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Weezer’s ‘Africa’ & Bad Wolves’ ‘Zombie’ Lead Rock Radio’s Cover Craze

Here are 15 remakes that have made Billboard's rock radio charts in the last two years.

When Weezer debuted on the Alternative Songs airplay chart dated June 16 with its cover of Toto‘s “Africa,” it became the first of 28 entries not originally written by Weezer (or at least one of its members) to make the ranking.

The song is hardly the only remake, however, to reach a Billboard rock radio chart of late.

Four spots above “Africa,” in fact, Bad Wolves spend their 11th week on the chart with “Zombie,” their cover of The Cranberries‘ six-week Alternative Songs No. 1 in 1994, released in honor of late Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, who died in January just before she was set to record a verse on Bad Wolves’ rendition. In May, the Bad Wolves version led the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart for three weeks.


Going back further, cover songs reaching rock airplay charts is not an anomaly in recent months. And it’s easy to see why. A remake brings instant, built-in familiarity and, thus, potentially an easier in to radio playlists.

Below, a look at 15 recent covers that have occupied spots on Billboard‘s rock radio charts. (Of note: by acts unrelated to the originals; we’re not counting such songs as Chris Stapleton‘s “Midnight Train to Memphis,” which Stapleton wrote but was first recorded by his old band, the SteelDrivers, in 2008, or Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer‘s solo rendition of the band’s ’80s hit “Nobody’s Fool.”)

“Africa,” Weezer, No. 31 peak (to date), Alternative Songs (June 16)
Original hit by Toto (No. 1, Billboard Hot 100; Feb. 5, 1983)

“Zombie,” Bad Wolves, No. 26, Alternative Songs (May 5); No. 1, Mainstream Rock Songs (May 5)
Original hit by The Cranberries (No. 1, Alternative Songs; Oct. 29, 1994)

“Dream On,” Blacktop Mojo, No. 34, Mainstream Rock Songs (June 16)
Original hit by Aerosmith (No. 6, Hot 100; April 10, 1976)

“Gone Away,” Five Finger Death Punch, No. 2, Mainstream Rock Songs (April 14)
Original hit by The Offspring (No. 1, Mainstream Rock Songs; May 10, 1997)

“Wish You Were Here,” Avenged Sevenfold, No. 16, Mainstream Rock Songs (Dec. 30, 2017)
Originally by Pink Floyd (did not chart)

“Come Together,” Gary Clark Jr., No. 15, Mainstream Rock Songs (Dec. 2, 2017); No. 39, Alternative Songs (Jan. 6)
Original hit by The Beatles (No. 1, Hot 100; Nov. 29, 1969)

“The Thunder Rolls,” All That Remains, No. 23, Mainstream Rock Songs (Dec. 2, 2017)
Original hit by Garth Brooks (No. 1, Hot Country Songs; June 22, 1991)

“Whole Wide World,” Cage the Elephant, No. 6, Alternative Songs (Nov. 11, 2017); No. 11, Adult Alternative Songs (Aug. 26, 2017)
Originally by Wreckless Eric (did not chart)

“Come Together,” Godsmack, No. 21, Mainstream Rock Songs (May 6, 2017)
Original hit by The Beatles (No. 1, Hot 100; Nov. 29, 1969)

“Still of the Night,” Halestorm, No. 20, Mainstream Rock Songs (March 11, 2017)
Original hit by Whitesnake (No. 18, Mainstream Rock Songs; May 2, 1987)

“Royals,” Otep, No. 39, Mainstream Rock Songs (Feb. 18, 2017)
Original hit by Lorde (No. 1, Hot 100, Oct. 12, 2013)

“Just Your Fool,” The Rolling Stones, No. 27, Adult Alternative Songs (Nov. 19, 2016)
Original hit by Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra (No. 6, R&B National Best Sellers, Jan. 16, 1954)

“I Don’t Care Anymore,” HellYeah, No. 10, Mainstream Rock Songs (Oct. 22, 2016)
Original hit by Phil Collins (No. 3, Mainstream Rock Songs; Dec. 18, 1982)

“Nothing Compares 2 U,” Chris Cornell, No. 34, Mainstream Rock Songs (May 21, 2016)
Written by Prince; original hit version by Sinead O’Connor (No. 1 on Hot 100, April 21, 1990)

“The Sound of Silence,” Disturbed, No. 1, Mainstream Rock Songs (March 19, 2016); No. 22, Alternative Songs (July 9, 2016)
Original hit by Simon & Garfunkel (No. 1, Hot 100, Jan. 1, 1966)