The Telegraph reports a BBC radio poll asked listeners for their favourite cover version before a team of experts whittled them down to 50 to be put to the public vote.
Mark and Amy perform their cover of Valerie at the 2008 Brit Awards …
Pet Shop Boys win vote for best cover version
Poll of top 50 cover songs puts Pet Shop Boys, Johnny Cash and The Stranglers in the top spots
The Pet Shop Boys’ version of Always On My Mind has been voted the best cover of someone else’s song.
The electronic duo’s take on the song was the 1987 Christmas number one, 15 years after Elvis Presley took it into the top 10.
And now, more than a quarter of a century later, it has been awarded another accolade as it topped a poll of the best 50 cover versions.
They beat Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails and The Stranglers cover of the soul classic Walk On By to the top spot.
Jimi Hendrix’s performance of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower and Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah – originally recorded by Leonard Cohen – completed the top five.
The organisers of the BBC radio poll asked listeners for their favourite cover version before a team of experts whittled them down to 50 to be put to the public vote.
Jeff Smith, head of music for Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: “The Pet Shop Boys have an enviable catalogue 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.”
The Pet Shop Boys got the 1987 Christmas number one with the track, 15 years after Elvis first took it into the top 10.
Other entries in the top 50 include Sinead O’Connor’s version of Nothing Compares 2 U, which was written by Prince, and Soft Cell’s version of the Northern Soul classic Tainted Love.
Less well-known entries include north-east punks China Drum with their version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and Husker Du’s version of The Byrds’ Eight Miles High, although the Californian folk-rockers version of Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man did not make the top 50.
The Top 50 cover versions –
1. Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
2. Johnny Cash – Hurt
3. The Stranglers – Walk On By
4. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower
5. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
6. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
7. Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends
8. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
9. Muse – Feeling Good
10. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
11. Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
12. Adele – Make You Feel My Love
13. This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren
14. The Clash – I Fought The Law
15. China Drum – Wuthering Heights
16. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World
17. Aretha Franklin – Respect
18. Eva Cassidy – Songbird
19. Leona Lewis – Run
20. Led Zeppelin – When The Levee Breaks
21. Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
22. Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got The Love
23. Mark Ronson – Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse)
24. Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
25. The Fall – Lost In Music
26. Gary Jules – Mad World (feat. Michael Andrews)
27. Bryan Ferry – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
28. The Specials – A Message To You Rudy
29. Birdy – Skinny Love
30. Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song
31. The Pogues – Dirty Old Town
32. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Good Year For The Roses
33. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
34. The Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze
35. Thin Lizzy – Rosalie
36. Talking Heads – Take Me To The River
37. David Bowie – China Girl
38. Urge Overkill – Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon
39. Ryan Adams – Wonderwall
40. Nina Simone – Mr Bojangles
41. Husker Du – Eight Miles High
42. Jose Feliciano – Light My Fire
43. Earth, Wind & Fire – Got To Get You Into My Life
44. Santana – Oye Como Va
45. James Blake – Limit To Your Love
46. Billy Paul – Your Song
47. Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots
48. Labrinth – Express Yourself
49. Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy Ya (feat. Horseman)
50. D’Angelo – Cruisin
Here’s The Pet Shop Boys cover of Always On My Mind
Hurt covered by Nine Inch Nails
And The Stranglers cover of Walk On By