon Baldwin – “Don’t Leave Me” by Blink 182

Genre: Dream Pop

It’s not every day that you stumble across a dream pop cover of one of pop punk anthem. The original was energetic, and a little silly (as were most of Blink’s songs). This one changes direction, giving us a tune that is remarkably haunting.


3 – Jack and White – “How’s it Going to be” by Third Eye Blind

Genre: Country Folk

This acoustic country folk duo stay unplugged throughout, making for an easier listen than the mildly grunge-inspired original. They even bring a tambourine to the mix.


4 – Louis Vivet feat. Gavrielle & Nick Goldston – “Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry

Genre: Electro House

This might be one of those rare instances when a cover somehow manages to be even catchier than the original. Two vocalists, coupled a clever house beat, take this track in an entirely different emotional direction than the rock original.


5 – Force Republique – “Today” by Smashing Pumpkins

Genre: Noise Pop

Smashing Pumpkins was never known to be a quiet band, and most of their non-acoustic covers reflect this. This particular cover cranks up the background noise and adds a touch of shoegaze, giving the song a fairly heavy, gothic vibe.


6 – Boyce Avenue Feat Kina Grannis – “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

Genre: Acoustic

 “Fast Car” might be another 90s favorite with no shortages of covers, but there’s something endearing about this duet featuring YouTube sensation Kina Grannis. The two guitars and singers crescendo nicely during the choruses.


7 – Sincerely Wilson – “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Genre: Soul / RnB

This might be the only soul / rhythm and blues cover of an Oasis song in the world and it’s amazing. It picks up a couple of queues from the acapella scene, with plenty of background voices filling in, but the lead singer’s British accent simply kills it.


8 – Yeasayer – “Crazy” By Seal

Genre: Folk Rock

Taking a bit of an opposite direction from the previous song on this list, we now have a folk rock version of a soul singer top hit. This foot-stomping tune proves that there’s no song out there that can’t be given the campfire acoustic treatment.


9 – Expatriate – “Missing” by Everything but the Girl

Genre: Alternative Rock

Where the original was a dark and brooding song, heavily influenced by 1980s acts like the Eurythmics, this cover gives it a the alt rock treatment. There’s also something vaguely Dire Straits sounding about the lead guitar and drum beat.


10 – Isabel – “Lovefool” by The Cardigans

Genre: Acoustic / Jazz Lounge

A jazz lounge inspired acoustic cover of this 90s favourite. What sets this cover apart from many of the others out there is the singer’s slow, crooning voice and relaxing, downtempo rhythm guitar.