Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind voted the best ever cover version of a song

Clearly the electronic pop duo's version of the 1972 Elvis hit is always on the nation's mind too...

Brenda Lee sang it first, Elvis made it famous and then plenty more followed suit – but it’s the Pet Shop Boy’s version of the 1972 hit Always On My Mind that has been crowned the top cover of all time.

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As part of its launch campaign this month, BBC Music asked the public to vote for their favourite song cover ever, and then radio presenters Fearne Cotton, Trevor Nelson, Simon Mayo and Steve Lamacq and more music experts cut down the list to a Top 50.

The winner, Pet Shop Boys’ 1987 recording of Always On My Mind, was followed by Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt, The Stranglers’ Walk On By, Jimi Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower.

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah came in fifth with Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends and SInead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U in tow.

Panelist Jeff Smith, head of music at BBC 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.”

Have a listen to the classic cover here:

In case you’ve forgotten the original because Pet Shop Boys did it so well, here’s the Elvis version that made the song famous:

The nation’s Top 50 covers

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.José González – 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.Hüsker Dü – Eight Miles High

42.José 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)

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50.D’Angelo – Cruisin