Cover band

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cover band (or covers band) is a band that plays songs recorded by someone else, sometimes mimicking the original as accurately as possible, and sometimes re-interpreting or changing the original. These remade songs are known as cover songs. New or unknown bands often find the format marketable for smaller venues, such as pubs, clubs or parks. The bands also perform at private events, for example, weddings and birthday parties, and may be known as a wedding band, party band, function band or band-for-hire. A band whose covers consist mainly of songs that were chart hits is often called a top 40 band. Some bands, however, start as cover bands, then grow to perform original material. For example, the Rolling Stones released three albums consisting primarily of covers and then recorded one with their own original material.

Cover bands play several types of venues. When a band is starting out, they might play private parties and fundraisers, often for little or no money, or in return for food and bar privileges, although many professional musicians refuse to do this. With enough experience, a band will begin to "play out" professionally at bars and night clubs. Some cover bands are made up of full-time professional musicians. These bands are usually represented by an entertainment agency.

When cover bands consist of professional musicians, they often do not have a fixed lineup; rather, they are often made up of a flexible lineup of session musicians, utilizing "dep" (deputy, that is, stand-in) musicians where necessary. The music industry is considered by many musicians as a relatively difficult industry to make an income in, and cover bands can be a good source of income for professional musicians alongside other work.


Cover bands play songs written and recorded by other artists, usually well-known songs[1] (as compared to "original" bands which play music they themselves have written). There are a wide variety of cover bands – some cover bands play material from particular decades, for example, a 1980s cover band. Others focus exclusively on the music of a particular group, usually iconic groups, and are called tribute bands. It is not uncommon to find tribute bands performing the songs of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Oasis, Duran Duran, Aerosmith, or U2. Some cover bands will play a variety of song styles, from different artists, genres, and decades. Another type of cover band is one that plays songs in a different genre or style than that of the original composition (e.g., jazz versions of what were originally hard rock songs).

Some cover bands perform covers that are of a different musical genre from the originals. For instance:

Examples of cover acts[edit]

Fictional cover acts[edit]

  • Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg who had a small group that performs cover songs from a fictional band called Steel Dragon. He eventually became the lead singer of the said band when a recorded performance was seen by the band members.
  • Detroit Rock City is the story of four teenagers in the 1970s who are in a Kiss cover band called "Mystery."
  • Full House the character, Jesse Katsopolis is the frontman and guitarist for "Jesse and the Rippers" which was a local rock band who mostly did Beach Boys and Elvis Presley covers.
  • Saving Silverman features three friends who are diehard Neil Diamond fans, and they form a cover band called "Diamonds in the Rough."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fellowes, Jon (2019-01-26). "Top 100 most popular cover songs from 2500+ wedding band set lists". Last Minute Musicians Blog. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  2. ^ SkyNews
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon; Weinraub, Bernard (June 11, 2004). "Ray Charles, Bluesy Essence of Soul, Is Dead at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  4. ^ Hodgkinson, Tom (16 September 2012). "Ukulele masterclass: Four strings and a jolly good time". The Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  5. ^ Kozinn, Allan (16 December 2010). "Exotic Timbres in the Darkness". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  6. ^ Syke, Lloyd Bradford (11 March 2012). "Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain". Australian Stage. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Glastonbury 2011: previous oddball performers". The Daily Telegraph. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  8. ^ Hewett, Ivan (12 August 2009). "The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – interview for the BBC Proms 2009". The Daily Telegraph. London. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006.
  9. ^ "The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – The Lowry, Salford". The Reviews Hub. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  10. ^ "The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele". The Atlantic. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  11. ^ "BWW Interview: George Hinchliffe of UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN at Peace Center". 10 April 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2020.