Australia’s most popular radio station, Triple J, pumps out some of the best ‘Like a Version’ covers by artists of all different tastes and genres. In the now infamous Friday segment ‘Like a Version’ sees artists putting their own twists on classics and contemporary hits. Since it’s inception back in 2005, the most popular covers have even ended up on the Hottest 100 list.
Triple J Hottest 100 started way back in 1989 and involves Triple J’s annual poll of the public’s favourite songs which are then played on the radio at the end of the year. It’s featured big bands and artists like Blur, Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Metallica just to name a few and some covers from Like a Version have even graced these lists.
While ‘Like a Version’ has been around since 2005, our list is compiled of the most-watched ‘Like a Versions’ since its leap into the YouTube era. So if you want a comprehensive look at some of the best covers from Triple J’s catalogue, keep scrolling and hitting that play button, you won’t regret it.
10 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of All Time
1. Childish Gambino – ‘So Into You’ (Tamia)
Kicking it off with one of the highest viewed videos and one of the best Like a Version covers is Donald Glover, better known by his rap pseudonym Childish Gambino. Back in 2015, he came by Triple J studio to cover Tamia’s 1998 R&B classic ‘So Into You’. During an interview before the song, Glover revealed it was a favourite from his youth.
2. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ (Tame Impala)
Stopping by the studio to cover Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”, Arctic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner lends a dreamy and folksy tilt on this popular song. Simply done and stripped back, it’s a powerfully simple cover that exposes the one-sided monologue over a relationship in doubt. With 11.8 million views, it’s earned a spot in the best Like a Versions of all time.
3. CHVRCHES – ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ (Arctic Monkeys)
Chiming in with 10.5M views, Scottish synth-pop group, Chvrches put their own twist on “Do I Wanna Know?” by the aforementioned Arctic Monkeys. Straying drastically from the original song, the synth-y re-imagining really works, developing new meaning to the lyrics. The softly sung words and downtempo electronic sounds make this one of the best Like a Versions of all time.
4. Halsey – ‘Love Yourself’ (Justin Bieber’s)
If you’ve never liked a Justin Bieber song in your life, then Halsey cover of “Love Yourself” may just change your mind. The American songstress starts off mellow then amps it up and throws in a few expletives unlike the Bieber version, which has never been played on Triple J. Her cover was also on YouTube’s 2016 top trending videos coming in at number eight and clocking 7.5 million views.
5. DMA’S – ‘Believe’ (Cher)
In 2016 DMA’s covered Cher’s “Believe”, completely changing up the dance tune to something that sounds completely authentic. DMA’s frontman, Thomas O’Dell makes it his own with his heartfelt vocals that do the lyrics more justice than the original. It even made it onto the 2016 Hottest 100, in fact, it was one of the highest positioned songs from Like a Version charting at number six. In our books, that makes it one of the best Like a Version’s of all time.
6. Tash Sultana – ‘Electric Feel’ (MGMT)
It wouldn’t be a list of the best of Like a Version without Tash Sultana’s rendition of “Electric Feel”. Ten years after its first release MGMT’s “Electric Feel” gets a complete revamp by one of Australia’s best talents, Tash Sultana. Using her unique technique of looping, Tash covers the song beautifully and soulfully with an upbeat tempo and guitar solo. This one clocks in at close to seven million views, making it one of the best Like a Version covers.
7. Aurora – ‘Teardrop’ (Massive Attack)
Covering the hauntingly beautiful track “Teardrop” by Massive Attack and somehow making it even more hauntingly beautiful, is Aurora. Hailing all the way from Norway, Aurora brings us gentle lines and keyboard stokes swelling towards its final note. It’s delicate, harmonic and enthralling, building slowly and making use of that unique and percussive heartbeat.
8. Catfish and the Bottlemen – ‘Read My Mind’ (The Killers)
Welsh indie group Catfish and the Bottlemen dropped by Triple J back in 2015 and performed a deconstructed acoustic version of the 2006 hit “Read My Mind” by The Killers. Clocking up to 5.4 million views, it deserves a spot on this best Like a Version list. Even when vocalist Van McCaan has a hiccup in the second verse he carries on with the same spirit, even chucking in some off-the-cuff R.Kelly and delivers a fantastic cover.
9. Chet Faker – ‘(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good’ (Sonia Dada)
Chet Faker brings back Sonia Dada’s hit song from 1992 “(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good” in the Triple J studio complete with a backing choir. With the choir and just a guitar mixed in with some hand claps, Chet Faker showcased why he is one of the best voices in Australia. The cover was so popular it reached number 21 on the 2014 Hottest 100 list.
10. Gang of Youths – ‘Blood’ (The Middle East)
In this Like a Version, our very own homegrown heroes, the Gang of Youths, perform a breathtaking cover of Blood by the Middle East. With accompanying strings and the frontman David Le’aupepe’s signature soulful angst, don’t be surprised if you start to tear up.
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2018
1. Billie Eilish – ‘Bad’ (Michael Jackson)
2. Ocean Alley – ‘Baby Come Back’ (Player)
3. CHVRCHES – ‘LOVE.’ (Kendrick Lamar)
4. A$AP Rocky – ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ (Otis Redding)
5. Joey Bada$$ – ‘When Thugs Cry’ (Prince)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2017
1. Tash Sultana – ‘Electric Feel’ (MGMT)
2. Aurora – ‘Teardrop’ (Massive Attack)
3. HAIM – ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ (Shania Twain)
4. Gang of Youths – ‘Blood’ (The Middle East)
Glass Animals – ‘Crazy’ (Gnarls Barkley)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2016
1. Halsey – ‘Love Yourself’ (Justin Bieber)
2. DMA’S – ‘Believe’ (Cher)
3. Paces – ‘Keeping Score’ Ft. Guy Sebastian (LDRU)
4. Matt Corby – ‘Chains’ (Tina Arena)
5. A.B. Original Ft. Paul Kelly – ‘Dumb Things’ (Paul Kelly)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2015
1. Childish Gambino – ‘So Into You’ (Tamia)
2. Catfish and the Bottlemen – ‘Read My Mind’ (The Killers)
3. Sticky Fingers – ‘Delete’ (DMA’s)
4. E^ST – ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ (The Verve)
5. Tuka – ‘Big Jet Plane’ (Angus and Julia Stone)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2014
1. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ (Tame Impala)
2. CHVRCHES – ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ (Arctic Monkeys)
3. Chet Faker – ‘(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good’ (Sonia Dada)
4. John Butler Trio – ‘Happy’ (Pharrell Williams)
5. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘West Coast’ (Lana Del Rey cover)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2013
1. San Cisco – ‘Get Lucky’ (Daft Punk)
2. Illy – Silverchair, Hilltop Hoods, Paul Kelly, Flume
3. Rudimental – ‘Ready Or Not’ (The Fugees)
4. Bonjah – ‘Royals’ (Lorde)
5. The Lumineers – ‘This Must Be The Place’ (Talking Heads)
5 Best Triple J Like a Version Covers of 2012
1. Sticky Fingers – ‘Rhiannon’ (Fleetwood Mac)
2. Angus Stone – ‘Hold On’ (Alabama Shakes)
3. alt-J – ‘Slow Dre’ (Dr Dre/Kylie Minogue)
4. Missy Higgins – ‘Hearts A Mess’ (Gotye)
5. Hermitude – ‘Get Free’ (Major Lazer)