Aside from writing some of the best songs and riffs in rock history, guitarist Slash has done some really awesome cover tunes as well. Some songs were recorded by his bands Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, either as album tracks or as B-sides. But Slash has also done some really great covers that never made it to the studio, but are stand out live tracks in their own right. Here we list Mr. Saul Hudson’s ten best covers.
1. Slash - “Hey Joe”
Slash had the honor of performing with former Jimi Hendrix bandmates Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell at the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 2005. What is special about this performance is that Slash put his own spin on this Hendrix classic and shows that a Les Paul is more than capable of handling the late guitarist’s work. Slash of course remain true to the main riffs and licks, but puts his own spin on things in the solo, with his use of wah-wah.
2. Velvet Revolver - “Money”
This song was recorded for the Mark Wahlberg heist movie The Italian Job. The Pink Floyd original lends itself perfectly to Slash’s style of playing. He shows off his skills at the talk box throughout the song, and there’s some serious soloing as well in this seven-minute monster of a song.
3. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - "Immigrant Song"
Slash would do this Led Zeppelin classic during the encore of his latest tour with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators this past summer. No solos in this one, but Slash shows he can handle Jimmy Page’s precise riffing with ease. We also like that he’s using his Slash Appetite Les Paul for this one!
4. Slash with Boz Scaggs - “Red House”
This song is on here simply because Hendrix tunes on a Les Paul sound amazing! Slash joined Boz Scaggs on stage at the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 1995 for this 8 minute rendition of Hendrix’ most recognizable blues number. Both Slash and Boz are rocking out on Les Paul guitars. In this song it becomes really apparent that most of Slash’s guitar playing style is based around the blues - it’s just that he normally plays it at twice the speed.
5. Velvet Revolver - “No More No More”
Recorded as a B-side for the first Velvet Revolver album, the band decided to take on a deep cut from Slash’s favorite rock band growing up - Aerosmith. The fact that they chose a lesser-known song from an album (Toys in the Attic) that spawned hits such as “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” made it easier for the band to make it sound like a Velvet Revolver song than just a random cover.
6. Slash - Theme from The Godfather
Slash has been doing the theme from The Godfather since the Use Your Illusion Tour with Guns N’ Roses in the early nineties, up to his latest tour with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. It works so well because it is a really bizarre piece to play on electric guitar, and Slash makes it his own with that beautiful wah-laden sound of his. The theme from The Godfather also show off Slash’s great vibrato technique.
7. Guns n’ Roses - “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
GN'R's rock version of the Dylan classic "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" was a huge hit for the band and got heavy rotation on MTV. The best parts of the song are Slash's solo and his segue between the chorus and the second verse. What makes Slash's parts so good is that they're his own take on the song. That's how you do a cover properly - take a known song and alter it to sound like your own, rather than simply playing it note for note.
8. Slash, Paul Rodgers & Band of Gypsys - ”I Don't Live Today”
Slash got to record this Are You Experienced track together with Band of Gypsys members Buddy Miles, and Billy Cox for the 1993 Hendrix tribute Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Bad Company main man Paul Rodgers took care of the vocals. As opposed to Slash's version of ”Hey Joe” which has a laid back feel, ”I Don't Live Today” is completely Slash-ified with heavy riffs and power chords fueled by humbuckers. It does sound great and it makes you wonder if Slash wouldn't have loved to have the Band of Gypsys as his full time band.
9. Velvet Revolver - "Can't Get It Out Of My Head"
Velvet Revolver covered this Jeff Lynne penned Electric Light Orchestra tune for their sophomore effort Libertad. The country-feel that the song possesses in its original form worked well with the sound Velvet Revolver had on that particular album. But it’s unavoidable that their version would be more upbeat, with heavier guitars. Slash shines with a particularly inspired guitar solo that is the highlight of the song.
10. Guns N’ Roses - “Live And Let Die”
Ok, so this is Guns N’ Roses at their most outrageous, but there’s no denying how great this version of the Paul McCartney classic sounds live with Axl and Co. Slash’s main contribution is the soulful break around the two-minute mark which just sounds so rich on his Les Paul Goldtop.